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EIT Awards 2020: Announcement of nominees

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On 20 October, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) unveiled the list of 28 outstanding entrepreneurs from across Europe nominated for the EIT Awards 2020. The nominees will compete in four categories: the EIT Venture Award celebrating outstanding start-ups and scale-ups; the EIT Change Award recognising top graduates from EIT entrepreneurial education programmes; the EIT Innovators Award for individuals and teams that have developed high impact innovative products; and the EIT Woman Award, putting the spotlight on inspiring female entrepreneurs and leaders.

In addition, the public has the opportunity to vote for their favorite innovation in the EIT Public Award. Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, responsible for the EIT, said: “Through the EIT, the EU invests in its brightest innovators as they help to create a greener, healthier, and more sustainable society for Europe's citizens. The nominees for this year's Awards are based in 13 countries and are a testament to the EIT's ability to identify and drive the most promising innovation projects. I congratulate them all on reaching this stage and I look forward to the EIT Awards 2020 ceremony in December.''

Each award in the four main categories comes with a monetary prize of €50,000 (first place), €20,000 (second place), and €10,000 (third place). Nominees will pitch their innovations publicly online on 8 December, and the winners in the five categories will be announced in a live award ceremony on 9 December. The full list of nominees and their innovations can be found here. Online voting for the EIT Public Award will commence on 16 November here. More information is available in the EIT press release.

EU

EU/US agreement will reassert the co-operation of open societies

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Today (30 November) ambassadors will gather in Brussels to prepare for next week’s Foreign Affairs Council and European Council of heads of government. Top of the list will be the future of EU/US relations.

The discussions will focus on five building blocks: Fighting the COVID-19; enhancing economic recovery; combatting climate change; upholding multilateralism; and, promoting peace and security. 

A strategy paper places the emphasis on the cooperation of open democratic societies and market economies, as a way of addressing the strategic challenge presented by China's growing international assertiveness.

The European Council president Charles Michel will be consulting with leaders over the next week and will also coordinate with NATO to plan a summit in the first half of 2021.

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coronavirus

Italy reports 26,323 new coronavirus cases, 686 deaths

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Italy reported 686 COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday (28 November), against 827 the day before, and 26,323 new infections, down from 28,352 on Friday (27 November), the health ministry said, writes .

There were 225,940 swabs carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 222,803.

Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has seen 54,363 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain. It has also registered 1.564 million cases.

While Italy’s daily death tolls have been amongst the highest in Europe over recent days, the rise in hospital admissions and intensive care occupancy has slowed, suggesting the latest wave of infections was receding.

The health ministry said on Friday it would ease anti-COVID-19 restrictions in five regions as of 29 November, including in the country’s richest and most populous region, Lombardy.

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German minister says partial lockdown could last until Spring 2021

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Germany’s partial lockdown measures could be extended until early spring if infections are not brought under control, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday (28 November), writes Caroline Copley.

Altmaier told Die Welt it was not possible to give the all-clear while there were incidences of more than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in large parts of Germany.

“We have three to four long winter months ahead of us,” he was quoted as saying. “It is possible that the restrictions will remain in place in the first months of 2021.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states on Wednesday to extend and tighten measures against the coronavirus until at least 20 December.

Germany imposed a “lockdown light” in early November, which closed bars and restaurants but allowed schools and shops to stay open. The measures have stopped the exponential growth of cases but infections have stabilised at a high level.

There were 21,695 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday, bringing total cases since the pandemic began to 1,028,089.

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