31 October 2023 | Muriel Cozier

SCI's Daily Digest: your one-stop shop for all of the day's news in science based industry

In today's Daily Digest, UNEP has announced its 2023 Champions of the Earth, GSK has launched a £6 million programme focused on boosting STEM career progression for young people from underrepresented groups in the UK, and more.


Pfizer and BioNTech have announced ‘positive topline data’ for an mRNA-based combination vaccine program against influenza and Covid-19. The partner said that they plan to start a pivotal Phase 3 trial in the coming months.

The European Patent Office has released a new patent insight report on mRNA technologies. The report summarises results of patent analysis in the areas of mRNA-based vaccines. The report indicates that the number of inventions in this field started to multiply long before the pandemic began and saw significant higher growth compared to all fields of technology combined over the past decade.

The WHO in collaboration with Age and Ageing, the journal of the British Geriatrics Society, has released a special issue on Measurements of Healthy Ageing. The issue brings together work from professionals and experts from more than 40 academic institutions to identify the best available tools to measure what really matters to older people.


UNEP has announced its 2023 Champions of the Earth. It recognises individuals and organisations for their innovative solutions and actions in tackling plastic pollution. It is the UN’s highest environmental honour.

The UK government’s Environment Audit Committee has welcomed the government’s decision to place a moratorium on deep sea mining exploitation. The Chair of the Committee said that, ‘As we approach net-zero, and need to transition to a clean economy the demand on precious resources that can be extracted from deep sea mining, will inevitably increase. But this must be done in a considered way and with the backing of scientists that the environment and its inhabitants will not be severely impacted.’


Ahead the UK government AI Safety Summit, the Science and Technology Minister has used a speech to city investors to say that the UK has the world’s third largest AI sector, and that UK AI scale-ups are rising at almost double the rate of France, Germany and the rest of Europe combined.

The UK government is providing £118 in funding to boost skill in AI. This includes 12 Centres for Doctoral Training in AI, backed by UKRI, while a new visa scheme will make it easier for the most innovative businesses to bring AI researchers, in their early careers, to the UK.

The European Commission has welcomed an agreement by G7 leaders on international guiding principles on AI and a voluntary code of conduct for AI developers, under the Hiroshima AI process. This development will complement legally binding rules that the EU co-legislators are currently finalising under the EU AI Act.


The European Commission has approved €659 million in funding to support France’ Verkor in researching and developing EV lithium-ion batteries. The funding will contribute to the strategic objective the European Green Deal and the EU battery strategy,

Other news

GSK has launched a £6 million programme, which over the next ten years will focus on to boosting STEM career progression for young people from underrepresented groups in the UK. The STEM Equity programme aims to help reduce the significant barriers faced by women and young girls, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and Black communities, which limit STEM career opportunities and contribute to the lack of diversity in STEM sectors.

A report from the Katowice Committee on Impacts looks at the impact of three industries: hydrogen, CCUS and AI and provides a detailed description of the technologies, methods to assess their social and economic impact, and the importance of maximising the positive and minimising the negative impacts of their implementation.

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