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EERA launches new joint energy research programmes

08/03/2011
In response to the increasing need for energy innovation in Europe and beyond, the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) is launching its new Joint Research Programmes to help strengthen, expand and optimise EU energy research. The first Joint Programmes of research on Wind, Photovoltaic, Smart Grids and Geothermal were officially launched during the SET-Plan conference, on 3-4 June 2010 in Madrid. Proposed by the European Commission, The Strategic Energy Technology(SET)-Plan aims to accelerate the development and deployment ofcost-effective low carbon technologies, comprising measures relating toplanning, implementation, resources and international cooperation.

EERA’s innovative programmes will identify and bring togethernational centres of excellence in the energy research sector,proactively engaging involved organisations in the identification ofcommon needs and areas of research for the 2013-2020 programmingperiod. Following the SET-Plan indications, the Joint Programmesrespond to the need for better coordination among Member States,maximising synergies and identifying priorities for futurefunding.  The programmes constitute strategic permanentcollaborations between major research organisations and institutesforming a virtual centre of excellence.

The number of current Joint Programmes are already impressive, theparticipating organisations having committed a total number of 6,150person-months per year (pm/Y). These figures demonstrate realcommitment, considering that all the Joint Programmes are at an initialstage and that further Joint Programmes are currently underpreparation, namely:  Materials for Nuclear, Concentrated SolarPower, Carbon Capture and Storage, Bio Energy, Fuel Cells and SmartCities. The Madrid conference reported on the progress of the SET-Plansince the 2009 conference and, in addition to the EERA JointProgrammes, also formally launched the first European IndustralInitiatives.

High representatives from leading European Institutions attended thelaunch, including the European Commissioner for Research andInnovation, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy of theEuropean Parliament and the Spanish Presidency.  Main stakeholderscurrently involved in the EERA Joint Programmes and European IndustrialInitiatives participated in the conference.

The EERA Executive is currently governed by 15 of the top ResearchOrganisations dealing with energy in Europe, namely: the “AustrianInstitute of Technology”, AIT (AT),  the “Commissariat à l’EnergieAtomique et aux Energies Alternatives”, CEA (FR), the “Centro deInvestigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas2, CIEMAT(ES), the “Centre for Renewable Resources”, CRES (GR), the “EnergyResearch Centre of the Netherlands”, ECN (NL), the “Italian NationalAgency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable EconomicDevelopment”, ENEA ( IT), the “Helmholz Association”, HZ (DE), the “Institute of Power Engineering”, IEN (PL), the “LaboratorioNacional de Energia e Geologia”, LNEG (PT), the “Paul ScherrerInstitute”, PSI (CH), the “National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy”,RISø-DTU (DK),  the “Foundation for Scientific and IndustrialResearch”, SINTEF (NO), the “UK Energy Research Centre”, UKERC (UK) andthe “Technical Research Centre of Finland”, VTT (FI). The EERAExecutive includes two European organisations as observers – theEuropean University Association (EUA) and the European Heads ofResearch Councils (EUROHORCs).

Founded by ten leading European Research Institutes, EERA’s keyobjective is to accelerate the development of new energy technologiesby conceiving and implementing Joint Research Programmes in support ofthe SET-Plan by pooling and integrating activities and resources,combining national and Community sources of funding and maximisingcomplementarities and synergies.

For further information please contact:

ENEA  – massimo.busuoli [at] enea.it or

Helmholtz Association – Holger.Ihssen [at] helmholtz.de