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Developing RTD Potential of INCDIE ICPE-CA in the Field of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies

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Supporting research on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies

Electrical engineering research in Romania has expanded to the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies with EU support. Investment in both infrastructure and human capital is already yielding results.

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The National Institute for R&D in Electrical Engineering ICPE-CA (INCDIE ICPE-CA) in Bucharest, Romania is a national non-profit research organisation that supports industrial development. Strong partnerships encourage the participation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in national and other programmes with governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Scientists at the Institute initiated the EU-funded ICPE-HYFC project to expand capacity in renewable energy technologies. In particular, the grant was used to establish a research centre for hydrogen and fuel cells (HyFCLab). Funding enabled the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment and supported the recruitment of two experienced researchers. In addition, six young researchers were recruited and are working in the Department for Energy Efficiency in Conversion and Consumption (ECCE). Staff exchange and international short-term training programmes were an important project component. These initiatives helped the centre develop the necessary expertise to conduct top-level research and technological development (RTD) in renewable energy technologies related to hydrogen and fuel cells. Knowledge transfer and networking are critical to speeding progress in scientific research. ICPE-HYFC organised four workshops with close to 350 participants and 29 invited speakers from Chinese, EU and Romanian research centres and universities. In addition, the centre's scientists participated in numerous national and international conferences and workshops. Scientific results were published in peer-reviewed journals and presented in short talks directed at governmental organisations, SMEs and the public. The ICPE-HYFC project successfully launched the HyFCLab at INCDIE ICPE-CA in Bucharest. In the course of its short 20-month duration, project members submitted 12 proposals to regional calls and 8 to the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) calls. To date, five new grants have been awarded, demonstrating the developing potential of HyFCLab in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Integration into the European Research Area (ERA) has benefits for all when it comes to renewable energy technologies. Putting great minds together with state-of-the-art equipment will lead to greater energy security for EU citizens while minimising contribution to global climate change.

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