The action should set-up a European Forum composed of R&I policy makers, R&I actors and experts ('community') in the field of smart grids / storage and local energy systems that is representative of the EU-28 energy system. The goal is to evolve towards a truly integrated pan-European R&I community with a high level of synergies, spread and representativity over a recommended duration of 4 years.
Actions should be proposed to establish and spread the state of the R&I in the field in Europe. A number of regional workshops where exchanges of experience and capacities between members of R&I community that are not used to collaborate will be organised where the key R&I challenges will be identified, discussed and structured. Advantage should be taken of other events and conferences, preferably well-known and occurring on a regular basis, to organise such workshops.
Beyond workshops, a methodology should be put in place that will allow developing the elements stated in the paragraph above on a long term perspective relying on diversified but combined means (virtual meeting, use of social media, setting up discussion groups, establishing collaborative working spaces). These new links, new knowledge and potential future collaboration should materialise through the delivery of reports (e.g. at regional and EU level).
The European Technology and Innovation Platform Smart Networks for Energy Transition (ETIP SNET), ongoing Horizon 2020 projects (e.g. the BRIDGE project[[ http://horizon2020-story.eu/contact/]]) in the field, and existing associations with a true pan-European dimension will have an important role to play. This action should also contribute to widen the representativity of European associations in the field which have weaknesses in their EU coverage.
The consortium should be composed of a limited number of relevant beneficiaries offering the possibility to invite ad-hoc R&I policy makers, actors and experts when needed. The consortium should achieve a well-balanced representation at EU level.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 to 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
According to the JRC Smart Grid Projects Outlook 2014[[ http://ses.jrc.ec.europa.eu/sites/ses.jrc.ec.europa.eu/files/u24/2014/report/ld-na-26609-en-n_smart_grid_projects_outlook_2014_-_online.pdf]], the majority of cooperation takes place between organisations from a limited number of Member States while 15 analysed countries (NO, CH, IE, PL, HU, SK, LT, RO, LV, HR, BG, LU, CY, EE, MT) account for less than 5 % of the R&I funds altogether.
The supported project is expected to contribute to:
- Building a true pan-European R&I community in the field of smart grids & associated flexibility measures / energy systems;
- Establish new collaboration on a long-term perspective which has a potential to develop into industrial collaborations;
- Building, in the long-term, solidarity and trust for a well-functioning and resilient pan-European energy system (e.g. contributing to risk preparedness).