Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • Programmes
  • Specific programme of research and technological development, including demonstration, to be carried out for the European Community by the JRC (direct actions) - Non-nuclear energy -, 1995-1998

Framework programme


Programme funding

EUR 20 million

Official Journal Reference

L 361 of 1994-12-31

Legislative Reference

94/918/EC of 1995-12-15
Institutional research activities comprising: prenormative research on methodologies, standardization procedures and assessment of technologies on an experimental basis in the areas of photovoltaics and energy conservation in buildings; and strategic research in the area of materials for clean technologies.


Under the Fourth Framework Programme, the JRC carries out institutional research activities in support of the specific programme of RTD in the area of Non-nuclear energies.

Institutional research activities, which constitute one element of JRC direct action, are defined as those activities for which the JRC has expertise and special, if not unique, facilities in the Community which contribute to the implementation of the Community's RTD policy. The other element of JRC direct action is institutional scientific and technical support activities, which are described as those activities necessary for the formulation and implementation of Community policies and other tasks carried out by the Commission. The JRC does not carry out institutional scientific and support activities for the specific programme in the area of Non-nuclear energy.

The JRC contribution focuses mainly on the area of renewable energy sources. Prenormative research is to be intensified in the areas of photovoltaic energy, solar energy, energy conservation, the development of technologies for clean technologies, and analysis of systems and standardization procedures from the energy point of view.

The JRC is to contribute to the development of technologies for cleaner and more efficient use of energy, with the emphasis on environmental aspects, in the following sectors:

- Photovoltaic energy: these activities include component tests and studies on the design and control of large-capacity systems. Research is based on the use of the JRC's European Solar Testing Institute (ESTI) and on networks with partners in the Member States. Basic scientific research into energy saving is to be continued;

- Materials for clean technologies: research covers the development of materials for clean technologies such as long-lived catalyst supports for emission control, non-porous ceramic membranes for advanced ceramic filters, ceramic alloys and composite materials for high-temperature applications (turbines and heat exchangers).

In addition to the direct actions, under the Fourth Framework Programme the JRC may bid for contracts to carry out other scientific and technological support activities within the framework of a competitive approach. Actions within this framework are carried out by means of work suited to a competitive tendering procedure in the context of a customer/contractor relationship. These are generally areas where the neutrality and autonomy of the JRC is not essential.

With regard to the specific programme in the area of non-nuclear energy, support activities under the competitive approach include:

- Handling and processing of information from projects carried out under Community programmes, in particular demonstration projects;
- Certification procedures for energy conservation in buildings, industry and transport, as well as the application of energy modelling methodologies (relationships between energy production, consumption and environmental impact), to particular energy scenarios.


Institutional research activities:

Two areas:

- Photovoltaic energy and energy conservation:
Prenormative research on methodologies, standardization procedures and assessment of technologies on an experimental basis in the areas of photovoltaics and energy conservation in buildings;

- Materials for clean technologies:
Strategic research for energy policy with a particular emphasis on environmental implications. Topics covered include:
. Materials for improved high-temperature efficiency;
. Demonstrator projects;
. Materials for improving industrial emissions;
. Databases on materials for clean technologies.


The Joint Research Centre (JRC) contributes to the activities of the specific RTD programme in the field of Non-nuclear energy (1994-1998) through the implementation of institutional research activities (See definition in the "General Information" section of this record). For activities related to photovoltaic energy and energy conservation, the work is carried out at the Ispra-based JRC Institute for Systems Engineering and Informatics (ISEI); for the activities related to materials for clean technologies, the JRC Institute for Advanced Materials (IAM), which has laboratories at Petten and Ispra, is used.

The Commission, assisted by the Board of Governors of the JRC, is responsible for the implementation of these activities in accordance with the Decision adopting the specific programme of JRC direct actions to be carried out in support of certain programmes under the Fourth Framework Programme and the activities to be carried out within the framework of a competitive approach and intended for scientific and technical support to Community policies.

In the implementation of the institutional activities, the JRC is required, when appropriate and feasible, to participate in, or organize networks of, public and private laboratories in the Member States or European research consortia. Particular attention must also be paid to cooperation with industry, especially with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

On the basis of the criterion of mutual benefit, the JRC may, at the request of the Commission, execute projects with legal entities established in third countries, provided this is deemed to make an effective contribution to the implementation of JRC activities. Legal entities from third countries may not, however, benefit from Community financing under this programme. Particular attention is paid to cooperation with research laboratories and institutes in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and in the independent states of the former Soviet Union.

Under the programme, provision is made for a number of accompanying measures, which include:

- The organization of visits to JRC institutes of grant holders, visiting scientists and seconded experts;
- Organization of the secondment of JRC staff to national laboratories, industrial laboratories and universities;
- Systematic exchange of information, through the organization of scientific seminars, workshops, colloquia, scientific publications, etc.;
- Specialized training with an emphasis on multidisciplinarity;
- The independent scientific and strategic evaluation of the performance of the projects and programmes.

The total funds estimated as necessary for the execution of JRC direct actions under the Fourth Framework Programme is ECU 600 million, of which a sum of ECU 20 million is reserved for the implementation of direct actions in support of the specific programme in the area of non-nuclear energies. The global JRC budget includes provisions for exploratory research (approximately 6% of the total) and the JRC's budget contribution necessary for its participation in shared-cost actions.

A further global budget of ECU 128 million is set aside under the Fourth Framework Programme for the implementation of competitive support activities, of which ECU 15 million is reserved for actions to be implemented in the area of non-nuclear energy. Actions under the competitive approach are assigned by the Commission to research bodies and centres, including the JRC, universities and undertakings on a competitive tendering basis.

The Commission will continuously and systematically monitor progress in the implementation of actions under the programme, paying particular attention to assessing whether the objectives, priorities and financial resources of the various actions are still appropriate.

Before 15 April each year, the Commission is required to submit an annual report, on the implementation of the JRC actions under the specific programme of research, technological development and demonstration to be implemented by the JRC under the Fourth Framework Programme. In addition, the Commission is required to organize an external assessment conducted by independent experts of the specific activities covered by the JRC programme and their management during the five years preceding this assessment. The results of this assessment, together with the annual reports, will be communicated to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.
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