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EERA SEcretariat

Final Report Summary - EERASE (EERA SEcretariat)


Executive Summary:

EERA SEcretariat:

The purpose of EERA is to strengthen and to expand Europe’s capabilities in sustainable energy research by connecting and joining European energy research activities. EERA’s coordinated and streamlined efforts, in particular the coordinated joining of different public research programmes at regional, member state and European level, shall enable all stakeholders of energy research to optimise their research efforts and to overcome fragmentation in order to accomplish a strategic and targeted development of next generations of energy technologies. EERA’s efforts take place in the context of and contribute to the targets formulated in the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan.

The governing body of EERA is the EERA Executive Committee (ExCo). The 15 executive committee members are identified following the EERA “Rules of Procedures” and all EERA members could, in principle, become an Executive Committee member in turn. In 2012 an open call for EERA ExCo was published and a new ExCo was constituted in April 2012. CRES (Greece) left the ExCo and was replaced by the Belgium Energy Research Alliance (BERA).

The core activity of EERA is the operation of the EERA Joint Programmes. EERA currently runs 13 Joint Programmes and 2 more are in the process of being established. EERA Joint Programmes are strategic and ambitious programmes with potentially many EERA members and interrelated energy research activities setting up a new framework of conducting coordinated research. After 3 years of coordination more than 3000 FTE researchers from about 200 different research organisations, universities or from industries are participating in the Joint Programmes.

The EERA Secretariat is thus at the centre of EERA and was present in all level of action. To this end the EERA Secretariat was composed of representatives of five national research institutes (ECN, ENEA, CEA, Helmholtz and DTU) which are part of the ten founding members of the EERA in 2008. The scope for significant joint work by the EERA Secretariat included support to all other bodies in the EERA and the collaboration with outside stakeholders through administrative, organizational and communication activities.

The EERA aims to strengthen, expand and optimise EU energy research capabilities through the sharing of world-class national facilities in Europe and the joint realisation of pan-EU programmes. The primary focus of the EERA will be on the strategic and targeted development of next generations of energy technologies drawing on results from fundamental research and maturing technologies to the point where it can be embedded in industry driven research.

The FP7-funded European Energy Research Alliance Secretariat (EERASE) project supports the EERA secretariat, which was preparing all the decisions of the EERA executive committee by organising, coordinating and monitoring the work of EERA.

The Project overall budget was around 3 million Euro on which the EC was granting 50% or about 1.5 million Euro for 3 years.

Project Context and Objectives:

EERA SEcretariat

The purpose of EERA is to strengthen and to expand Europe’s capabilities in sustainable energy research by connecting and joining European energy research activities. EERA’s coordinated and streamlined efforts, in particular the coordinated joining of different public research programmes at regional, member state and European level, shall enable all stakeholders of energy research to optimise their research efforts and to overcome fragmentation in order to accomplish a strategic and targeted development of next generations of energy technologies. EERA’s efforts take place in the context of and contribute to the targets formulated in the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan.

The governing body of EERA is the EERA Executive Committee (ExCo). In 2010 the EERA Executive Committee was enlarged from 10 to 15 members. The executive committee members are identified following the EERA “Rules of Procedures” and all EERA members could, in principle, become an Executive Committee member in turn. In 2012 an open call for EERA ExCo was published and a new ExCo was constituted in April 2012. CRES (Greece) left the ExCo and was replaced by the Belgium Energy Research Alliance (BERA). Selection for ExCo members is based on multiple criteria, e.g. the contributions to EERA JPs and the broadness of energy technology research.

The core activity of EERA is the operation of the EERA Joint Programmes. EERA currently runs 13 Joint Programmes and 2 more are in the process of being established. EERA Joint Programmes are strategic and ambitious programmes with potentially many EERA members and interrelated energy research activities setting up a new framework of conducting coordinated research. The philosophy behind the Joint Programmes is “the SET Plan logic”, which sets out ambitious targets for energy technologies and points to new ways of pooling the national efforts and collaborating on the development of energy technologies at European level.

Objectives, time line, expected results, added value and envisaged resources for specific Joint Porgrammes (JPs) activities are described in the Description of Work (DoW) document, which is set out by the Joint Programme Steering Committee and will be revised on an annual basis by such Committee.

The EERA Secretariat is thus at the centre of EERA and was present in all level of action. To this end the EERA Secretariat was composed of representatives of five national research institutes (ECN, ENEA, CEA, Helmholtz and DTU) which are part of the ten founding members of the EERA in 2008. All five institutes/institutions can be considered as key player in their own country and are recognised as being among the leading participants in European R&D programmes.

The scope for significant joint work by the EERA Secretariat included support to all other bodies in the EERA and the collaboration with outside stakeholders through administrative, organizational and communication activities.

To further advance the alliance’s efficiency and capability, EERA is currently in the process of setting up a legal entity based on a non-profit association structure. This will widen the options available for EERA including the ability to manage membership fees and in certain cases also to enter into external agreements with third parties.

The development of EERA since 2010

Overall the available manpower in EERA grew from around 1000 ppy (professional person years per year, (calculated using the OECD classification by “occupation”, which includes “researchers” as well as “technicians and equivalent” in the ppy definition) in 2010 (when only 7 JPs were already established) to more than 3000 ppys (with 13 JPs) in 2013. Since 2010 the number of research organizations participating in the different JP has also grown, as can be seen from the following table.

Joint Programme Started PPY at start PPY 2013 Participants at start Participants 2013
AMPEA November 2011 246 401 18 40
Bioenergy November 2010 103 281 19 29
CSP April 2011 86 106 12 18
CCS November 2010 270 371 21 49
Fuel Cells and H2 November 2011 132 157 17 20
Geothermal June 2010 254 409 12 34
Materials for Nucl. November 2010 134 198 15 27
Ocean April 2011 33 40 8 9
PV June 2010 90 149 22 33
Smart Cities November 2011 193 212 60 63
Smart Grids June 2010 60 100 19 24
Energy Storage November 2011 302 407 26 36
Wind June 2010 100 190 10 27
Overall 3021

The EERA aims to strengthen, expand and optimise EU energy research capabilities through the sharing of world-class national facilities in Europe and the joint realisation of pan-EU programmes. The primary focus of the EERA will be on the strategic and targeted development of next generations of energy technologies drawing on results from fundamental research and maturing technologies to the point where it can be embedded in industry driven research.

The FP7-funded European Energy Research Alliance Secretariat (EERASE) project supports the EERA secretariat, which was preparing all the decisions of the EERA executive committee by organising, coordinating and monitoring the work of EERA.

The Project overall budget was around 3 million euro on which the EC was granting 50% or about 1.5 million euro for 3 years.

Together with the EERA secretariat, the EERA lawyer group discuss possibilities to set up adequate “EERA Rules of Procedures”.

The EERA secretariat supported the information exchange between the independent research centres of EERA and the European Commission.

The EERA secretariat organised many workshops and motivated the science community to set up 13 EERA Joint Programmes.

1. Geothermal Energy
2. Smart Grids
3. Photovoltaic
4. Wind
5. Materials for Nuclear
6. Carbon Capture Storage
7. Bio-energy
8. Concentrated Solar Power
9. Ocean
10. Fuel Cells and Hydrogen
11. Smart Cities
12. Energy Storage
13. AMPEA ( Advanced Materials and Processes in Energy Application )

The different Joint Programmes contain a man power of more than 3000 PPYS and 400 participating research groups.

Two further Joint Programmes on “Economical, Environmental and Social Impact” and on “Shale Gas” were supported by the secretariat And has been officially launched by the Executive Committee in April 2013.

In April 2011 and 2012 the EERA secretariat organised and prepared the EERA Annual congresses with 300 participating stakeholder in Brussels. At the EERA congress the external reviews of different Joint programmes were presented and discussed.

The EERA has also organized a number of targeted events, both at the level of Brussels area as well as towards selected audiences.

Among the most relevant ones it is worth to mention:

• An EERA awareness event organized at the premises of the University foundation in Brussels during the EUSEW week of 2011.
• An EERA-EESC specific thematic event on social impacts of Energy research organized in collaboration with EESC at their premises during EUSEW week of 2012
• A specific EERA presentation made for the Energy NCPs to better explain its functioning in ISPRA at JRC premises in 2012 before the opening of the last Energy call of the FP7.
• The participation to several national events to promote EERA at local level.

International Co-operation activities of the European Commission were supported by EERA and the EERA secretariat.

Project Results:

Not relevant for this project.

Potential Impact:

The EERA joint programmes represent a unique bottom up approach to the joint programming of national research efforts on a European level. The EERA Joint Programmes operates on a variable geometry depending on the size of the programme, the European scientific community in the field and the technology readiness of the different technologies. In this way, each programme has become a model for testing how national research efforts can be coordinated.

Through the Joint Programmes EERA has managed to established a new level of communication within the different technology areas and between scientific fields in energy research. In some areas, the EERA Joint programmes represent the first ever European platform to bring sub-areas of technologies together under one umbrella; this has greatly strengthened their organisation and the dissemination on state-of-the art within the scientific community. Some of the EERA joint Programmes have become strong platforms for public research organisations to interact with industrial organisations on an equal footing.

The integrating effect of EERA is visible in the continuous development of national EERA alliances such as the BERA for Belgium, NERA for the Netherlands, AIREN for Italy, IEN for Poland etc. etc. The national alliances are also established on technology level within some Joint Programmes.

Integration is also evident in rules for common use of infrastructures that has been established in one Joint Programme.

EERA Joint Programmes as well as the EERA secretariat have represented the European Commission vis-a-vis third countries such as USA, Brazil, China, India and elsewhere on a regular basis.

List of Websites:

www.eera-set.eu