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Joint Universal activities for Mediterranean PV integration Excellence

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - JUMP2Excel (Joint Universal activities for Mediterranean PV integration Excellence)

Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2019-12-31

Society Importance
Under the macroeconomic benefits, the JUMP2Excel programme will seek to stimulate economic growth in many areas. The interface between scientific output and the market is important. The effort towards commercialisation will increase the chances of the emergence of local industry in the field, which can potentially attract new sources of international investment on the island as well as added-value manufacturing. The environmental benefits of more widespread PV energy systems can be summarised as:
✓ contribution to reduced CO2 emissions and mitigation of the effects of climate change;
✓ water-energy nexus benefits from PV integration activities.
The social benefits of energy projects are also not as immediately clear. They tend to come in longer timeframes and are more pronounced in certain contexts than others. On the Maltese context, the most immediate effect is due to a reduced risk of electricity shortage contributing to electricity supply security.

The aim of JUMP2Excel project is to steadily set in the PV research, its related technology and electricity market integration at MCAST Energy within world-leading research groups and establish it as a regional leader at the time when decarbonisation, digitalisation, decentralisation and disintermediation are all major sources of disruption for energy utilities. To achieve this target specific objectives are:
• To enhance and increase the research output of MCAST Energy (in quality and quantity)
• To increase the success of MCAST Energy in grant applications and recruitment of excellent personnel.
• To strengthen and develop long-term relations between MCAST Energy, partners, networks and stakeholders
• To increase the international standing of the MCAST Energy, acting as a regional hub, in the field of PV, relevant technologies and electricity markets
The project coordination is performed smoothly in WP2 Management ensuring contractual obligations and sound financial and administrative management. The project coordination includes this interim reporting for Mid-Term Review (M18). The management included recruitment/engagement and designation of all partners roles and appointments, management committee, assign specific scientific staff to specific knowledge transfer activities. The International Scientific Committee (ISC), composed of the WP leaders and another 2 senior scientists from each advanced partner was also established at the Kick-Off meeting. ISC is looking at the smooth advancement of the project.

Knowledge Gain is taken care of by a special WP3 which includes workshops, schools, training and internships. Future activities are in preparations and so far a three 3-days successful workshop was organised in May 2019 at CEA, France. In addition, the first JUMP2Excel School (Nov 2019) attracted 15 Speakers, 7 Stakeholders, 18 Candidates and 6 MCAST Energy members. During the start of the project, the MCAST Energy had four MRes candidates. Two have graduated in December 2018 and two remains in the programme on a part-time basis. During the first mid-term of the project, one MRes candidate was engaged in November 2018, three MRes candidates were engaged in December 2018 and another two MRes candidates were engaged in September 2019. Although two PhD (split-site) mode were appointed on March 2019 after several attempts, they have discontinued the process immediately. Nevertheless, training sessions are being organised with high level of details to algorithms and methods developed by partners that MCAST Energy members may take on board. Two of these sessions were delivered already on 12 February 2019 CEA and on the 09 October 2019 Training Session by CENER. A further session is planned on the 28th February 2019 Training Session by UNIMAN. Finally in knowledge gain Research internships are scheduled or delivered by the current two postdoc full-time researchers respectively. Further internships are being proposed.

Networking Universal Activities is WP4. MCAST has championed memberships and maintained its networks as a member of IEEE PES, ETIP-PV and Power-Globers. MCAST Energy Principal Investigator was also nominated by the Minister for Energy and Water Management to represent on the Maltese World Energy Council Committee. MCAST Energy members participated in EU PVSEC and Asia PVSC. UNIMAN presented the potential of MCAST Energy and JUMP2Excel in DER-Lab General Assembly (Sicily). CEA led online meetings to set up a research project on the H2020 and have had the calls ending January 2020 on target. Furthermore, Stakeholders engagement is highlighted both with meetings inside the project and external other projects such as PEARL PV. This WP takes care also of Exchange visits with UNIMAN which are being proposed to revise. On the other hand, Mentoring visits were conducted successfully by CEA (Feb and Jul 2019) and CENER (Oct 2019) meeting and mentoring both on a one-to-one basis but also reaching out more dedicated to stakeholders. Further networking activities are being proposed such as participation in exhibitions and introductions to other RTOs.

Our project has a dedicated WP5 Dissemination work package. We understand that the success of a TWINNING project goes hand in hand with our objective to increase our international standing. This is being achieved by the successful Public Lecture Series that are being live-streamed. So far more than 3 public lectures were conducted with online viewers reaching beyond 1,200 mark apart from the in-person participation. In addition, our outreach in all most popular social media platforms for general public and academics (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Youtube) have attracted the attention to our activities. In addition, press releases and participation in Science in the City and Malta Innovation Summit have brought further interest as the point of reference in the field of PV, relevant technologies and electricity markets research. Furthermore, our scholarly knowledge is published already in 7 conference presentations and papers and four thesis/dissertations. We are also trying to attract an International PV conference.
With the help of the TWINNING JUMP2Excel project MCAST Energy will expect to:
• improve its research profile
• increase its success in grant applications and recruiting excellent personnel
• build strong long-term relations with partners, networks and stakeholders
• increase its international standing, act as a regional hub, in the field of PV, relevant technologies and electricity markets

The potential impacts are to:
• increase dependence on technological innovations by fostering growth in high-tech industries in Malta;
• target PV energy integration research where there are clear synergies between academia and enterprises;
• encourage training of enterprises and policy makers.
• contribution to reduced CO2 emissions and mitigation of the effects of climate change
• water-energy nexus benefits from PV integration activities
• intensify the efforts on the research fields already pursued at MCAST Energy, by bringing the mentoring and expertise of high-calibre researchers from the advanced partners
• expand the network and reach of the MCAST Energy
Project Backdrop