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Joint Universal activities for Mediterranean PV integration Excellence

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - JUMP2Excel (Joint Universal activities for Mediterranean PV integration Excellence)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2022-03-31

Society Importance
Under the macroeconomic benefits, the JUMP2Excel programme sought to stimulate economic growth in many areas. The interface between scientific output and the market is important. The effort towards commercialisation increases 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 are 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 not immediate. They tend to come in longer timeframes and are more pronounced in certain contexts than others. In 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 final reporting (M44). 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. Somes activities shifted to online and enhanced with follow-ups in-person too. Workshops hosted by CENER and UNIMAN first were conducted online and open to the public attracting a very wide and large audience. These were followed by in-person workshops in Spain and Manchester contributing to 5 MCAST members' development and interaction with partners. The JUMP2Excel Schools in 2021 (online) and 2022 (in person) attracted over 44 Speakers, 90 Candidates, about 18 from MCAST/Malta each time. The MCAST Energy had managed to successfully train for the Masters by Research awards to four candidates and dedicated three 1-hour Training Sessions conducted in person. Finally, knowledge gain Research internships were followed up with 3 postdoc in total benefiting from these hands-on visits on three separate occasions. JUMP2Excel has managed to develop through its activities a resource of knowledge and managed to train a total of over 140 Candidates directly with around 20 of these candidates based in Malta, excluding online social media views.

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 is on the Maltese World Energy Council Committee. MCAST Energy members participated in EU PVSEC and Asia PVSC and Intersolar including exhibiting the project in the CEA booth. MCAST Energy managed also to attract ERIGrid2.0 access to the laboratory at AIT capitalising on the internships already established in JUMP2Excel and other collaborative projects running at MCAST. Furthermore, Stakeholder engagement is highlighted both with meetings inside the project and external other projects such as during JUMP2Excel Schools, ETIP-PV meetings and MCAST Energy Day Conferences. Exchange visits with UNIMAN included online interactions and explored several emerging topics. Mentoring visits by UNIMAN included also public lectures and two mentors visiting Malta. In addition, the advanced research centres introduced MCAS Energy to VTT (Online), CSEM and HZB (in person). JUMP2Excel has managed to attract National successful endeavours for further research on the European Horizon platform with all consortium partners.

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 is being live-streamed. Another two public lectures were conducted with online viewers reaching beyond the 1,200 mark apart from the in-person participation. In addition, our outreach on all the most popular social media platforms for the general public and academics (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Youtube) have attracted attention to our activities. Our scholarly knowledge is published in already in 16 open-access journal publications and 21 conference presentations and papers and five thesis/dissertations. Through partly JUMP2Excel endevours the MEDPOWER2022 organised under the IET has been attracted in Malta.
With the help of the TWINNING JUMP2Excel project MCAST Energy:
• improved its research profile
• increased the success in grant applications on a National level and recruited excellent personnel
• built strong long-term relations with partners, networks and stakeholders
• increased its international standing, act as a regional hub, in the field of PV, relevant technologies and electricity markets

The potential impacts:
• increased dependence on technological innovations by fostering growth in high-tech industries in Malta;
• targeted PV energy integration research where there are clear synergies between academia and enterprises;
• encouraged the training of enterprises and policymakers.
• 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/National Level, 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