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Networking for Excellence in Electric Mobility Operations

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NEEMO (Networking for Excellence in Electric Mobility Operations)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-02-28

Society Importance
Under the macroeconomic benefits, the NEEMO 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 the local industry in the field, which can potentially attract new sources of international investment on the island and added-value manufacturing. The environmental benefits of more widespread Electric Mobility can be summarised as:
✓ contribution to reduced CO2 and noise emissions and mitigation of the effects of climate change;
✓ contribution to more energy efficiency in mobility from Electric Mobility Operations.
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. In the Maltese context, the most immediate effect is to reduce the largest share, around 74%, of the total conventional energy consumed of the fuel used in the inland market reduced risk in health and pollution.

The strategic aim of the NEEMO project is to set in the Electric Mobility research steadily, related integration of technologies, modes and operations within the MCAST Energy research theme with the focus on transportation. 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 island state model, in Electric Mobility research and policies related to the integration of technologies, modes and operations.
The project coordination is performed smoothly in WP1 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, and the management committee assigned 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 WP2 which includes workshops, schools, training and internships. Due to the COVID pandemic, which took place in the project's nascent stage, most of the knowledge gain-based activities were delayed. However, in 2020, during the launch of the project (Jan 2020), we managed to conduct in-person Training and Mentoring by AIT as an advanced partner. After this, the following events until to date are online. The workshop hosted by ANEL was scheduled for July 2020 was delivered with an online one-day session in November 2020. CEA's training and the mentoring session were delivered in a series of online meetings and online training events during the week 1 - 5 February 2021. During the reporting period, School 1 was postponed from 5 - 9 October 2020, was being planned and we can report that it was successfully delivered on 15-18 March 2021 online attracting 2 Government of Malta Cabinet Ministers, 9 Speakers, Stakeholders, 55 Candidates and 7 MCAST Energy. We had four MRes candidates during the start of the project, and one MRes candidate successfully finalised his programme while the other three are ongoing. Further Knowledge Gain Actions are being planned in a hybrid that is in-person and online delivery. These include July 2021 Workshop hosted by CEA and November 2021 School 2, the latter as per Schedule. Online delivered actions such as Mentoring and Workshops will be followed by an onsite physical visit programme after COVId-19 restrictions are released, and travel and institutional entries are opened to conduct these visits. This includes the planned internships.

Networking for Excellence in WP4. MCAST Energy members are already members of IEEE PES, Power-Globe, but aspires to become more involved in EGVIA and EARPA and other influential networks and ad-hoc collaborations. MCAST Energy Principal Investigator was also nominated by the Minister for Energy and Water Management to represent the Maltese World Energy Council Committee. MCAST Energy members participated in MEDPOWER 2020, IEEE ISGT (Europe), EU PVSEC and IEEE PVSC. Furthermore, MCAST Energy PI is the Coordinating Lead Co-Author of The 1st Mediterranean Assessment Report (MAR1) by MedECC. Stakeholders engagement is highlighted both with meetings inside the project and external other projects such as GreenRoads and the EIT Urban Mobility Hub, where MCAST is a lead partner. Further networking activities are being proposed, such as participation in exhibitions and introductions to other RTOs. However, the physical visits are currently restricted and will have to be postponed due to the COVID-19 global situation.

Our project has a dedicated WP4 Dissemination and communication work package. We understand that a TWINNING project's success goes hand in hand with our objective to increase our international standing. This is being achieved by the successful Public Lecture Series that are live-streamed. So far, more than two public lectures were delivered with online viewers reaching beyond the 800 marks apart from the in-person/online participation. In addition, our outreach in all the most popular social media platforms for the general public and academics (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Youtube) have attracted attention to our activities. We have managed to attract a special session in the prestigious IEEE Innovative Smart Grids Technology (ISGT) Europe 2021. Apart from this, the bi-annual conference MEDPOWER 2022 was accepted to be held in Malta as part of the aegis of the NEEMO project.
With the help of the TWINNING NEEMO 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 e-mobility and its associated challenges and potential solutions.

The potential impacts are to:
• increase dependence on technological innovations by fostering growth in high-tech industries in Malta;
• develop technology and energy solutions for locations that exhibit similar characteristics to Malta but have different needs;
• target Electric Mobility Research where there are clear synergies between academia and enterprises;
• establish a framework to stimulate and identify innovation with the assistance of innovation centres;
• encourage the training of enterprises and policymakers.