It is a fascinating task for me to motivate and engage key European stakeholders to discuss targets for bioenergy and how to translate those into next generation of H2020 project proposals!
This is certainly one of the main challenges I have faced since I started working at the SINTEF Brussels’ office in November 2015.
Research an innovation has a key role in achieving the fundamental transformation of Europe’s energy system.
Research an innovation has a key role in achieving the fundamental transformation of Europe’s energy system. Last fall the European Commission and the Member States started a consultancy process on the development of new European and national R&I programs and activities. This will have a large impact on bioenergy research in Europe.
So, this is strategic process in mind I recently organized, as part of the bioenergy management team in the European Energy Research Alliance, a workshop in Brussels to discuss and define how Great interest despite obstacles
Practically all were there
The participation of practically all the institutions invited to the workshop shows the interest that this workshop aroused. Not even the fear embedded in the mind of European citizens or the difficulties in logistics to come to Brussels, both created by the terrorist attack in Brussel’s airport few days before the event, became an obstacle.
In addition to the EERA JP Bioenergy, there was the presence of bioenergy technology platforms (EBTP, RHCTP, DHC+TP), the European Biomass Association, the European Biogas Association, and the European Platform of Universities in Energy Research and Education. But that was not all…We also engaged the European Commission and a representation of national Centres of Excellence in Europe…and guess what?!, the FME CenBio was one of them!
Focusing on stationary bioenergy and biofuels
In order to ensure time enough for detailed discussions, we organized two parallel working sessions; one focusing on stationary bioenergy (heating, power and cooling) and a second one focusing on biofuels. All participants expressed their gratitude for the arrangement of such workshop and provided very positive feedback about the content and the format of it.
In my eyes, a strategy will only become meaningful when it is implemented. This is exactly what we did with the organization of a second workshop/brokerage event: this was very hands-on creating and generating new EU H2020 project ideas within bioenergy. This workshop was co-organised by the EERA JP Bioenergy and the FME CenBio and had as overall objectives to:
- Facilitate initiation of new H2020 project proposals within bioenergy based on the new SET-Plan Governance
- Mobilize and engage European Centres of Excellence in the establishment of new H2020 project proposals within bioenergy
- Strengthen cooperation between EERA JP Bioenergy and European Bioenergy Centres of Excellence.
It was the first time within the bioenergy field that national and European forces were joint through the participation of EERA JP Bioenergy and three national Centres of Excellence on bioenergy in Europe. I have to say that those three Centres of Excellence got “Europeanised” after a two-days’ workshop! “Suddenly” a significant number of R&D institutions got to know what CenBio is, who it represents, what are the R&D priorities within the Centre and which kind of infrastructure is available. The other two Centre of Excellence present in the workshop were Bioenergy2020+ (Austria) and F3 (Sweden).
We ended up with six project ideas
We ended up with six project ideas after the parallel working group sessions, with SINTEF Energy being the generator of two of them. The participants showed to be proactive and committed to the discussions rounds and gave very positive feedbacks (professional, structured, efficient, result-oriented, etc.) about their experience in the workshop.
All and all, after the two workshops I feltthat we accomplished the objectives for both workshops. Now it is time to ensure that this is just the beginning of successive bioenergy proposals in H2020. It’s all about BioEUnergy!