Full title: Energy to Innovation - Reinforcing cooperation with ENP countries on bridging the gap between energy research and energy innovation
Reference of the Grant Agreement no: 609532
Project Start: 1 October 2013
Duration: 36 Months
EU Contribution: 999,555.00 EURO
Project Coordinator: Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), Vienna, Austria
Background and objectives
Energy supply and usage and the stimulation of innovation activities are some of the most important challenges for the EU and for the Eastern European countries within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Increased resource efficiency and innovation in renewable and sustainable energy offers the best potential to solve the urgent, interrelated societal challenges of insecurity over energy supplies, growing energy demand, and looming climate change.
The ener2i project focuses on the need to find innovative and sustainable solutions to these challenges, directly addressing the gap between new energy research and European industry. Existing research results are not being sufficiently transferred into innovative processes and products, and in Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Molsova) cooperation among research institutes, universities, and the business sector are at an early stage of development. In order to bridge this gap and accelerate innovation performance, ener2i concentrates on the following main objectives:
- To enhance the innovation capacity and improve the innovation performance of manufacturers, energy service companies and industry in the field of energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy sources (RES).
- To improve knowledge transfer and innovation support in the field of EE/RES through a comprehensive trans-national cooperation.
- To stimulate effective linkages between research and innovation with effective knowledge transfer methods in the participating EaP countries Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, and Moldova.
- To strengthen cooperation between research and business actors in EE/RES in the participating countries and at the same time facilitating the cooperation between EU and participating EaP countries.
Implementation and dissemination activities
The ener2i objectives will be implemented through the following activities:
- Setting up a stakeholder database
- Analysis of the energy sectors and of the innovation situation in participating EaP countries
- Development of a roadmap for EE/RES in industry, including policy recommendations
- Twinning activities among EU and EaP partners
- Networking activities e.g. brokerages at local (EaP) and international level
- Targeted training activities on technology transfer, innovation issues, energy research, etc.
- Establishing an innovation voucher scheme for the implementation of energy innovations
Communication and Dissemination of project-based results to the stakeholders and to the wider public are essential and crucial components for the success of the project as well as for the sustainability of the project results in the long term. As a major communication channel the ener2i web platform will be used. In addition, a broad dissemination of the project results will be ensured by printed materials distributed at project events and other relevant events, a project flyer (with general information about the project), press releases, policy briefs, and other printed materials (e.g. analytical reports). To create synergies between ener2i and other projects dealing with innovation and energy in countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy region, a set of clustering activities is planned.
- 4 analytical reports on the research and innovation landscape and on players in EE/RES in the participating EaP countries (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova)
- 4 local brokerages in participating EaP countries and 4 brokerages in EU countries
- 8 training workshops on various aspects of innovation, which are relevant for EE/RES in participating EaP countries
- Staff exchanges/study visits – 24 experts exchanged in the frame of a twinning scheme
- 24 innovation vouchers, allocated to start-ups and businesses in the participating EaP countries as a result of a merit-based competition