Last October, EUA Council agreed to support the launch of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).
aims to accelerate the development of new energy technologies in support of the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) plan by pooling and integrating research activities across Europe. EUA – which was invited to join EERA by the European Commission – is pleased to announce the establishment of a new ‘European Platform of Universities engaged in Energy Research’ as a mechanism to bring university-based research into EERA activities. The new Platform will provide the framework for consultation between universities that have a substantial research capacity in energy fields.
This move follows the discussions held at a recent EUA workshop, held in Brussels, which was attended by prominent scientists
from across Europe, who had been nominated by 18 of EUA’s National Rectors’ Conferences.
At the workshop - chaired by EUA Vice-President and EUA member of the EERA Founding Group, Professor Helena Nazaré - scientists had the opportunity to hold an extensive debate on the EERA with Raffaele Liberali, Director, Directorate Energy at the EC’s Directorate-General for Research.
As a result of the workshop a small steering group of experts has been identified which will meet in early June to draw up an agenda and programme for the new EUA Platform – and will have the role of providing expert advice and support to Professor Nazaré and to ensure the universities’ position will feed into future developments of the EERA.
At the Informal Competitiveness Council meeting on 4th May EUA President, Jean-Marc Rapp, stated that EUA hopes that through the building of this new European Platform it can make a contribution to achieving the European policy goal of overcoming the fragmentation of research in this key field and furthermore to bringing university-based research and postgraduate training programmes to address a major global research challenge. He emphasised also that EUA sees EERA as an important pilot action in the potential development of the new instrument of 'joint programming' within the 'Ljubljana Process' in which university-based research needs to play its full part and be strengthened – and that the new European Platform should help to achieve this goal.