In 2009, EUA established a ‘European Platform of Universities engaged in Energy Research’ (EPUE) as a mechanism to bring university-based research into the activities of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA). The platform provides the framework for consultation between universities that have a research capacity in a variety of energy-related fields.
One of the EPUE’s first activities has been to carry out a preliminary mapping of university research and postgraduate education and training capacity in the energy field. A questionnaire was sent to all EUA member universities in December 2009 and by the end of March, 121 universities had replied (this represents a reasonable response rate of more than 15%, given that many EUA members do not cover the field of energy).
The responses reveal the enormous potential of university-based research and training in this area, in terms of the breadth of the field, its interdisciplinary character, and the level of collaboration between universities and with external partners (such as industry). Over 12 000 staff members (professors, doctorate holders and candidates, researchers, etc.) are involved in a total of more than 1,000 different research topics (on both EERA and non-EERA topics).
In all, the responding institutions run a total of 374 doctoral programmes and 577 masters’ programmes related to energy. The areas of research are, not surprisingly, focussed predominantly on the science, engineering and technology fields but also include bioscience, medical/life sciences and economics, social sciences and the humanities (particularly in energy policy development). In terms of financing, the survey highlighted that two thirds of this research is funded from external competitive sources (public and private).
EUA now plans to continue this mapping exercise amongst its members as part of the development of the EPUE and believes this is an important step towards enhancing the visibility and future opportunities for Europe’s universities in the EU’s future support for energy research.
To take part in the platform or survey please email: Epue.Platform@remove-this.eua.be
Click here find out more about the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).