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EUA Newsletter 5   2 March 2012

Inaugural Meeting of the European Platform of Universities Engaged in Energy Research, Education and Training (EPUE), TU Delft, The Netherlands

The inaugural event held last week (23-24 February) at Delft University of Technology, entitled “EPUE – From Concept to Implementation”, attracted 180 participants from 106 universities in 28 countries and other stakeholder bodies including the European Energy Research Alliance and the European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation. Participants endorsed the goals of the Platform and its mission and proposed several new ideas for its future development.

 

Photo: TU DelftSession discussions focussed on the potential major role of a platform to mobilise the research and education capacities of Europe’s universities in order to better coordinate their efforts in the field of energy, to improve educational programmes, research opportunities, and to raise the profile of the university sector in the future policy developments within the Horizon 2020 and the SET-Plan programmes.

 

The Delft event also presented the results of an EUA survey that examined the research and education/training capacities of European universities in this field. Based on a questionnaire completed by 165 universities across Europe, the survey results showed that more than 20,000 researchers within universities are currently active in energy research, with many engaged in collaboration with industry and other external partners (over 50% of research projects and linked doctoral research were conducted with industry partners). Energy was demonstrated clearly as an interdisciplinary field crossing several faculty and departments in science, engineering and technology, bio-sciences or medical/life sciences, but also in economics, social sciences and the humanities.

 

EUA Deputy Secretary General (Research and Innovation), Dr John Smith, said: “This survey demonstrates the distinctive role that universities are playing in the development of sustainable, secure and competitive energy technologies. Not only does it highlight the level of cutting edge research that universities are carrying out, it also highlights the key role they have in training and recruiting the best young talent for careers in the energy sector.”

 

Conference participants welcomed the survey results as a first step and pointed out how their updating should be pursued to reflect rapidly growing new initiatives in research and education programmes and how deeper data collection and analysis of programme content could be highly valuable.

 

In other session debates participants placed emphasis on the need for the platform to facilitate the creation of new interdisciplinary education programmes and research project teams. Many participants saw the platform as an opportunity to generate “out-of-the-box” ideas through peer-to-peer encounters. Universities also showed a key interest in incorporating the “demand side” into the work of the platform through, for example, dialogues with employers on new professional skills for future labour market needs.

 

Following this successful inaugural event, EUA will now consider the results and outcomes through discussions in its governing bodies and the next steps in its development.

 

To view the presentations of the inaugural event, click here.

 

If you would like to become part of EPUE, please contact us (EPUE.platform@eua.be) to fill in the questionnaire.

 

Photo: TU Delft

Policy and Projects News

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Events News

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News from Brussels

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Next Newsletter: 16 March 2012

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