EUA held the Inaugural Meeting of the European Platform of Universities Engaged in Energy Research, Education and Training in Delft, the Netherlands, in February 2012. The European Platform (EPUE) comprises 170 universities from across Europe who have demonstrated research and training capacity in the energy field, ranging from science, engineering and technology to bio-sciences, medical/life sciences and economics, social sciences and the humanities.
EPUE has been developed by the European University Association (EUA) while involved in the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) of the EU SET-PLAN. The major task for EUA was to demonstrate that university-based research and, importantly, Master and Doctorate education programmes, and the uniqueness of universities’ interdisciplinary research environments, were key elements in tackling the ‘societal challenge’ of achieving a sustainable energy supply and usage in Europe.
EPUE has been developed following a survey questionnaire sent to all EUA member universities. The questionnaire has yielded an important initial mapping of European universities’ research and training capacities in the energy field in terms of faculty expertise, research projects, collaboration with external research and industry partners and Masters and Doctoral programmes.
The EPUE survey data has shown the substantial research capacity of the university sector with up to 1400 groups consisting of 20,000 people, with a multitude of educational programmes at all three cycles of education, including 900 Master Programmes, in many areas of energy-related matters, both included and not included in the current SET Plan technology priorities. Research and education programmes also show extensive cooperation with external partners, particularly research institutes and industry.
EPUE’s main characteristics are that it is a transparent and open platform that reaches out to all EU member states and associated states.