Inaugural Meeting of the European Platform of Universities Engaged in Energy Research, Education and Training (EPUE), TU Delft, the Netherlands
The EPUE launch event at TU Delft in February 2012 achieved validation for EPUE as a platform for the university sector in the energy field from both the EUA university membership and the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation). The EPUE event attracted 180 participants from 106 universities and 8 other stakeholder organisations in 26 countries. Several tasks were recommended as well as the main foci for the platform’s functions and activities. Importantly, the initial survey data base needed to be updated on research capacity, research projects and education programmes as it had been put into the field two years ago. This will be done particularly to refine the thematic and disciplinary inputs and the range of potential uses of the collected data. The opportunity provided by the platform for bringing together universities that are active in specific topics was underlined, including especially in interdisciplinary fields. EPUE could operate as a driver for a new generation of education programmes, their coordination, and collective development, as well as the exchange of learning materials, including e-learning.
The target audience of the Inaugural Event consisted of academic leaders with expertise in energy research and an overview of their university’s capacities and interests in the energy field as a whole. The inaugural meeting was a unique initiative to bring together European universities’ research and education capacities to address a high priority ‘grand societal challenge’ field at the EU level. Its purpose was to discuss the potential role and development of the European Platform - “from concept to implementation” - and to consider a range of activities addressing the following missions to:
establish a strong voice for university energy research and education at the European level;
ensure that characteristic university attributes such as fundamental research and training, and collaborative activities with industry partners, are properly included in forthcoming EU energy activities in the next Research Framework Programme, entitled Horizon 2020;
facilitate competitive European university groupings to participate in the realisation of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) in cooperation with the European Energy Research Alliance;
bind more strongly the various disciplines ranging from natural sciences, engineering to social sciences and arts/humanities to best fulfill the needs of society in energy research; and
speak for long‐term thinking in European research agendas and initiatives, with due consideration given to a balance between top‐down and bottom‐up research strategies.
For further details about the event and the programme, please visit the event website.