EPUE aims at being the central meeting place in Europe for universities to share ideas for new research and education projects and find interested partners in the field of Energy. It aims to be a reference platform for companies and for other external partners in the sector seeking cooperation. It intends also to be a body that will strengthen the voice of the university sector in the energy European policy-making arena by reinforcing the dialogue with its universities.
EPUE, therefore, seeks to:
Strengthen strategic basic research in Europe’ universities – through building internal and cross-border alliances in basic research between universities
Build bridges between basic research and innovation – through universities playing an important role in regional, national and EU research and innovation programmes
Integrate education, research and innovation activities – applicable to education in all three cycles, Bachelor, Master, Doctorate, and building upon established university/industry/business links and collaborations
Develop cross-national education and training programmes – to recruit young talent from across Europe
Offer continuing education and training to the existing workforce – through dissemination of new research-based knowledge
Foster research orientated towards system integration – to investigate and design robust infrastructures that integrate new technologies providing a reliable and efficient energy supply
Foster socio-economic research on energy systems – to understand the societal and human behavioural changes that are required
EPUE’s Success so Far
EPUE has been recognised as a partner for the university sector in the EU SET-PLAN and the European Energy Research Alliance. It has demonstrated that there are 20 to 100 universities actively engaged in education, research and innovation activities in each of the SET-PLAN thematic areas. EPUE is also playing a lead role in the SET-PLAN Education and Training Initiative through the mobilisation of almost 100 university experts to the 12 thematic area working groups and through the creation of specific mirror groups. Importantly also, EPUE has proposed successfully to the European Commission the creation of a horizontal group on ‘Coordination of education and training systems’ in the energy field. EPUE has the opportunity as an open and transparent platform to offer a working facility for Europe’s universities to make a full contribution to the EU SET-PLAN and Horizon 2020 programmes in the energy field.
Future Challenges and Needs
The mobilisation of EUA’s university membership behind EPUE started in 2009 and has been undertaken on the basis of its own resources without any external funding from the EU or national funding agencies. Importantly, it has demonstrated university sector’s capacity to organise itself with regard to this key ‘societal challenge’. However, in order to operate on a level playing field with other non-university research institutions organised on the European level, such as the European Energy Research Alliance, EPUE will require financial support and manpower for an operational base to implement its above-stated objectives. Complementary instruments and initiatives between the European Commission and national governments and funding agencies will be needed to maximise the opportunities for EPUE to achieve its objectives.