European developments

2012 FCHJU Call for Proposals launched

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking launched its 5th Call for Proposals worth 150M€ to support research and demonstration activities in innovative energy technologies on 17th January 2012. The deadline for submission of proposals is 24th May 2012.

The Call covers 31 topics, split between 5 application areas: transportation and refuelling infrastructure (26M€); hydrogen production and distribution (8.75M€); stationary power generation (27M€); early markets (10.25M€) (portable, micro applications or handling vehicles) and cross-cutting issues (5.5M€) development of life cycle assessment, codes and standards, socio-economic research, public awareness, training. Nearly 70% of the funding will support transport and refuelling infrastructure and stationary applications topics.

A Public Information Session and Brokerage event 2012 will take place on 9th February 2012. More information can be found here.

Stakeholder Platform to support the Smart Cities Initiative

The Stakeholder Platform for the Smart Cities and Communities European Industrial Initiative will be launched early in 2012. The Platform will bring together stakeholders from across Europe to develop concrete solutions to help the implementation of this new initiative. Expected outcomes of the Platform include:

You can register your interest in joining the Stakeholder Platform here. You can also register your interest in joining a UK stakeholder group to take advantage of the opportunities under this Initiative by contacting the EU Energy Focus team.

Latest news on the European Energy Research Alliance

The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) is formed of 15 major energy research institutes. Its objective is to accelerate the development of new energy technologies, by conceiving and implementing Joint Research Programmes in support of the SET Plan. Existing National resources are pooled to create critical mass and improve coherence of research across Europe.

UK Research Councils are supporting participation in EERA where this will add value to current UK energy research efforts and support the UK low-carbon strategy. The UK Energy Research Centre will be happy to discuss potential participation with UK researchers; offer advice on the likely fit of proposed activities to existing projects, to overall UK activity and objectives; and identify appropriate contacts in the Research Councils.

UKERC’s Knowledge Exchange Associate, Aidan Rhodes (, takes a coordination role for domestic participation in EERA, with his main role to ensure that UK researchers are adequately engaged with the growing portfolio of EERA Joint Programmes. The UKERC website has a dedicated area for EERA. A simple registration will give access to all available background information on upcoming and existing Joint Programmes; planned UK participation; and details on how to get involved.

Readers might also like to be aware of the European Platform of Universities Engaged in Energy (EPUE), which is shaping up to be a key interface with the SET Plan and EERA for European universities. Further information can be found here.

Energy Research communication study

The Energy Directorate in the European Commission’s DG Research has launched a wide-ranging study on communicating energy research, with which they are analysing how communication on European energy research is perceived, which communication channels are most useful and in what areas there should be more communication. In doing so, the hope to gain a better understanding of their target audience and their communication needs. You can input to the study via an online questionnaire that is open until 15th February.

New guide for SMEs on the management of Intellectual Property in FP7

The European IPR Helpdesk has produced a new guide intended to give SMEs a practical overview on how Intellectual Property (IP) should be dealt with in FP7 programmes. The guide aims to break down the major IP issues any SME-participant has to tackle in order to be successful in its project proposal and to make the most of its project results. The guide can be downloaded from here.

New EU test scheme for marine renewable

A new EU funded scheme worth 9M€ is providing access for companies and researchers to specialist marine renewable energy testing centres across Europe. Led by the University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland, the scheme called the Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network, or MaRINET, offers free concept and device testing to participants - as well as logistical, scientific and technical support for development. More information can be found here.

Solar facilities available

The Solar Facilities for the European Research Area project (SFERA), part of the FP7 Capacities programme (Infrastructures), was launched in 2009. The SFERA project offers the possibility for researchers to get free access to top level European solar facilities for a period of approximately two weeks. Researchers can benefit from this offer by submitting a project proposal to the SFERA Access Committee on this website.

New BIOMAP tool available in SETIS toolkit

A new biofuels mapping tool, BIOMAP, was released on 18th January. The tool maps biofuels projects of all sizes, provides details of the projects, industrial involvement, relationship to R&D programmes, policy drivers and associated product standards. More information can be found here.