European Universities for a Clean Energy Future: Interdisciplinary Education, Training and Research – event report

12 April 2018

On 21-22 March 2018, the EUA Energy and Environment Platform (EUA-EPUE), in collaboration with EIT InnoEnergy, organised a two-day conference on the topic "European Universities for a Clean Energy Future: Interdisciplinary Education, Training and Research". More than 90 participants attended the event, hosted by the Université de Lorraine in Nancy, France. The conference was kindly supported by the Lorraine Université d’Excellence programme, the Conférence des présidents d'université (CPU) and the Métropole Grand Nancy.

The event aimed to discuss opportunities for building European partnerships for the delivery of innovative interdisciplinary education and research programmes. The event took as a starting point the recommendations elaborated in the recently published report “An Action Agenda for European Universities”, a strategic document that arose from the work of the UNI-SET project. The report intends to provide a framework for universities across Europe to take initiatives and develop interdisciplinary cooperation in the energy and environmental field, based on an analysis of skills required by the business sector.

In this context, the conference in Nancy featured several sessions on energy education and research in the fields of energy efficiency, renewables integration and storage, smart energy systems and Carbon Capture Storage and Use (CCU/S). The participants were also able to interact to develop and test ideas for innovative programmes and tools in a world café setting. A mix of speakers from higher education, industry and public administration ensured a rich and engaging dialogue among the attendees.

Professor Torbjørn Digernes, Chair of EUA-EPUE, stated: "During the two days of discussions at the Université de Lorraine, EUA-EPUE could make important progress in supporting universities to develop state-of-the-art education and research programmes. We could also listen to a range of perspectives and ideas which will help define the next activities of the platform in the context of the SET-Plan. We strongly believe in the role of universities to create an energy clean and sustainable Europe and wish to support this endeavour through the EUA-EPUE platform.”

“Université de Lorraine is proud to contribute to building a real community of universities involved in clean-energy topics and able to cooperate. The next phase will be the implementation of the actions discussed during the event in Nancy”, added Professor Fabrice Lemoine, leader of the ‘Energies for the Future Challenge’ of the Lorraine Université d’Excellence programme, and local host of the event.

For EUA-EPUE, the conference was another step towards consolidating its own portfolio of activities in the energy and environment field and to further promote the outcomes of the UNI-SET project (2014-2017), which it carried out in collaboration with KU Leuven and EIT InnoEnergy. The partnership between EUA-EPUE and EIT InnoEnergy will continue by providing future support to universities and frameworks for further cooperation with the business sector.

The programme and presentations, as well as summaries of the main ideas that emerged during the discussions, are available on the event webpage.

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