Transport is one of three sub-themes addressed by the recently founded European Institute of Innovation and Technology's (EIT) Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) for InnoEnergy and its co-location centre (CC) for Intelligent, Energy-efficient Buildings and Cities. Also likely to be of interest to the transport community is the centre for Energy from Chemical Fuels. Through KIC InnoEnergy’s current call for proposals, launched on July 15th, 2014, it aims to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship chiefly within the field of sustainable energy.
Previous calls have seen KIC InnoEnergy co-finance up to Eur 5m over 3 years for knowledge sharing, marketing and exploitation elements of technology development and demonstration projects, while the remainder of the project budget, typically Eur 15m, is sourced by between 3 and 7 partners for technology R&D, patent filing, know how development, lab tests and staff costs. Crucial to bid success is a realistic business plan for product/service exploitation within five years.
Current examples in the transport domain include "EVCity", which is implemented by the University of Leuven and seeks to develop business and service models supporting the roll-out of electric vehicles in cities (e.g. how to pay for the electricity at public charging stations) while also exploring the concepts of contactless charging and grid-connected vehicles.
Another is "KIC-ASS", which seeks to facilitate a transition towards plug-in hybrid electric vehicles through the concept of Active Sub-Stations (i.e. by extending smart-grid capabilities to exploit diverse energy production sources and manage the demands and services offered by electric transportation), which marks a significant step closer towards fulfilling the European SET (Strategic Energy Technology) plan and Europe's 20-20-20 goals.
Besides electric vehicles, KIC InnoEnergy also explores the potential for energy from chemical fuels, including: i) fuel production and characterization; ii) fuel conversion and iii) efficient combustion systems through its co-location centre (CC) Energy from Chemical Fuels. One example is “Fuel-Flex” which puts the accent on fuel-flexible combustion systems for liquid and gaseous bio fuels.
KIC InnoEnergy defines innovation projects as the transformation of available knowledge into new marketable products and services related to the field of sustainable energy that have positive economic and social impacts. Innovations should: 1) decrease energy costs; 2) increase security vis-à-vis resource holders; 3) increase intrinsic operational safety or reliability; and/or 4) reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Project results should be market-ready within five years of their inception, therefore KIC’s accent is not just on ‘incubating’ innovation but on assuring financial viability and business planning, where KIC InnoEnergy excels in its support. Up to cca. Eur 25m is available for investment in 2014, over two calls, the second of which opened on 15th July.
Technology roadmaps for the above mentioned KIC InnoEnergy thematic fields, according to which proposals are to be submitted, are available here. The deadline for proposal submissions under the second call of 2014 is November 20th.
Who Can Apply?
Proposals may be submitted by four types of KIC InnoEnergy partners: formal, associate, project or new partners. Bids should be led by formal or associate KIC partners, but they may source additional expertise not available within KIC InnoEnergy. Alternatively, new potential KIC InnoEnergy partners and project partners may lead bids as long as they include a letter of intent to become an associate (or formal) partner upon the success of their proposal. Typically, innovation project partners are universities, research organizations and/or small and medium-sized enterprises. To view the current KIC InnoEnergy partners, click here.
To learn more about the current call for innovation proposals, including eligibility criteria, general information on the request for proposals can be downloaded here. Guidelines are listed here. The proposal format is similar to that of the EC's classic Framework Programme. Interested bidders located within the EU’s ‘new’ member states are invited to share their ideas with REC Senior Expert jsimpson [at] rec [dot] org (Jerome Simpson) (Tel: 00 36 26 504 039) who as KIC InnoEnergy partner for central and eastern Europe coordinates outreach and the development of innovation projects concerning the region. Dedicated events to explain the call and facilitate partnerships are also being held throughout Europe during during September and October and are detailed here while from September 16th-18th, KIC InnoEnergy hosts a matchmaking event in Berlin, Germany. A final shortlist of proposals will be drawn up between November and December, with the signature process for project agreements to be completed by March 27th, 2015.
KIC InnoEnergy is currently one of the three KICs, together with 'ICT' and 'Climate', created under the leadership of the European Institute of Technology. KIC InnoEnergy is a European company fostering the knowledge triangle of education, research and business. Its strategic objective is to be the leading engine for innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of sustainable energy. Its 27 shareholders are all key players in the energy sector, namely top rank industries, research centres and universities. More than 100 additional partners contribute to its activities. Its dynamic network is open to new entrants that will increase its excellence. For a list of all innovation projects implemented under the auspices of KIC InnoEnergy, please click here.
Author: Jerome Simpson