Kick-off of the European initiative ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus

Successful kick-off of the European-wide Smart Grid Initiative and Knowledge Community

12th of March 2015, Vienna: The ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus, an initiative of 21 European member states, has officially started with a kick-off event in Vienna on the 12th and 13th of March. In the framework of this five-year programme, B.A.U.M. Consult together with two other partner will be be representing the Era-Net Smart Grids Plus support team, which is in tasked with monitoring and evaluating the programme as well as supporting the individual projects. Furthermore, the support team is in charge of the ERA-Net Knowledge Community. 

ERA-Net SG + trademark

Approximately more than 120 participants joined the event including many national and European decision-makers as well as representatives of the utility industry, distribution system operators, energy- and ICT-industry and research institutions. Moreover, the meeting also marked the kick-off of the ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus Knowledge Community - a platform for scientific knowledge transfer between ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus funded projects, further national key-projects and representatives of European projects, initiatives and stakeholder communities.

ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus originated from an initiative of several European member states that developed a trans-national funding- and support programme together.

The main objective of ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus is to foster a sustainable cooperation structure between national and regional Smart Grids programmes in Europe. Furthermore, ERA-Net SG + works at advancing the integration of Smart Grid system technologies, stakeholder adoption and market processes in order to support Europe in achieving its short-term 2020, medium-term 2035 and long-term 2050 energy targets.

“To invest in and support the development of Smart Grids serves the energy policy main objectives - security of energy supply, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability – as well as supporting the development of a competitive European energy and ICT industry.”, emphasized the director of the innovation department of the Austrian Ministry For Transports, Innovation and Technology, Ingolf Schädler.

The kick-off event in Vienna focused on the ERA-Net Smart Grid Plus initiative’s unique approach: Bringing together all stakeholders in order to share expectations and visions concerning future collaboration. 

Collaboration enabled by the ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus Knowledge Community

In order to foster the collaboration between all ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus stakeholders as well as the networking between the individual trans-national projects within the programme, an ERA-Net Knowledge Community is established. The ERA-Net Knowldegde Community is coordinated by the ERA-Net Support Team consisting of B.A.U.M. consult, RSE (Italy) and Cleen (Finland). At the ERA-Net SG + kick-off event, Ludwig Karg, managing director of B.A.U.M. Consult Munich/Berlin together with Jatta Jussila-Suokas, technical director of CLEEN Oy jointly presented the Knowledge Community’s concept as well as the role of the support team in the overall programme. Michele de Nigris, the president of the International Smart Grid Network (ISGAN), presented the ERA-Net SG + Knowledge Community in a Europe-wide and international context. 

To kick off the collaboration within the Knowledge Community, four working groups dealing with cross-cutting issues were organised as part of the Vienna event. The four working groups on the topics “System Architecture and Modelling”, “Cross Energy Carrier Synergies”, “Regulatory Market and Development” and “Consumer Involvement” are aimed at offering the participating stakeholders to share their expectations for future collaboration with other projects, external experts and organisations as well as the ERA-net Support team. The overall aim of the working groups is to jointly work on solutions for current issues and provide recommendations for a joint European market development. The working groups will meet regularly and are open to ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus’ funded projects, other national key projects and further European projects, initiatives and associations. The output from the working groups will be gathered in “Living Documents” that will be maintained and updated at the knowledge platform.

First transnational call

The second day of the kick-off event was dedicated to the first ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus Transnational Joint Call for research-, development- and demonstration projects. Apart from information on future collaboration process in the framework of the Knowledge Community, participants of the event received an introduction to the ERA-Net initiative, its goals and the goals and expectations of the national funding organisations. 

Potential call applicants were able to inform themselves in dedicated B2B meetings with representatives from the national funding organisations. Furthermore, the meeting presented the opportunity to get into contact with potential project partners.

What's next for ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus?

The next milestone in the ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus initiative will be the selection of projects of the first Transnational Joint Call during the third quarter of 2015. In the call’s first round, 73 project with a funding volume of 110 million Euros and estimated total costs of 200 million Euros have already been submitted. The ERA-Net SG+ is now looking towards 2016, when the awarded projects will be launched.

A summary of the kick-off event in Vienna including all publicly available presentations are available at the ERA-Net SG+ website.

Speaking person
Five persons speak sitting on a podium
Working group in discussion
People in discussion

Further information

ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus Launch Event, 12t-13th of March 2015 in Vienna

Website of the ERA-net Smart Grids Plus initiative:

Your contact at B.A.U.M.