Region of Knowledge Meeting in Brussels
On the 29th of November 2013 a conference was held in Brussels for participants in the ‘Regions of Knowledge’ (RoK) initiative. The purpose of the meeting was to inform officials of the European Commission about the progress and the process of the RoK projects that are currently in operation. As part of the Seventh Framework Programme the RoK initiative aims to strengthen the research potential of European regions by supporting the development of regional ‘research-driven clusters’, associating universities, research centres, enterprises and regional authorities.
The European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA) project, which started in October 2012, was represented by the coordinator of the project Dr. Koos Lok. During his presentation, Dr. Lok presented a holistic view of energy systems integration in relation to the North Sea as one of the hotspots in Europe for a sustainable energy transition programme. The partners in the ENSEA project consisting of Scottish, German, Norwegian and Dutch research driven energy clusters have all made regional analyses of their innovation capacities regarding the different aspects of an integrated energy system. Dr. Lok explained how some of the main findings and conclusions of these analyses will contribute to identifying smart interregional cooperation opportunities for the regions and possibly, the wider North Sea area as a whole.
Dr Lok stated, “Partly based on these conclusions, some possibilities for pilot projects and thematic focuses like green decommissioning and hydro storage were presented as a first outline for future action.”
Furthermore challenges and lessons learned in the process of project development like data collection methodology, analysing innovation processes in the ENSEA region where shared between the RoK project consortia and representatives of the European Commission.
The partners of the ENSEA project are currently working to validate the results of the regional analyses with stakeholders within their region to thereby finalise this stage within the project. The final report is expected to be published early 2014. The next stage of the project will focus on the development of a ‘Joint Action Plan’ in which future action and better coordination of research and innovation will be outlined to enhance smart interregional cooperation and contribute to Europe’s ambitious energy targets. This ‘Joint Action Plan’ is scheduled to be presented mid 2014 during the midterm-conference in Stavanger, Norway.