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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs ABOUT ETP SMARTGRIDS

1. What is Smart Grids?

2. Does ETP SmartGrids participate in projects?

3. How can I get involved in ETP SmartGrids?

4. How many members are involved in the ETP SmartGrids?

5. Who pays for it?

6. What is the relation between the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) and the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020)?

7. Does the ETP SmartGrids have own project calls or does it support the H2020 Calls?

8. How will research projects resulting from the SRA be included in the H2020?

9. Does one have to go through the ETP to apply for research projects under H2020 or other programmes?

FAQs ABOUT EUROPEAN TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS

10. What are European Technology Platforms (ETPs)?

11. What do the ETPs do?

12. What is the role of the European Commission in European Technology Platforms?

13. Where can I find information about other ETPs?

14. What is a Joint Technology Initiative?

15. What is the difference between ETP and JTI?

 


 

FAQs ABOUT ETP SMARTGRIDS

1. What is Smart Grids?

The concept of SmartGrids was developed in 2006 by the European Technology Platform for Smart Grids, and concerns an electricity network that can intelligently integrate the actions of all users connected to it - generators, consumers and those that do both - in order to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electricity supplies. A smart grid employs innovative products and services together with intelligent monitoring, control, communication, and self-healing technologies in order to:

  1. Better facilitate the connection and operation of generators of all sizes and technologies
  2. Allow consumers to play a part in optimising the operation of the system
  3. Provide consumers with more information and better options choosing their energy supplier
  4. Significantly reduce the environmental impact of the whole electricity supply system
  5. Maintain and improve the existing high levels of system reliability, quality, and security of supply
  6. Maintain and improve the existing services efficiently
  7. Foster the development of an integrated European market.

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2. Does ETP SmartGrids participate in projects?

As ETPs are not a legal entity, they are not allowed to join any project. However, its individual members can do it, always on their own behalf.

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3. How can I get involved in ETP SmartGrids?

To become an active participant in the platform - follow the links below to find out how you can get involved:

  1. Participate in the Working Groups.
  2. Subscribe to the ETP SmartGrids Newsletter.
  3. Attend the General Assemblies and Workshops.
  4. Participate in the public consultations announced on the website.
  5. Become a sponsor or partner of platform initiatives - Contact us to find more information.

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4. How many members are involved in ETP SmatGrids?

ETP SmartGrids has no official membership as it does not charge for its activities. Those involved are participants of the working groups, administrators, etc.

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5. How is SmartGrids funded?

The secretariat is partially funded by the European Commission. All other costs are not covered.

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6. What is the relation between the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) and the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020)?

The SRA is a long term R&D roadmap collaboratively developed by the energy sector, but it is not an R&D funding instrument. The H2020 is the EC’s policy instrument for facilitating  R&D from2014 to 2020. The H2020 provides funding for R&D activities which are defined in Specific Programmes and derived Work Programmes. The SRA was taken into consideration during the formulation of H2020’s Specific Programmes and Work Programmes. The H2020 is one of several funding sources relevant to the sector. Other funding sources include additional EU programmes such as ERA-NET (i.e. networks that serve as a link between National Programmes), national programmes and industry contributions or loans.

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7. Does the ETP SmartGrids have own project calls or does it support the H2020 Calls?

No, the ETP SmartGrids does not manage calls for proposals or support H2020 calls.

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8. How will research projects resulting from the SRA be included in the H2020?

The ETPs brief the European Commission's DG, the National Delegates in the Programme Committees, and members of the European Parliament, on issues that are important to the sector. As a result, the Work Programmes and calls for proposals within the H2020will provide opportunities to submit proposals for cooperative R&D projects that adhere to the SRA.

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9. Does one have to go through the ETP to apply for research projects under H2020 or other programmes?

No. All  legal entities are free to form a project consortium as well as to prepare and submit a project application. Some organisations or companies will prepare proposals independently of their involvement in the ETP, especially if they are going to apply for a competitive project for which the details need to remain confidential to protect Intellectual Property. It is beneficial to verify that the proposed project has existing links with the ETPs’ SRA.

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FAQs ABOUT EUROPEAN TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS

10. What are European Technology Platforms (ETPs)?

European Technology Platforms (ETPs) are industry-led stakeholder fora recognised by the European Commission as key actors in driving innovation, knowledge transfer and European competitiveness.

ETPs develop research and innovation agendas and roadmaps for action at EU and national level to be supported by both private and public funding. They mobilise stakeholders to deliver on agreed priorities and share information across the EU.

By working effectively together, they also help deliver solutions to major challenges of key concern to citizens such as the ageing society, the environment and food and energy security.

ETPs are independent and self-financing entities. They conduct their activities in a transparent manner and are open to new members.

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11. What do the ETPs do?

ETPs have a strategy, mobilisation and dissemination function. In order to fulfil their role, their main activities encompass:

  • developing industry-focused strategic research and innovation agendas including technology roadmaps and implementation plans;
  • encouraging industry participation in Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation, and cooperating with networks in Member States;
  • fostering networking opportunities with other ETPs and other partners along the value chain to address cross-sectoral challenges and promote the move towards more open models of innovation;
  • identifying opportunities for international cooperation;
  • acting as one of the channels of external advice for the programming and implementation of Horizon 2020; notably, ETPs have been a key driving force behind the launch of high profile public-private partnerships under the programme.

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12. What is the role of the European Commission in European Technology Platforms?

Commission engagement with the ETPs takes a number of forms:

  • provision of a central contact point with overall coordination responsibility in DG Research and Innovation
  • a dedicated contact point for individual ETPs in the relevant Directorate-General
  • participation in ETP-organised events
  • consultation on implementation aspects of Horizon 2020
  • organisation of cross-ETP workshops

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13. Where can I find information about other ETPs?

You can find the list of current ETPs in the following link.

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14. What is a Joint Technology Initiative?

Joint Technology Initiatives are an entirely new mechanism for performing research at EU level. They are long-term Public-Private Partnerships and are managed within dedicated structures based on Article 187 TFEU (ex Article 171 TEC). JTIs support large-scale multinational research activities in areas of major interest to European industrial competitiveness and issues of high societal relevance.

Following identification criteria for JTIs of the FP7, the following six initiatives were identified in the "Cooperation" Specific Programme:

  • "Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)" - Health research theme
  • "Aeronautics and Air Transport (Clean Sky)" - Transport research theme
  • "Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Initiative (FCH)" - Energy research theme
  • "Embedded Computing Systems (ARTEMIS)" - ICT research theme
  • "Nanoelectronics Technologies 2020 (ENIAC)" - ICT research theme

The legal framework for the JTIs are Joint Undertakings set up under Article 187 TFEU (ex Article 171 TEC) as a new way of realising public-private partnerships at European level in the field of industrial research.

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15. What is the difference between ETP and JTI?

Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) are a means to implement the Strategic Research Agendas (SRAs) of a limited number of European Technology Platforms (ETPs). In these few ETPs, the scale and scope of the objectives is such that loose co-ordination through ETPs and support through the regular instruments of the Framework Programme for Research and Development are not sufficient. Instead, effective implementation requires a dedicated mechanism that enables the necessary leadership and coordination to achieve the research objectives. To meet the needs of this small number of ETPs, the concept of "Joint Technology Initiatives" has been developed.

In othe words, JTIs are usually the result of ETP development. In fact, JTIs are in charge of developing the agenda elaborated by ETPs. Whereas JTIs are independent legal entities and therefore able to launch calls and have funding capacities (part from EC and part from JTI members), ETPs don’t.

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