The 2006 Green Paper of the European Commission outlined the New energy landscape of the 21 st century. It identified the threats posed by security of energy supply and the need for sustainable, secure and affordable energy. The document highlighted the need for innovative technologies as well as diversification of energy supply and policies towards a single European strategy for energy and an internal energy market. The document also highlights that the EU needs to take measures to prevent energy supply crises developing, including better energy efficiency.
The Energy efficiency section of the Green Paper (Section 2.4.(i)) calls for cost-effective investments to reduce the waste of energy and using pricing to encourage more responsible, economical and rational use of energy. It identifies that Europe is one of the world’s most energy efficient regions, but nevertheless concluded that 20% of EU energy use could be saved. The financial saving was quoted as € 60 billion. Europe’s leading position means that the rest of the world expects Europe to provide technology and solutions for energy savings. Therefore there are commercial opportunities as well as benefits to society, and the Green Paper estimates up to a million new jobs in the sector.
The EU’s action plan, Energy (2007-12) , is presented in the EUROPA EU portal which summarises the EU legislation. It sets out a strategy to achieve 20% reduction before 2020 and suggests that manufacturing industry has the potential to achieve a 25% reduction. This 25% reduction is the focus of our project. The ENERGY-SMARTOPS partners have the opinion that the savings in manufacturing industry must come from better operation of processes equipment and machinery that is already installed. If manufacturing industry is to reduce energy consumption by 25% before 2020 then the vast majority of the savings must come from better operation of assets already installed and running at the present time. This is because the lifetimes of large industrial manufacturing sites are long and they will typically be in operation for 30 to 50 years.
Marie Curie Actions-Initial Training Networks
Marie Curie Fellowships are European research grants available to researchers regardless of their nationality and field of research. In addition to generous fellowships, researchers have the possibility to gain experience abroad and in the private sector, and to complete their training with competences or disciplines useful for their careers.
Initial Training Network (ITN) is a unique opportunity for a private company to recruit the best "off spring" researchers on a joint R&D project. In an ITN, different research organisations of both public and private sector can build a consortium aiming to train researchers at the beginning of their career, based on a joint research training project. Trainees are mainly early-stage researchers (in the first 5 years of their career in research) who will broaden their research competences during their training by acquiring new skills through exposure to different sectors (private/public). Trainees must comply with the mobility rule, i.e. they must move from a country to another country.