Written by Daria Delnevo
Eastern Partnership countries, East Asia, Central Asia, South-East Asia and Latin America are the areas in which the European Sustainable Energy Innovation Alliance (eseia) has strengthened its ties in 2016 and 2017. The newcomers bolstered eseia´s network, which comprises 119 European partners coming from 26 of the 28 EU Member States.
eseia operated as broker to involve partners in Armenia, Belarus, Brazil, China, Georgia, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Suriname and Ukraine in the proposals submitted for EC funding under Horizon2020, namely Green City Innovation Exchange (GreenCityIE), Urban Sino-European Platform on Knowledge and Innovation (USEP) and NANO-B-HIVE.
With the new collaborations, eseia enhanced the link between education, research and innovation outside European borders. While Europe remains at the core of the Alliance´s operations, eseia expanded the knowledge triangle to its outskirts, establishing partnership with international businesses, research organisations, higher education institutions and cities. In the 2017 proposal GreenCityIE, eseia and its members included Universities, businesses and public institutions in Belarus, Brazil, China, Georgia, Moldova, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic and Suriname to develop an international network for the advancement of smart cities and communities. With more than 50% of the world population living in urban areas, increasing carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption pose a threat to the sustainability of city life. Therefore, the eseia umbrella is encouraging secondments of international experts with complementary skills to share methodologies and research results on how to transform our cities into liveable environments.
In the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) eseia pursued multilateral cooperation with Eastern Partnership countries, such as Ukraine in the 2017 proposal Nano-B-Hive. The consortium brought together researchers from 23 countries in Europe to work on the large-scale application of new energy materials and technologies for buildings.
While Europe is intensifying its efforts to achieve the 2020 package energy targets on greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and energy savings, eseia has reached out to China to develop a Sino-European partnership on sustainable urbanisation. With the Urban Sino-European Platform on Knowledge and Innovation (USEP), the eseia umbrella involved 12 partners from six urban regions in the EU and China to set up a common Urban R&I Agenda and promote bottom-up initiatives.
As of 2017, eseia's cross-sector partnership for the promotion of renewable energy systems includes 38 partners from business, 31 partners in higher education institutions, 10 research organizations, and 43 public institutions, including 29 cities from Europe and the rest of the world ,