The event “Creating Synergies and Sharing Experiences between Projects in Different Regions” organised by the Finnova Foundation took place on 20 October 2022. The seminar was held virtually and different European projects in the field of sustainable energy were presented in addition to discussing issues related to European funds and financing.
The event took place in the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities and focused on the discussion of how each of the projects contributes to the European Commission’s “RePowerEU” Plan.
Structured in three panels, the first one was framed in an institutional presentation, followed by a block focused specifically on European funds and, finally, a panel composed by representatives of different European projects focused on sustainable energy.
Juan Manuel Revuelta, CEO of the Finnova Foundation opened the event. His presentation focused on sharing his long professional experience in European funds, as well as presenting a holistic and strategic vision of the LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 project.
Moisés Alvaro, Ecosystem Developer for Southern Europe at Climate-KIC, presented the work carried out by EIT Climate KIC with the support of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology to accelerate the transition towards a zero carbon society. He highlighted that in the face of such ambitious goals and short-term targets in reference to zero carbon by 2030, it was necessary to adapt a systemic approach. “The change we are really committed to is the systemic one, as it implies a change of dynamics, so the challenge is not just a replacement of the energy source or technological fixes, but a complete transformation of the system,” he explained. Moisés concluded his presentation by stressing that the Commission’s proposed strategic and legislative plan, RePowerEU, is a great tool to ensure the energy transition, but that “it needs a systemic perspective in order to have a real impact”.
Carlos Guittérrez, Project Director of the Cabildo de Fuerteventura, the AFRIMAC Project and Fuerteventura Smart Island, participated in the final part of the first panel. His intervention was based on the actions framed in the RePowerEU strategy being carried out by the Cabildo of Fuerteventura through the “Planning and Strategic Projects” service. In his presentation, he highlighted the importance on the part of the public administration to focus on one of the first lines of action proposed by the plan, which is energy saving. Under the pretext that the production of clean energy and the diversification of supplies are outside the scope of public administration.
The second part, based on European funds, included the participation of Almudena Blanco, EU Project Manager at the Finnova Foundation. Her presentation focused on the LIFE programme and the types of subsidies and funding offered by the European Union. She also explained the budget allocated for the RePowerEU plan, and how it will complement the actions foreseen in the European Green Pact and the NextGenerationEU recovery plan.
Opening with Carlos Lafita, R+D+i technician at Global Omnium, a group of water management companies in Valencia and lead partner of the LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 project. His intervention revolved around the explanation of the project, providing technical details of its progress. He focused on one of the most significant problems related to the waste generated in Europe. These are agrifood waste and slurry, which are equivalent to 27 million tonnes and 36 millions tonnes per year, respectively, within the EU territory. As Carlos mentioned in his presentation “we have an immense amount of waste to treat and we have to do it in the greenest way possible”.
The panel continued with the intervention of Adrián Noheda, European Project Manager at the Finnova Foundation. Thanks to his intervention, the new energy optimisation project led by the Energy Island Council of Gran Canaria, ENERBUILD, became known. In Adrián’s words, this initiative “proposes to combat climate change by relying on smart-building technology and the Internet of Things“. This project presents an energy optimisation system that will be developed in a pilot building of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria.
Álvaro Reina, Project Manager at Brussels Research & Innovation Center for Green Technologies (BRING), a non-profit organisation, which has contributed significantly to the development of energy storage processes. He spoke about the LIBERTY project, which aims to improve the performance, safety, and lifetime of the EV battery from a life cycle and sustainability point of view. HYPOBATT, the second project mentioned by Álvaro, which aims to advance in the electrification of maritime ferry transport.
Elisa Mazo, Research Technician at MARE, S.A. M.P, was the next participant of the event, focusing on the European project LIFE 3E and the energy crisis and dependence on fossil fuels. Regarding the project, she highlighted its objective of demonstrating the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of a process for the recovery of treated wastewater in coastal areas, with the integrated recovery of energy from the saline gradient (SGE).
Continuing with the last panel, we had the intervention of Emmanuel Kypraios, leader and representative of the innovative European project RES4City. It is led by Maynooth University and aims to improve students’ skills so that they are prepared for a green transition. It achieves the above through the use of advanced technologies that create an inclusive programme for those who cannot afford traditional education systems.
To conclude the panel, Monserrat Gómez, project assistant, presented LIFE BIOGASNET, the project that promotes an innovative technology for biogas desulphurisation by coupling a nitrification bioreactor with an anoxic gas phase biopercolator filter or anoxic bioscrubber. The technology to be developed will have potential environmental benefits compared to current practices, as it “can reduce the environmental footprint by up to 55% by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, thus contributing to RePowerEU”.
The event ended with fruitful interactions between the panellists. Of which to highlight the synergy that emerged from the representative of the LIFE-3E project, Elisa Mazo Bedía, in reference to the LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 project. She indicated that the tool used by the project was of great interest to her and added that she saw the possibility of collaboration in the future. All in all, this event was a great opportunity to get to know the contribution of each of the panellists to current environmental challenges, within the framework of the European Week of the Regions, and in turn to open the way for future collaboration.
About LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0
The LIFE ECODIGESTION 2.0 project presents a digital automatic control system for the dosing of organic waste in anaerobic digesters of WWTP (Waste Water Treatment Plant) to maximise the production of biogas on demand as renewable energy. This project has a budget of more than 970,000 euros. The pilot project, which has a duration of four years (2020-2024), is led by Global Omnium Medioambiente (Spain) and has as partners the Finnovaregio Foundation (Belgium) and Águas do Centro Litoral (Portugal). The production of biogas to cover energy demand and reduce the amount of waste in landfill contributes to compliance with the European Landfill Directive.
About the Finnova Foundation
Finnova is the European foundation for financing innovation that seeks to promote public-private cooperation through the transfer of the best available low-cost technological solutions. It aims to address societal challenges such as employment, entrepreneurship, the UN SDGs, the circular economy, waste recovery, sustainable tourism and the fight against climate change. The Finnova Foundation promotes green jobs, economic recovery and training and youth employment.