IREC has secured 10.8M€ funding within the Horizon Europe (HE) framework programme in the 2021 and 2022 calls being part in 19 granted HE projects since the framework programme started. Most return is achieved in Pillar II Global Challenges & European Industrial Competitiveness, especially within Cluster 5: Climate, Energy and Mobility, where IREC takes part in 11 projects. IREC was also granted projects from Cluster 4 (Digital, Industry and Space – Research and innovation), from the JTI Clean Hydrogen initiative and from Pillar I Excellent Science (ERC and MSCA).
IREC coordinates 8 of these HE projects which represent a total EU contribution of ~55M€. These projects include FLOW, a large consortium (formed by more than 20 partners) to deal with energy flexibility to help the deployment of electric vehicles; 24_7 ZEN, a project that will bring up reversible solid oxide cell technologies for power-to-gas-to-power routes; Platform Zero, a project that develops a process monitoring platform for achieving zero-defect manufacturing in the photovoltaic industry; and BLOW, a 21M€ project aimed at building a 5MW floating offshore wind energy demonstrator in the Black Sea. These outstanding results have been achieved also thanks to the TransHEner project (ETC2020-000704, 2021-2022) funded by the AEI. TransHEner activities were aimed to boost the participation of IREC and its innovation environment in Horizon Europe and to strengthen the research support structure within IREC to increase the return of European funds.
This project has strengthened the support structure for R&D to promote the participation of IREC and its environment/innovation ecosystem associated with Horizon Europe on issues related to the energy transition and the development, optimization and validation of technological solutions considering legislative, financial and market aspects. This was achieved through the improvement of the European and national positioning of IREC and the collaborations with actors of the European innovation system, facilitating access to Horizon Europe for Spanish entities with little or no previous experience in European programs through the tractor effect of IREC. TransHEner has, additionally, provided IREC staff and researchers with adequate training and resources on Horizon Europe, as well as providing them with procedures and a network of external collaborators to provide support on specific issues. Through these actions, the participation of IREC and other Spanish entities in calls for Horizon Europe has boosted thanks, among other things, to better positioning and adequate promotion.
TransHEner2.0 (GPE2022-000963, 2023-2024) is newly granted project that aims to continue and consolidate IREC’s status as a European reference center in the field of energy and increase its participation in Horizon Europe. This will be achieved through a comprehensive strategy that includes activities for positioning of the institution, both at a European and national level, to expand contacts with national companies, thus achieving new synergies and opportunities, and to provide the European Projects Office at IREC with the necessary resources and training to achieve the defined objectives.
Acknowledgements (in Spanish): El proyecto TransHEner (ECT2020-000704) está financiado por MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 y por la Unión Europea “NextGenerationEU/PRTR”. TransHEner 2.0 (GPE2022-000963) es un proyecto financiado por MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033.