Flemish minister Brouns signs five-year covenant with EnergyVille
On Friday, in the Thor Park in the province of Limburg, Flemish minister of Economy and Innovation Jo Brouns (CD&V) signed a five-year covenant with EnergyVille. With this, the Flemish government supports the cooperation between the EnergyVille partners imec, KU Leuven, VITO and UHasselt in their research into sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems.
Via the covenant, Flanders is making three million euro a year available to EnergyVille until 2026. According to minister Brouns, the initiative should lead to an acceleration of the sustainable energy transition in Flanders for both companies and citizens.
"In this way, we will create sustainable growth, more employment and a very competitive Flanders as an innovation hub in Europe."
EnergyVille carries out research in eight areas: solar energy, battery storage, power electronics, power-to-molecules, energy for buildings and neighbourhoods, electric networks, energy strategies and markets, and thermal systems. For example, EnergyVille researchers are working to make solar panels and batteries cheaper and more efficient by developing both new technologies and new materials.
The first five-year covenant lays down the conditions under which Flanders will grant the annual funding in EnergyVille and what the targets and results should be: the so-called 'Key Performance Indicators'. These do not only concern scientific results in the research areas, but also the socio-economic and social impact in the daily lives of citizens and the activities of Flemish companies.
For example, the covenant aims at more cooperation between EnergyVille and the industry, more STEM initiatives (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), training of (international) doctoral students, contributions to the digitalisation of the energy system, and knowledge dissemination within the energy sector and the general public.
EnergyVille was founded in 2011, driven by developments such as the Internet of Things, the rapid growth of competitive renewable energy and a growing demand for sustainable systems. The participating partners are the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Interuniversity Micro-Electronics Centre (imec), the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and the University of Hasselt (UHasselt).
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