More and better designed public support for energy technology R&I

SMARTSPEND will explore how investments in R&D in clean energy can be made in a coordinated way and how they may be increased.

Many energy technologies are trying to answer similar R&D questions. There may be ways to sequence research in different sectors to enable its impact to be increased. SMARTSPEND will report on the synergies in different technologies’ R&D plans, and on the ways that sectors should organise themselves to access EU funding efficiently.

SMARTSPEND will organise a major conference to help innovators in clean energy access risk finance from public and private sources. They need money and connections to scale up. To prepare the conference, SMARTSPEND will report the funding needs and identify possible sources.

SMARTSPEND’s central pillars: “synergies” and “financial strategies”

“Synergies Pillar”: Implementation plans will be fitted together to produce a coherent body of research (“Synergies Pillar”). This will enable funding bodies (in Member States / Associated Countries and that operate at European level) to create programmes designed for the overall collective interest of all clean energy technologies. Technology will progress faster for the same input of resources as a result.

“Financial strategies Pillar”: Efficient public spending is about designing funding instruments to be user-friendly. The range of instruments on offer for EU, regional and transnational research will be mapped, with particular focus on the latter two because often their rules and accessibility are poorly understood. The range of finance available from various private financial institutions will also be mapped. The consortium will re-assess the form in which the EC has chosen to federate the stakeholder interest behind different energy technologies (e.g. as ETIPs, as contractual Public-Private-Partnerships, Joint Undertakings etc) and find out in each case whether it’s time to try a new form.

EUREC is the SMARTSPEND scientific coordinator and our partners are key links to companies and research centres in particular clean energy fields. This will allow the results of the project to be disseminated widely, including: analysis of industry funding needs; a map of funding instruments for energy innovation; recommendations for alternative models of sectoral organisation at EU level, and recommendations on supporting innovation in energy technology.