Policy Workshop: Energy News Archive

Pressure increases for UK government not to split from Euratom

With a flimsy majority and some of its own MPs in favour of staying in Euratom, the UK government is talking of an “association agreement”. But ending European Court of Justice oversight remains as the red line

Lab exercise: How a Swiss spinout turned science into cash

Dectris builds its X-ray detector technology into a €30M market niche

Call for looser rules in Horizon 2020

Researchers tell MEPs that audit culture, reimbursement system, and evaluation criteria for eastern countries should be reformed

New project to map Europe’s scientific research infrastructures

A comprehensive database of 900 European research infrastructures will allow scientists to access resources, services and facilities of which they may previously have been unaware

Impact of EU regional funds on climate change fight hazy, study finds

Despite Brussels’ new emphasis on smart specialisation, there is an ongoing difficulty in capturing the value of EU cohesion policy

EU Parliament signs off on €220M Mediterranean research project

The Prima initiative will tackle two of the root causes of migration - water and food scarcity around the Mediterranean basin

Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, US and UK top the Global Innovation Index 2017

In the tenth edition of the Index, China becomes the first-ever middle income economy to be ranked in the top 25

German researchers revive a long-ago precursor to the bicycle

European Research Council grant helps electrify a historic, pedal-less vehicle

Scientists cheer Macron’s victory but must await his plan for R&D

As a former investment banker, Macron understands venture capital and what it takes to promote innovation. He wants to push on with university reform and improve science teaching, but the exact shape of his agenda hangs on parliamentary elections

Right R&D investments are good bets for both climate and economies

A meta-analysis of the latest research and reports on public investment in green energy points to areas with biggest returns for the economy and the climate

PRACE’s 14th call drives forward broad range of research

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) has opened up greater access to supercomputer time for researchers around Europe

Americans used more clean energy in 2016

The US used more renewable energy in 2016 than 2015, according to data published this week by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Overall, energy consumption was nearly flat.

Why Trump won’t derail the Paris climate Agreement

Climate experts tell Science|Business the US president’s slash and burn approach to environmental policy may embolden climate sceptics, but it will not lead other nations to curb their emission-cutting efforts

Mississippi gives Research Commissioner the blues

It is one thing to be bested by the mighty US clusters of Silicon Valley or Cambridge, but seeing a major technology investment go to the rural state of Mississippi is hard to swallow

Trump slays science budget

Whopping cuts unveiled in budget proposal undermine United States’ leadership in science and technology

US companies call for UK to maintain freedom of movement

They invested £487B in the UK in 2015. Now US multinationals are prepared to relocate operations and staff to stay within the single market. The message to the UK government is clear: a hard Brexit will jeopardise investment

How competitive is your region? Find out in the 2016 Regional Competitiveness Index

The third edition of the Regional Competitiveness Index compares 263 EU regions, providing useful insights for boosting economic and innovation performance.

Science loses an exuberant storyteller

Hans Rosling excelled at presenting fun, accessible data and busting myths on the perceived gap between the industrialised and developing worlds

Commissioner: I would join the march for science

EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas praises scientists for finding their voice. At a time when facts are ignored and experts denigrated, it is great that researchers will show up and tell people how important science is, he tells Science|Business

Trump adviser brings uncompromising climate change message to Brussels

“Whenever you hear environmental expert, think urban eco imperialist,” said Myron Ebell, speaking in Brussels. But his Trumpian message met stiff protests.

Brexatom delivers first big blow to EU/UK science collaboration

The peremptory announcement that the UK will withdraw from the EU Atomic Energy Community risks a talent drain and leaves unanswered questions over funding for nuclear science and the future of the Joint European Torus

How to turn Europe’s large research infrastructures into engines of innovation

Europe has the opportunity to enhance its innovation capacity by strengthening cooperation between analytical research institutes and companies, providing industry with new ways to access expertise and powerful state of the art machines

CO2 emissions test is a clear step forward say EU science advisors

The Scientific Advice Mechanism team has delivered its first report, concluding a new way of assessing vehicle exhaust gases will reduce discrepancies between the lab and the road

EU urges start-ups to spin space data into apps

European Commission’s new space policy encourages companies to take commercial advantage of the huge earth image datasets generated by the Sentinel satellite fleet

Reactive Technologies claims world first in smart grids

UK company demonstrates nationwide transmission of data via the electricity grid. The technology will provide a new means of managing smart grids

EU reaffirms support for ‘challenging’ fusion project

Climate Commissioner says the giant ITER project has made important managerial ‘turnarounds’, after the European Parliament refused to sign off the 2015 accounts earlier this year

UK advisory group calls for big carbon capture and storage push

New report urges government to give firm backing to beleaguered technology which it says could slash the cost of meeting CO2 reduction targets

UK government approval to build world’s largest offshore wind farm

Multibillion-pound Hornsea Project Two will consist of 300 turbines and generate power for 1.6 million homes

Switzerland still world’s top innovator, study says

Fifteen of the top 25 innovators in the world are in Europe, including the top three

Commission updates Horizon 2020 work programmes

EU makes open science the new norm and earmarks €11 million for research on migration. Free availability of data is a response to the post-factual age, Carlos Moedas tells the Euroscience conference in Manchester

Paris hosts the Human City as part of the ERC=Science2 communications campaign

Earlier this week, the ERC = Science² project kicked off a series of public engagement events with a 2-day programme (July...

Exploring new ways of defending coastal cities

Project backed by European Research Council aims to develop new science and techniques to holistically evaluate earthquake and tsunami risks

Solar energy will be mainstream by 2020, says new report

Analysis predicts the cost of solar cells is to fall dramatically over next five years but the loss of subsidies will be a setback for the technology in Europe

Wellcome Trust launches new open access platform

Scientists will be encouraged to publish findings ahead of peer review, with papers going online just a week after submission. The research charity hopes other funders will follow its lead

Romania joins CERN

Eight years after filing its application, Romania becomes the twenty-second member of the particle physics lab

First female winner of prestigious €1M technology prize

American biochemical engineer Frances Arnold is awarded the 2016 Millennium Technology Prize for path-breaking work on directed evolution

Could the Hyperloop come from the Netherlands?

Students from Delft University think they can send passengers from Amsterdam to Paris in 30 minutes through high-speed tubes

EU Commission fuel cell platform appoints new director

Bart Biebuyck leaves Toyota’s in house fuel cell research department to lead the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen project

Australia to replicate EU climate change innovation model

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s climate change innovation accelerator is going down under. Inquiries into the model are also being made by New Zealand and Singapore

European Institute of Innovation and Technology to be reformed following audit

Education Commissioner Navracsics sets up expert panel ‘to improve the EIT’ in advance of a special performance audit from the EU’s accounting watchdog

BP forecasts dominance of fossil fuels for next 20 years

British energy supplier unveiled its annual energy market outlook for the next two decades. Green advocates attacked its ‘rosy prospects’ for oil and gas

British, French and Dutch lagging in renewable energy targets, EU reports

Latest energy scorecard shows energy generated from renewable sources in the EU continued to grow overall in 2014, but some countries are lagging behind the pack

EU calls for greater enforcement powers in wake of VW dieselgate scandal

The European Commission wants to fine carmakers up to €30,000 for rigged vehicles, carry out roadside spot checks and make emissions testing labs independent of the industry

EU money for clean energy transition is being spent on fossil fuels, says report

Environmental pressure groups criticise 9 member states in central and eastern Europe for using EU regional funding to prop up existing fossil fuel systems, rather than to tackle climate change

European power suppliers boost R&D investment

Electricity companies across Europe are increasing research budgets and beginning to finance incubators and accelerators, and to invest in innovative start-ups

‘Remember, it took the world 120 years to make an efficient diesel engine’

Science|Business talks to Bert De Colvenaer, the man working to make hydrogen fuel cell technology widely available and affordable in Europe

Surprise fall in global emissions is partly due to uptake of renewables

This is the first time there has been a decrease while the world economy has continued to grow. But industry must not use this as an excuse to defer measures to reduce CO2 outputs

New Barcelona Declaration at Science|Business conference calls for more EU climate action

The new ‘Mission Innovation’ to boost energy R&D announced in Paris is good - but the EU isn’t formally a part of it and more needs to be done at the collective, European level. The Barcelona Climate Declaration, launched Nov. 20 at ESADE Business School by the Science|Business Network of universities and companies, calls for a doubling of EU R&D funding in this area as part of a broad, research and innovation-based action plan against climate change.

Governments pledge $20B for clean energy R&D at Paris climate talks

Two major initiatives to bring innovation to bear on climate change were unveiled in Paris. Twenty countries pledged to double spending in energy R&D over five years and private investors promised patient backing for spinouts based on this research

How to solve the climate puzzle

Experts at Science|Business roundtable say innovations in technology, business, social models and policy are needed for real climate action

Tackling climate change: the technology is there but adoption is slow

The world has all the technology it needs to completely switch to renewable energy, but adoption remains slow, said delegates at a Science|Business conference in Barcelona

EU calls for urgent push on closer energy union

The first annual review of the EU energy union shows there has been progress. Companies are changing their business models, renewable energy and energy efficiency are creating jobs. But the electricity and gas markets are still not performing as they should

Volkswagen scandal sparking a charge into electric cars

As the German carmaker’s pollution problems deepen, pressure is increasing on the industry to shift resources to low-carbon cars, with hopes the nascent electric car industry can be propelled into the mass market

New EU electric car lab opens

Twinned EU and US labs will work together to set common standards for e-vehicles and charging stations

25 features of the new Horizon 2020 research plans: robot farmers to 5G phones

Final work plans for 2016 and 2017 are out, with ambitions to replace animal testing, resist the rising tide of antimicrobial resistance and deliver faster internet speeds

GE wins EU approval for Alstom takeover

Competition regulator gives conditional go-ahead on multi-billion acquisition after year-long negotiations

First Light Fusion closes £22.7M funding round for clean energy technology

Oxford University spin-out seeks to commercialise new implosion processes in fusion reactors for electricity generation

Renewables are outpacing nuclear according to a new report

Nuclear investment is in serious decline, with renewables becoming more competitive

Large Hadron Collider detects new form of matter

Exotic pentaquark particle spotted in CERN’s accelerator complex

Plan to build Ireland’s first electric car

With matchmaking assistance from an EU programme, car manufacturing is about to be revived, 30 years after the last plant in the country closed

Dutch court orders government to do more to fight climate change

Verdict in world’s first climate liability case says current targets are “unlawful” and the Dutch State must reduce emissions by 25% within five years

EU to offer advice on energy investments to regions

A new service will advise Europe’s regional and local authorities on spending EU regional funds for low-carbon energy projects

German university helps develop bespoke electric car for hot climate

Fast-charging electric car adapted to fit humid weather is unveiled in Singapore

Agreement to limit use of crops as feedstock for biofuels

Politicians have approved a cap on the volume of biofuel from agricultural crops that can be used for transport

A dirt cheap way of capturing CO2?

New research suggests that ordinary clay could make a relatively cheap contribution to the decarbonisation struggle. But feasibility remains a long way off

EU announces around €12 million in funding for fracking research

Disquiet among environmentalists as Edinburgh University and University College London chosen to lead research studies on the impact of shale gas exploration above and below ground

Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research to be launched 1 July 2015

New institute will combine the country’s research in agriculture and the environment, with a focus on sustainability

The EU Energy Challenge: Can innovation fill the gap?

Summit gathered experts from academia, industry and policy to debate new energy technologies and accelerating the shift to a low-carbon economy

Balancing the Energy Economy 2: security of supply must not compromise CO2 targets

How can Europe balance its goal of energy security with the need to reduce CO2 emissions? Part of the answer would be fixing the carbon emissions trading system

Balancing the Energy Economy 1: efficiency is now top energy target for new Commission

Officials gathered in Brussels this week to untangle some of the messy, competing goals for making European energy greener, cheaper and more modern. Cutting energy use is the leading priority, a Commission adviser told the meeting

And now for another smash hit…

CERN is getting ready to switch on its massive underground collider again. The Higgs boson, the standout discovery of the last few years, is in the bag, so what are physicists looking for now?

Revised EU plan puts focus on integrated market

2015 update includes greater priority on energy-efficiency technologies

Speeding the energy transition: priorities for a new Commission

As the EU focuses on its post-2020 climate and energy policies, big questions remain about how to spur innovation

Energy Special Report: A technology optimist but a policy pessimist

Carbon pricing holds the key to success in the fight against climate change, says gene sequencing pioneer J. Craig Venter

Energy innovation in the EU: It takes two

As a new European Commission sets to work, its energy-chief duo must make sure 2030 targets are met, bring down CO2 emissions and accelerate a single European energy market

Lockheed Martin reveals plans to build small-scale fusion reactor

Murmurs of excitement but many scientists are cool on aerospace giant’s claim it can deliver fusion reactor in a decade – if it can get external funding

Energy security means supporting advanced biofuels, says industry

Instead of roaring ahead in the race for renewables, pursuing biofuels in Europe is a halting, cautious venture. Industry and policymakers met in Brussels this week to spark new life into the effort

Juncker’s reshuffle: Slovakia’s Maroš Šefčovič to handle the Energy Union brief

Forced into a minor reshuffle after the Parliament’s rejection of Alenka Bratušek, Juncker accepts her replacement, Violeta Bulc. The fate of Hungary’s Tibor Navracsics remains an open question

The renewable power dilemma: Making electricity grids fit for wind and solar power

A new Science|Business report says Europe urgently needs to focus on energy market integration and flexibility

Peeping through the clouds: global boost in solar energy

Output from photovoltaics rises by 34 per cent in 2013, but changes in incentive programmes mean Europe loses ground

TTIP of the iceberg for energy: growing expectation gaps for EU-US trade deal

Energy trade negotiations hold promise for investment and innovation, but doubt lies under the surface

Energy in H2020 – paving the way to a secure, sustainable and competitive energy system

The EU has set ambitious climate and energy targets for 2020 that require improvements and innovation in the generation, supply, delivery and use of energy. Research to be funded in Horizon 2020 should help

ACES alumni show entrepreneurial savvy

In the five years since it was established, 60 start-ups have made the final of the Science|Business Academic Enterprise Awards. The progress of these alumni throws a spotlight on the effort and dedication needed to make a commercial success of a university spin-out

French start-up and ACES 2013 Winner Qualisteo takes a new approach to measuring energy

It’s hard to save electricity when you don’t know where it’s going. Qualisteo’s Wattseeker reads the fingerprints of electrical systems to make monitoring energy use easier and less costly

MEPs follow Commission backtrack on biofuels

Crop-based biofuels, once the poster child of EU environmental policy, are no longer to be the main vehicle for reaching clean transport targets. While environmentalists welcome investment in advanced biofuels and renewable energy, industry craves greater regulatory certainty

Short-Term Solution for troubled Emissions Trading Scheme

MEPs say putting a price on pollution will encourage innovation in clean technologies and buy time for much-needed reform

Commission to strengthen fuel cell research with €1.4B R&D programme in Horizon 2020

New programme will bid to develop long-term clean energy supplies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Europe’s energy and transport sectors

Commission unveils plans for €9B of Horizon 2020 budget

In advance of final agreement on the €70B Horizon 2020 R&D programme, the Commission announced 5 public/private partnerships will get €6.5B, pulling in a further €9.9B from industry. Total investment in these and 5 other projects unveiled yesterday will be €22B

How EU-US trade talks could boost energy research

Gas technology, nuclear fusion, fuel cells, batteries and smart grids top the list of key technologies for potential transatlantic collaboration

Is Europe Ready for Another Industrial Revolution?

Europe could be on the cusp of a second industrial revolution in which advances in information and communications technologies (ICT) fuel a dramatic improvement in productivity. But the revolution may yet be stymied by inadequate education, privacy concerns and a lack of ambition

Immelt heralds marriage of materials science and data analytics

There is an "massive economic opportunity" to use a combination of materials science and data analytics to improve fuel performance and reduce downtime in industry, according to Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of industrial conglomerate GE

Entrepreneurship awards scooped by Danish, Swiss, French and UK spin-outs

The winners of the 5th annual Academic Enterprise Awards have been announced at a conference that brought together Europe's innovation leaders to discuss the importance of research, innovation and entrepreneurship

MEPs approve new limits on CO2 emissions from cars

Lower CO2 limits are intended to protect the environment and spur clean car innovation. But environmentalists say a “super credits” scheme will allow car makers to fudge emission figures, undermining both objectives, while manufacturers say the limits will push up costs

$100M international research centre is a model for getting industry-academic collaborations up and running quickly

BP’s new International Centre for Advanced Materials with its hub at Manchester University now has ten research projects underway across four universities — including one focused on smart “self-healing” coatings

Plotting the shifts in Europe’s innovation ecosystem

Academics, SMEs and large companies are doing much more research in partnership. Science|Business looks back at some of the highlights of the move to open innovation in 2012, and the policy initiatives that are supporting this

The EU’s Eco-Innovation Action Plan: ‘green jobs and green growth’

An analysis the EU's eco-innovation strategy in preparation of the Science|Business Q&A with EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik

Europe's new long-term strategy for resource efficiency

A look at the EU's 'Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe' in advance of the Science|Business broadcast with Janez Potočnik, EU Environment Commissioner

EU’s drive for low-carbon economy by 2050 requires “revolution” in energy sector

Steep emissions cuts will require a surge in renewable energies - and lots of incremental innovations to get there, says Philip Lowe, Director General for Energy at the European Commission

ACES winner powers long-range electric cars to market

EVO Electric has applied novel technology to develop motors that combine high power with low weight, promising to increase the efficiency and appeal of electric cars and reduce CO2 emissions from hybrid petrol/electric cars

Seven entrepreneurial start-ups from across Europe recognised in double awards ceremony

The EIT launches its first awards – ACES enters its fourth year. Start-ups from the UK and Germany lead the list of winners, which also includes Spanish and Hungarian companies.

How to plan Europe’s energy future

Researchers, academic policy experts and commission officials gathered in Brussels on 23 November to explore a systems approach to energy innovation at a Science|Business symposium

Are Lead Markets going anywhere?

Spurred by the seminal report of Esko Aho, in 2007 the EU set about trying to use its massive public sector spending power to create a coordinated demand for new products. A report on the Lead Market Initiative considers the progress of the policy to date

Better solar technologies warm up plans to generate electricity for Europe in Africa’s deserts

At its 2nd annual conference next week, the Desertec project for the large-scale production of electricity from sunlight in the deserts of north Africa – and its export to Europe – will discuss progress to date

Obama’s focus on solar energy is no day in the sun

The last of the American Recovery stimulus money aimed at helping the US regain the lead in solar power was doled out last month, but done so under the cloud of failed solar company Solyndra

€71M large-scale test of intelligent cars starts in Frankfurt

A fleet of 120 vehicles is taking to the roads to test a range of new wireless safety features

Karlsruhe to unveil plans for €200M research factory at the International Motor Show

The institute will carry out near-market research in batteries and power trains for electric vehicles.

Chinese and Irish firms in €18M renewable energy deal

The Irish energy storage group Gaelectric is partnering with the Chinese wind turbine manufacturer XEMC Group to co-develop three new wind farms in Ireland

Photovoltaics can be a fully-competitive electricity source in Europe by 2020

A new analysis shows solar photovoltaic electricity can achieve competitiveness in some market segments as early as 2013, and in all segments by the end of the decade

Photovoltaics one of fastest growing industries in the world

Europe is leading the world in generating electricity from sunlight with 70 per cent of the total photovoltaic generation capacity

New science grants aim to drive Ireland’s economic development

The Irish government has announced a €15 million investment in research projects to boost innovation

EU wind energy output to triple following €194B investment

Europe is set to reap the benefits of a ten-year programme of investment in wind farms

€11M next stage of ITER fusion project goes ahead

The second phase of construction at the ITER fusion project in Cadarache, France, will pave the way for the site to accommodate the expected 3,000-strong workforce

EU launches biggest-ever R&D funding package as €7B goes up for grabs

Mega-funding package puts a stronger focus on innovation and SMEs, and on tackling big problems like climate change, and energy and food security

Marine energy to compete on cost with nuclear and onshore wind by 2025

With a little help, electricity generated by the most productive tidal and wave farms could match the price of nuclear and onshore wind energy, according to a new UK study

Investment in smart electricity meters to reach €3B per annum

As installation ramps up, smart meter penetration in Europe will reach 52% by 2016, says a new analysis

UK government casts shadow on solar industry as feed-in tariffs are cut

The UK climate minister Greg Barker has announced cuts to the feed-in tariff for all solar installations above 50kw, a move of huge significance to the industry

Call to help energy-intensive manufacturing industries reduce CO2 emissions

The EU is to offer 75% grants for projects that help economically important manufacturing companies tread the line between growth of the business and reduction of greenhouse gases

A new green growth path for Europe

The EU’s new roadmap for low-carbon growth aspires to protect the environment at the same time as spurring the development of new markets and boosting the economy. But can green really equal competitive?

Clean energy projects line up for funding in €8B demonstrator scheme

78 renewable energy and carbon capture and storage projects have been submitted by member states for EU funding in the world’s largest demonstration of clean energy

ICT researchers line up to compete for €1 billion prize

Six advanced computing projects have been shortlisted to compete for EU Flagship status and access to total funding of €1 billion. The six have been awarded €1.5 million each to develop their programmes before two winners are selected in 12 months time

ACES profile: GridOn technology will help keep the lights on

The winner of the GE Smart Grid Award in the Science|Business Academic Enterprise Awards – presented at ETH Zurich in February - has developed technology to prevent electricity blackouts caused by lightening strikes and power surges

New green era for biofuels as work starts on 50M litre production facility in Italy

Construction has begun of the world’s first commercial-scale facility for making ethanol from the straw - rather than the grain - of wheat and other crop plants

Siemens unveils plug-free contactless system for recharging electric cars

The German electronics giant demonstrates a system for inductive charging of electric vehicles without the need for wires or plugs, and announces a live test to begin in Berlin.

UK returns to the clean energy slow lane

In 2010 global investment in clean energy rose by 30% overall. But in the UK investment plummeted by 70%. Science|Business took the pulse of the UK sector to find out why

UK plummets in clean energy investment race

Europe continues to lead the way, attracting $94.4 B in 2010 - with Germany alone bringing in $41.2 B. But as global investment in clean energy reached a record $243 B, investment in the UK fell by 70%

Daimler puts up €1.75 M to fund PhDs and drive knowledge transfer for electric cars

The German carmaker is teaming up with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg Launch to launch a PhD research group specialising in electric vehicles

Smartgrids and smart meters at heart of Commission’s new energy efficiency measures

New measures are needed for Europe meets its 2020 target of a 20 per cent improvement in energy efficiency. Building intelligence into the electricity grid is one concrete way to achieve this

Easybat consortium gets €2.2M EU funding for electric car battery research

The funding will support the development of safety and technical standards for switching batteries in and out of cars quickly and safely

UK Carbon Trust and Siemens launch £550M green finance deal

Scheme will give companies access to finance for low carbon equipment

New smartgrid research centre to open in Scotland

A new smartgrid research facility is to be opened in Glasgow, Scotland. The centre, part of Strathclyde University, aims to accelerate the adoption of new electricity-related technologies.

Edinburgh University sets up new fund to invest in spin offs

Edinburgh University founded the Old College Capital fund to supply mid- and late-stage funding to spin-out companies.

Eureka meeting in Israel agrees to fund €33 M of new projects

Europe's Eureka research programme will invest €33 million to fund 25 new collaborative R&D projects. The agreement was announced at a meeting in Eilat, under Israel's chairmanship of Eureka.

French stimulus money starts to flow into labs

A total of 52 new research labs and research programmes have been selected to share an investment of Euros 340 million, in the first step of a public research funding bonanza that will pour in Euro 22 billion raised on the bond markets to create an elite cadre of universities in France

EU € 3.4M crop research programme gets underway at Kiel University

Ad EU-wide effort to increase agricultural productivity on a global scale will focus on increasing the productivity of grains and the biomass of grasses.

Europe’s academic innovators recognised in ACES awards

Academic entrepreneurs from Switzerland, Finland, the United Kingdom and Israel were recognised in the third annual ACES awards, held in Zurich on 3 February and awarded by the Science|Business Innovation Board.

EIT announces awards for entrepreneurs

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology – the EIT, set up by the European Union to encourage innovation – is to launch an awards programme for young entrepreneurs next year, in partnership with Science|Business. The move is part of a push to change attitudes to entrepreneurship in Europe, and was announced today (3 February) by EIT Board member Daria Tataj at the ACES Academic Enterprise conference, held at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Greener policies needed to release private sector funds

Economic recovery would benefit from greener, private investment encouraging, government policies, according to an academic report.

Investing in electric vehicles

The German government wants to see 1 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2020. But do investors see a smooth journey ahead?

Mitsubishi to invest £100M in green energy centre

Mitsubishi is to invest in an Edinburgh engineering facility investigating the development of offshore wind turbines.

First steps taken in moves to create North Sea electricity grid

Countries from around the North Sea have signed-up to improve cooperation in building a grid for renewable energy sources.

Cleantech continues to attract investment

Cleantech is not on the downside of a bubble, says a new report by analysts Kachan & Co., and the sector is set to attract high levels of investment in 2011.

€200 billion plan for smart energy grids

As the Commission sets out plans for a smart energy infrastructure, industry and academics are banding together in support of new energy technologies.

First $55M of investments announced in the GE ecomagination Challenge

GE and VC partners make 12 investments in Smart Grid technologies, while 5 early ideas get funding for further development.

EU Fuel cells research body becomes autonomous

The EU fuel cells body, created in 2008 to develop fuel cells and hydrogen technologies, is to manage its own programme and funds.

Energy Strategy

Smart grids, renewables and energy efficiency are put at the heart of the Commission’s ten-year strategy for a single, integrated EU energy market.

EU opens €9 billion call for low carbon and renewable energy projects

The Commission has launched the first call for what it claims will be the world’s largest programme of investment in low carbon and renewable energy projects.

Solar Sell

The technology is making progress, but there are fears that commercialising solar energy is too dependent on fickle government policy and the price of oil.

New milestone for ERC project as driverless vehicle reaches China

After a 13,000 kilometre journey through Europe and Asia, unmanned vans powered by green energy have crossed the Chinese border.

InnoEnergy sets out to attract investors

The EIT’s energy project begins its task of creating a European ecosystem for funding sustainable energy start-ups today.

Major ICT companies join Commission initiative to reduce electricity consumption

Sixteen more ICT firms have signed up to the European Community’s voluntary code to reduce the electricity consumption of their equipment and data centres.

Scotland plans for carbon capture and storage industry in depleted North Sea oil wells

Scotland has embarked on a comprehensive study to drive forward the development of carbon capture and storage with a CCS Cluster Investment Plan.

US stimulus funding is boosting innovation

The value of the economic stimulus remains a hotly debated topic in the US, but the White House is claiming success in energy and other innovative fields.

Barroso uses State of the Union speech to flesh out strategic energy plan

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso highlights the need to complete the internal energy market, build and interconnect energy grids, and ensure security.

Photovoltaics industry to monitor policy for driving market development across EU

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association has set up the Photovoltaic Observatory to monitor policy across Europe and ensure consistent conditions for growth.

UK government sets out plans for licensing CO2 storage under the North Sea

The UK government has set out how it will license the storage of carbon dioxide under the sea bed, following responses to its recent consultation.

Second generation biofuels

Europe’s chemical companies are pioneering enzymes to turn plant waste into fuel. But the technology is being exploited elsewhere.

Governments fund pilots to test smart grid potential

With their promise of energy self-sufficiency and job creation, smart grids are seen as the next industry gold rush.

Calling Europe’s entrepreneurs: create the smart grid

Today in Munich, GE calls on European researchers and innovators: Pitch in your ideas to a €160 million open innovation challenge, and help build the electricity grids of the future.

A smart grid for Europe

Smart grids are the route to tapping solar and wind power, guaranteeing energy security, and delivering on the EU’s carbon emission targets. But can they be delivered?

GE launches $200M fund for smart grids

GE is joining four US VCs in putting up $200M for open innovation in electricity generation, transmission and use, to deliver the environmental promise of smart electricity grids.

New generation capacity in the EU: renewables on top

Renewable energy sources accounted for an impressive 62 per cent of the new electricity generation capacity installed in the EU in 2009, says a new report.

Commission orders common charging system for electric vehicles

The Commission wants to see a charging system for electric cars, scooters and bikes that will allow any vehicle to be recharged in any member state.

INEOS gets £7.3M grant for biofuel plant

Chemicals giant INEOS has been awarded a £7.3m grant for the construction of Europe’s first plant for producing bioethanol and electricity from household waste.

Synthetic biology begins to spawn biofuels

Once researched behind closed doors, biofuels from micro-organisms and enzymes are starting to reach pilot plants in France, the US, and Brazil.

Industry projects to grab EU energy research funds

Europe wants big breakthroughs in renewable energies and cleantech: a new strategy will channel money to clean energy demonstrators.

Forging a low carbon economy

Can Europe build the world’s first low-carbon economy? The Commission has drafted an ambitious 10-year roadmap to invest in renewable energies.

UK VCs call for creation of Green Investment Bank

Venture capitalists have called for the creation of a Green Investment Bank to accelerate private sector investment.

UK launches national carbon capture and storage programme

The UK has set out plans to pursue clean coal technology as a UK growth sector with the launch of an industrial strategy for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

ACES: Water treatment made easy

With 20 years of experience behind him, ACES winner Nigel Brown believes companies today spend too much money – and energy – on water purification.

No need to sacrifice food for fuel, say bioenergy experts

European bioenergy experts have hit out at mounting skepticism, saying that 20 per cent of Europe’s energy demands could be met by sustainable biofuels by 2050.

Developing Europe’s smart grids

Intelligent electricity grids are central to EU policies on energy and climate change. So how is the technology shaping up, and who will pay?

India and the UK strengthen scientific ties in nuclear and solar power

The UK’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, Pat McFadden, is visiting India to strengthen the scientific ties between the two countries.

How to bridge the funding gap for clean energy

Investment in clean energy has proved to be remarkably resilient, but investors currently lack the mechanisms to bridge the financing gap, says a report.

Greening the economy

A new integrated industrial strategy will deliver growth whilst tackling climate change, promises Commissioner-designate Antonio Tajani.

Bioamber commissions world’s first renewable succinic acid plant

Industrial biotechnology company Bioamber has announced the successful start-up and commissioning of the world’s first bio-based succinic acid plant.

European partners join forces to increase the use of electric vehicles

The EVA consortium has submitted a proposal, coordinated by the city of Rotterdam, to advance the use of electric vehicles across Europe.

The economy and the environment to march hand-in-hand

Environment Commissioner-designate Janez Potočnik has emphasised the need for a “holistic approach” and for environmental concerns to reach across many EU policies.

The greening of IT

Computers have the potential to save energy - by consuming less themselves and optimising use elsewhere, but there are obstacles in the way.

Nine countries sign up to develop Europe’s first offshore wind grid

Nine countries have signed up to develop their offshore wind energy grids in an integrated and coordinated fashion in the North and Irish Seas.

What does the new European Parliament mean for research?

As the Industry, Research and Energy Committee reforms, Science|Business talks to Maria da Graça Carvalho about the committee’s new priorities.

Ireland signs deal to develop wave power and become the ‘Texas of Europe’

The Irish Government has signed an agreement with the Swedish utility company Vattenfall, to develop the country’s ocean wave energy resource.

Karlsruhe: Creating a new research powerhouse

The new Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is the most dramatic example of Germany's attempt to break down walls within academia.

European Institute of Technology appoints first director

The Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology has named Gérard de Nazelle, from Shell, as the first director.

Navigating the stimulus

There’s a lot of money up for grabs in the US to those with the persistence to find the specific part of the innovation stimulus that applies to them.

The Innovation Economy: US bets the bank

About a seventh of the $787 billion US economic stimulus package is targeted at innovation, but can it make a difference soon enough?

Japan’s leading solar cell manufacturer to set up European lab at IMEC

The nanoelectronics research centre IMEC is to host the European research laboratory of Kaneka Corporation, a leading manufacturer of solar cells.

Nokia spins home energy efficiency centre into a new company

Nokia has spun its domestic energy efficiency centre into a new company, There Corporation, to commerialise energy-saving and smart metering services.

The Innovation Economy: the EU prepares to join the funding frenzy

The EU has expanded its support for innovation in response to the economic crisis. But no new funds will flow until 2010.

Report says oil exploration technology is key to storage of CO2

Oil exploration and production technology holds the key to secure CO2 storage, according to a report by the CO2 Capture Project.

European project to produce second-generation biofuel from forestry waste

VTT of Finland is leading a pan-European project with European research institutes and companies to produce a second generation of biofuels from lignocellulose.

UK sets out its plan for ‘decarbonising’ the economy

A plan has been announced to move the UK onto a permanent low carbon footing, maximising the economic opportunities of going green.

EU energy template to create certainty for green investment

The European Commission has set out a template to help member states reach their renewable energy targets and provide certainty for investors.

BioMara launched with €6M for algal biofuel development

The €6 million BioMara research project to investigate the use of algae to produce biofuel has been launched, backed by €4.9M from the EU.

Norway’s Statkraft forms partnership to boost tidal power in Europe

Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, is joining forces with Singapore-based Atlantis to develop tidal power generation projects in Europe.

ACES Profile: From fast cars to side skirts

Developing aerodynamic side skirts for truck trailers wasn’t exactly what Ephicas' founders had in mind when they started studying, but it has put them on the fast track.

Low power, high hopes

Cambridge spin-out CamSemi hopes to prosper during the global economic storm by riding the green wave. Its trump card: a new way of converting mains current to DC.

Commission will not object to €46.5M state aid for France’s nano solar R&D

The European Commission will not raise objections under EC Treaty state aid rules to the support that France plans to give its Solar Nano Crystal programme.

Third generation biorefinery commissioned in Finland

The first third-generation biorefinery demonstration plant in the world has been commissioned in Finland. The plant is the first to process cellulose from crop waste.

UK sets up £27M bioenergy centre

The UK has set up a £27 million Sustainable Bioenergy Centre to carry out research to underpin and develop the sustainable bioenergy sector.

Time to commercialise low carbon technologies, say electricity giants

The low-carbon technologies to help avert climate change are there, but they need to be deployed, say some of the world’s best-known electricity companies.

Innovating in a down time

Investing in innovation during a tight economy could provide a leg up for funders and start-ups once the turnaround comes, a Science|Business conference heard.

IBM to establish ‘collaboratory’ in Dublin

IBM is to set up a computing research “collaboratory” in Dublin, creating 40 jobs at IBM and local universities, supported by the Irish government through IDA Ireland.

European energy research alliance formed to back strategic plan

Leading research institutes have joined forces to expand Europe’s energy research capabilities through sharing national facilities and merging of research programmes.

Still moored at the JTI? EU fuel cell investment ‘disappoints’

Europe’s bid to lead the world in developing hydrogen and fuel cells risks failure because the planned investment is too little, the trade group Fuel Cell Europe heard.

Biofuel breakthrough as D1 refines first oil from non-food plant

The UK biofuels start-up D1 Oils says it has produced the first crude oil from its jatropha plantations, showing the value of the plant as a biofuel crop.

Environmental patents donated by leading companies

Bosch, DuPont and Xerox Corporation have joined a business-inspired movement to put environmentally important IP into the public domain.

China overtakes UK as a key country for investment in renewable energy

China has displaced the UK in the top five most attractive countries for investment in renewable energy for the first time, according to Ernst & Young.

Norway launches public–private carbon capture programme

Norway is launching a research and development programme worth more than NOK 300 million to generate more cost effective technology for CO2-capture.

New body to limit environmental impact of engineered products

The UK’s National Physical Laboratory is to coordinate a consortium looking at materials and process to control the environmental impact of engineered products.

Open Innovation in action

GE’s R&D centre in Munich is a European hub for Open Innovation. The head of the Centre, Carlos Härtel, describes the philosophy that drives its research to Science|Business’s Peter Wrobel.

Napier sets up biofuels alliance with China

Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland, will work with a Chinese consortium to further the development of second-generation biofuel from waste products.

Joint Technology Initiative on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen powers up

The Joint Technology Initiative on fuel cells and hydrogen now has the go-ahead from the Commission, with the first call for proposals expected later in the year.

Commission launches consultation on offshore wind projects

The European Commission wants help in identifying identify barriers to the development of offshore wind energy – and what might be done to overcome them.

EU’s environment advisors call for end to biofuel growth plans

The European Union’s own scientific advisors are advising against boosting biofuel use to 10 per cent of transport fuel.

Europe to help developing countries combat climate change

A new €80 million fund has been set up by the European Commission to boost energy efficiency and renewables and help developing countries combat climate change.

Atomic renaissance threatened by critical skills shortage

Nuclear power is back in favour – but does Europe have the skills and resources to bring the industry into the 21st century?

Commission gives green light to lead markets

The European Commission has selected six areas of pioneering research for its long-awaited lead markets initiative.

Biofuel research centre for Scotland

Napier University in Edinburgh is launching the Biofuel Research Centre, the first of its kind in the UK, to find sustainable alternatives to energy based on fossil fuels.

Global warming to turbo charge low-carbon energy technologies

Today, the European Union sets out its research strategy for energy – looking to find the low-carbon technology fix for climate change.

UK announces solo energy programme

Three days before Brussels unveiled its Strategic Energy Technology Policy, the UK Prime Minister set out his vision for applying technology to create a low carbon economy.

UK/China proof-of-concept fund established

China and the United Kingdom have launched a scheme to fund proof-of-concept projects with strong commercial potential.

New head steps into post at UK’s Technology Strategy Board

Iain Gray, former managing director of Airbus UK, has taken up his post as the first Chief Executive of the government-funded body set up to promote and invest in R&D for technology and innovation.

Brazil ‘might join’ ITER fusion project

The ITER nuclear fusion cooperation agreement might expand to eight following European Commissioner for science and research Janez Potocnik’s visit to Brazil last week.

EU gives nod to state aid for OSIRIS

The European Commission has authorised €31 million aid from the French Industrial Innovation Agency for OSIRIS, an agricultural biotechnology research programme.

David Berry: Looking for innovations with big potential

Flagship venture capitalist David Berry takes a hands-on approach to finding and nurturing emerging ideas and companies in life sciences and clean energy.

EIB toasts introduction of loans for R&D

The European Investment Bank and the European Commission have announced the introduction of the Risk Sharing Finance Facility to provide additional support to R&D and innovation projects in Europe.

EuropaBio sets out policy for biofuels

The EU industry body for bioindustries has responded to the energy and climate change package currently under discussion in the European Parliament.

New method of storing hydrogen for fuel cells

UK scientists are claiming a significant advance in hydrogen storage that they say could remove a key barrier to using fuel cells in cars.

Biofuels are a bad idea, say Barcelona researchers

A new study claims that meeting the EU’s biofuels target would spur a huge increase in food imports – and contribute to deforestation in less developed countries.

Dutch innovation system examined – and found wanting

A Dutch PhD student has found that the Dutch government is failing in five of seven key factors needed for successful innovation in energy.

UK expands nuclear research capabilities

A nuclear research facility is to be established in the north of England with £20 million from the University of Manchester and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

EU pushes energy-saving buildings in new programme

The European Commission has launched a long-planned autumn push towards revamping its technology policies with a 10-point programme.

Energy nanotech: thinking small to solve a big problem

The pressing need for alternative energy sources is driving investment into nanotechnology devices for energy applications such as photovoltaic solar cells.

The fission season is back

On Tuesday the UK became the latest country to jump back on the nuclear energy bandwagon. But 20 years after Chernobyl, how easy is it to turn on the nuclear tap?

Nano recharges battery technology

Battery capacity has been blamed for holding back innovation in many fields, from renewable energy to mobiles. Now nanotech is providing the answer.

EU launches Biofuels Technology Platform

The EU wants 25 per cent of transport energy will come from biofuels by the year 2030 – and is backing research that it will help it get there.

Sun to shine on Europe's energy policy

Active Solar Buildings – entirely heated and cooled by solar thermal energy – should become the standard by 2030 if the vision of the EU’s latest Technology Platform is realised.

ITER set to change the face of energy

A cross-continent project to develop fusion as an energy source has moved once step closer to reality with the signing of a formal agreement.

France trumps the EU's biofuel objective

The European Union was trumped last week when France announced plans to boost the country's biofuel use to 10 per cent by 2015.

The battle for second-generation biofuels

On 8 June the European Commission starts the evaluation of the biofuels technological platform it will support in 2007 - 2013. But the choice will be mired in political treacle.

UK sets out to grow its own energy

The UK government has moved to promote the wider adoption of non-fossil fuels with a new action plan to unlock the potential for renewable energy in biomass.

Investing: Cleantech takes the spotlight

With high oil prices showing no sign of quitting, "cleantech" is the new darling VC investment sector. But, asks Mary Lisbeth D'Amico, is the market more froth than substance?