Blue Sky Research for Energy Technology

Venue: University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Dates: 14 June 2017 - 15 June 2017

Organiser: Experts’ Group on R&D Priority-Setting and Evaluation

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Workshop booklet

Meeting scope

The goal of this workshop is to learn from examples of how the transition from blue sky research to application has been successfully undertaken in other sectors for example, space research, medicine or solid state physics in the context of microelectronics, and to identify from current basic research selected areas or ideas that might potentially have a huge impact on the energy sector. This should inform an understanding of how different governments engage in, fund, and structure their investments in energy-related basic science programs.

The IEA Experts' Group on Energy R&D and Priority Setting will host a workshop on 14-15 June 2017 in Birmingham, UK. This workshop will focus on blue sky research and its possible contributions to the developing energy system in various countries. With input from speakers representing public authorities, research and the private sector the participants will discuss the rising demand for innovation, specific technologies, various models for applying public funds, target-oriented R&D programs and reasonable incentives to harvest the lessons and results of blue sky science for the development of the energy system of the future.

Target Audience

In addition to EGRD national experts, we are seeking input from RD&D decision-makers, strategic planners, and program managers from industry, academia, think tanks, national laboratories, and government. Participation is by invitation only.

Session 1: Introduction
Chair: Gavin Harper, University of Birmingham

Welcome: Prof. Martin Freer, University of Birmingham

Introduction: Rob Kool, Chair, EGRD

1. Blue Sky Research: Ryan Bayliss, Oxford University

2. Disruptive innovation : Carrie Pottinger, IEA

Session 2: From Blue Sky research to new emerging technologies – and beyond
Chair: Birte Holst-Jorgensen, Danish Technical University

3. Sustainability in turbulent times: Mike Colechin, Energy Technologies Institute                   

4. Battery technology and basic science: Prof. Peter Slater                                

5. UK cyber programme: Richard Thomas, University of Birmingham

Session 3: Converging and enabling technologies for energy
Chair: Johannes Tambornino

6. Reducing critical materials through chemical catalysis: Prof. Joe Wood, Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials

7. Foresight applied to energy: Artur Majewski, Fraunhofer UMSICHT

8. Welcome to the ETA-Factory: Ann-Christin Frensch, TU Darmstadt

Session 4: Use-inspired basic research and innovative processes
Chair: Alexander McLean

9. The promise of fusion: Prof. Ian Chapman, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority

10. Spin-offs from space: Prof. Stuart Irvine, Centre for Solar Energy Research, Swansea University

11. Innovation research in Japan and negative CO2 emissions technology : Atsushi Kurosawa, Institute of Applied Energy

12. The quantum techologies hub: Prof. Kai Bongs, UK Quantum Technology Hub

13. Bringing nanotechnology into LEDs: Jaime Gomez Rivas, Technical University Eindhoven

Session 5: Policy and regulatory frameworks
Chair: Rob Kool

14. UK Energy strategies under uncertainty: Jim Watson, UKERC

15. Mission Innovation Materials Challenge: Nelson Mojarro Gonzalez, Energy Sustainability Fund for Europe, United Kingdom

16. New concepts in energy research, a pilot call for innovative projects: Tone Ibenholt, Research Council of Norway

17. Opportunities and challenges (Set/H2020): John Magan, European Commission

Session 6: Synthesis and take-aways
Chair: Johannes Tambornino

Panel discussion