ENGIE Kick-off, Miskolc

The ENGIE Consortium met for the kick-off of the EIT Raw Materials funded project hosted by the coordinator, the University of Miskolc. In representation of LPRC, Ariadna Ortega and Adrienn Cseko presented the tasks to be performed during the next two years. ENGIE will work to better integrate women in the STEM related sciences.

During the first day, the coordinators presented their vision of the project and the partners introduced their respective Work Packages, including Work Package 3 “Impact assessment and monitoring” which is led by LPRC and was presented by Adrienn Cseko. The last session of the day focused on the work to combine the Work Packages efforts and how to be more effective in the task distribution and communication among partners.

Then on the second day the detailed planning for Year 1 was discussed and agreed by the consortium, where Ariadna Ortega presented the task LPRC is responsible for, “Researchers Night- Geoscience Theme”, in which an activity performed by EFG’s Linked Third Parties throughout Europe is to be organized during the European Researchers Night. Said activity will focus on the role of women in geosciences.

The ENGIE project is funded by the EIT Raw Materials programme and aims to turn the interest of girls to study geosciences and geo-engineering, and thus to improve the gender balance in the fields of these disciplines. The project will develop an awareness-raising strategy and create a stakeholder collaboration network for the implementation of a set of actions in more than 20 EU countries. The project envisions attracting more young women to the raw materials related scientific and engineering sectors.


UNEXUP Kick-off – Budapest

The LPRC team was in Budapest, Hungary, on the 6th and 7th of February, to participate in the new EIT Raw Materials UNEXUP project, which is a direct continuation of the H2020 UNEXMIN project. LPRC participated in UNEXMIN and continues to UNEXUP to lead the communication and dissemination efforts.

The kick-off aimed at starting discussions and planning on the future of the UX-1 technology to explore flooded mines and other underwater environments. Contrary to what was seen in UNEXMIN, where the technology was designed, developed and tested, UNEXUP will aim at market research and at bridging the technology closer to the underwater markets.

During the first day, presentations on the 5 Work Packages that make the project were presented by the respective leaders, with LPRC making its presentation on the Communication, Dissemination and Outreach guidelines for the project. These work blocks were then deeply discussed during the following day: go to market, further technological development, pilots, communication and dissemination and project management were at the core of the discussions.

LPRC participated in the discussions of the work to be developed and presented its ideas for proper communication of the project to the stakeholders following the success that was the UNEXMIN project where LPRC also lead the communication efforts. Will this be a good omen?

MOBI-US Kick-off – Budapest

LPRC team members Luís Lopes and Márcio Tameirão participated in one of the company’s new projects kick-off meetings: MOBI-US. This first meeting was held in Budapest on the 4 and 5 of February with partners from Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Finland and Austria.

The MOBI-US kick-off meeting started on the first day with a general introduction of the partners as well as an introductory look on the project’s main goals and objectives. The aims of this EIT Raw Materials project – which are to establish a network programme between different Europen universities while following best practices and recommendations from other more experienced universities and companies – were discussed from the coordinator’s point of view. On this day, Luís Lopes presented to the consortium the work that LPRC has been developing in the previous years and what it can bring to MOBI-US to help the project achieve its goals.

On the second day, the focus was on more in-depth discussions on each of the Work Packages. The guidelines to follow, the network to create and the workshops that will prove and extend the network methodology were discussed. To this mix, LPRC brought discussions on how to properly communicate and disseminate the MOBI-US project and its activities. LPRC has proven background in this type of work and will lead the Communication and Dissemination work. The team will also support other project’s activities including setting up the guidelines for the network and the elaboration of workshops.

The MOBI-US project will run for the next 18 months with active participation from LPRC.

Geothermal event, Brussels

On the 4th and 5th of February, the Geothermal community gathered in Brussels to expose the state of the art of geothermal energy in Europe and discuss best practices. On this occasion, La Palma Research Centre and  the CROWDTHERMAL project were present to participate in these discussions. During these events, 3 main topics were discussed.

Firstly, the preliminary results of the GEOENVI project were unveiled. GEOENVI is an European funded project whose aim is to answer environmental concerns in terms of both impacts and risks, by first setting an adapted methodology for assessing environment impacts to the project developers, and by assessing the environmental impacts and risks of geothermal projects operational or in development in Europe. The presentation unveiled the results of on-going work: state of the art and characteristics of geothermal plants in the EU, First draft of Life Cycle Assessment and legislative background on geothermal of GEOENVI´s selected cases study (e.g. Hungary and Italy).

Secondly, the presentation of GEOENVI paved the way to environmental concerns regarding geothermal plants. For that matter, the project partners published their Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), guidelines for geothermal plants. These guidelines will be made public to help monitor all the eventual risk encountered during all four phases of a geothermal project (e.g. exploration, drilling, operation and decommission) and tools to mitigate these risks to render any geothermal operation context as safe as possible both for the environment and surrounding communities.

Finally, EGEC monitored a group discussion on the influence of the public regarding geothermal plants in the EU.

Based on an Italian case study, public acceptance towards geothermal plants has the potential to save or kill geothermal projects. Thanks to the insight of Croatian and Hungarian experts, the group reached a consensus: in order to be successful, any geothermal project has to communicate in a transparent manner with local population, show the benefits of geothermal over other sources of energy and the direct perks of having district heating thanks to geothermal. The group discussion also concluded that crowdfunding schemes should be explored to incentive local population to have a direct impact on energy production (being either electricity or heating and cooling). This latter remark is particularly relevant for the CROWDTHERMAL project. This Horizon2020 project aims to empower the European public to directly participate in the development of geothermal power projects with the help of alternative financing schemes (e.g. crowdfunding) and social engagement tools.