Supporting clean energy innovations in regions
The session Supporting clean energy innovations in regions concentrated on discussing the existing possibilities and boundaries for synergies between European and regional/national levels, especially those that are relevant to the Seal of Excellence scheme in the area of energy. Colleagues from DG RTD and DG REGIO explained how the Seal of Excellence initiative works and that it will be continued with improved conditions, with the objective to maximise quality, quantity & impact of every euro spent on R&I. A helpdesk for holders of Seal of Excellence and interested regions is in place: RTD-SEAL-OF-EXCELLENCE@ec.europa.eu. Funding bodies interested in exploring how to support Seal of excellence are also invited to register to the Community of Practice by sending an email to the helpdesk. For the next programming period (2021-2027) provisions have been proposed by the EC for the inclusion and replication of the Seal of Excellence in many of the relevant EU legal texts, the application of state aid rules is to be adapted and administrative burden drastically reduced by avoiding duplication in project technical assessment. In addition, new conditions and support have been proposed for interregional activities. The Latvian example clearly demonstrated how the Seal of Excellence is being utilised to help in meeting the national challenges faced in transforming the economy and attracting high quality companies to the country. In Andalucía the instrument to support the Seal of Excellence occupies an important place within the region’s strategy for internationalisation. With energy transition being at the core of policies on various levels, the event facilitated the understanding of the existing potential of the Seal of Excellence in delivering clean energy innovations and having a targeted impact for the needs of our society.
Take away message
We need to act at all levels – EU, Member States, regions and cities – in order to achieve energy transition in Europe. Synergies of various funds and policies are crucial in this endeavour. For this reason the Commission is committed to improve compatibility, coherence and complementarity between EU funding programmes.
Magda De Carli
It was welcome news to see the Seal of Excellence being utilised in a practical manner to good effect. The simplification proposed by the Commission for future programming period to support Seals with alternative funding will hopefully further ease the implementation and lead the initiative to exploit its full potential.
The Seal of excellence scheme is an important facilitator for brilliant ideas from innovators contributing to the decarbonisation of the energy system. It deserves to be better known and used to accelerate the EU’s energy transition.
Jose Antonio Pascual Sanchez
In Andalucia we are very committed to the implementation of the Seal of Excellence and willing to collaborate in all the initiatives disseminating its application and improving its development. Synergies allow us to go further and higher, and it has to be the key factor in the next programming period.