'UNI-SET is a partnership action led by EUA-EPUE and EIT KIC InnoEnergy and involving other relevant existing networks that will seek to mobilise the university sector to realise its full potential through pooling the richness and diversity of its expertise in research and education and directing its efforts towards addressing common goals. The overall strategy of the UNI-SET is to achieve an “open and neutral platform” to enhance the visibility of, and access to, the substantial capacities of Europe’s universities in research, innovation and education and training in the energy field in order to maximise their contribution to the SET-PLAN.
The support action is organised in two main phases of implementation. Firstly, a mapping exercise which will involve the design of questionnaires, data collection and its analysis and development work on an internet-based information system allowing future self up-dating by universities. Secondly, the selection and launching of cluster activities aimed at achieving critical masses of experience and knowledge exchange in areas of core competencies in research, education and training in SET-PLAN topics and related areas.
Clustering activities identified through the mapping will aim to reduce fragmentation of research and training capacities. Emphasis will be placed on profiling Masters and Doctoral candidates for greater opportunities for their future career development. UNI-SET will offer timely strategic support on a European level to the review of university competencies as many universities are now creating energy-focussed research and training centres drawing expertise from across existing faculties and involving partnerships with industry and other external actors.
Horizontal activities to facilitate coordination and information flow among universities and other stakeholders in the SET-PLAN, and to mobilise university expert input to relevant EC initiatives and consultations on energy-related matters will be organised.'
'The European photovoltaics PV market still represents the predominant share of worldwide installations and electricity generated from PV is becoming increasingly competitive, with an average levelized cost of energy (LCOE) estimated to be between 0.10–0.16 €/kWh in 2011 . This constant reduction of LCOE means that the European industry can only regain its competitiveness with (i) a concomitant reduction of production and investment costs (current net price level ~0.8–1.0 €/Wp today) in Europe in order to face the strong price competition of emerging countries (China and Taiwan), (ii) investment in novel “advanced” industrial processes allowing for high efficiencies and low-cost device production (iii) the development of high-end tools and processes which are more difficult to master and duplicate, securing a technology leadership. These conditions are necessary to ensure sustainable PV technology production in Europe and the construction of a robust European PV industry able to beat international competition.
However, ultra-high-efficiency PV devices require manufacturing processes that are increasingly complex, which results in an increase in the related investment and fabrication costs. Given that the market still requires a reduction of the technology price, we are left with a paradox, and we must find ways to produce high-efficiency devices with competitive industrial processes.
The concept proposed by the HERCULES project is to develop innovative n-type monocrystalline c-Si device structures based on back-contact solar cells with alternative junction formation, as well as related structures including hybrid concepts (homo-heterojunction). These concepts are the most promising technologies to reach ultra-high efficiencies with industrially relevant processes. The HERCULES strategy is to transfer the developed processes to the industrial scale by considering all major cost drivers of the entire manufacturing process chain of modules.'
'In Space Propulsion 1 was set up to improve the fundamental knowledge and the techniques which are necessary to allow Europe to implement new ambitious space programs involving cryogenic propulsion. It concentrates on liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen, and liquid methane propellants, and the anticipated progress will address - LOX methane combustion - heat and propellant management - materials tribology, compatibility, and hydrogen embrittlement.'