Innovate Energy 2016 Conference, Enniskillen, 8th of December
19 Dec 2016
The FREED Project held their ‘Innovate Energy 2016 Conference’ recently on 8th December in the Passive Pavilion in CREST, South West College, Enniskillen. The project aims to support SME’s by offering funding and support to those with innovative ideas for the energy sector, and is funded under Interreg’s Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme.
The project itself is running for 3 years, with partners from all over the region; University of Oulu (Finland), South West College (Northern Ireland), European Institute for Innovation (EIfI – European-wide), Limerick Institute of Technology (Ireland), Western Development Committee (Ireland), Green Angel Syndicate (Scotland) and Narvik Science Park (Norway).
The event was a great success, offering attendees and indeed those watching live online, an insight into the ‘Opportunities in Energy Innovation’. The morning got off to an inspiring start with the various partners speaking to the audience, each offering their own perspectives on the project, and what they thought the project could do for SME’s, as well as the NPA Regions involved. As Ian Brannigan (Western Development Committee) so rightly highlighted, it was very fitting that the event was held in Enniskillen – it is one of the outermost regions in the project, and is truly on the periphery of Europe. He also stated that coincidentally, it is on the western coast of Ireland where innovation is most prominent, so even the location managed to set a great tone for the day.
Niko Hänninen (University of Oulu) gave an introduction to the project and what it can offer SME’s, as for many this was their first encounter of the project. Ian Brannigan then talked of what the needs are for each region, and why energy innovations are so important to help us bridge the existing gap in order to satisfy these needs. Nick Lyth (Green Angel Syndicate) offered an interesting perspective as a funder. He provided advice on how SME’s can access funding, and what it is that funder’s are seeking from an applicant requiring funding. John Harrison of South West College then introduced the ‘main event’ whereby various SME’s with ideas made a pitch to the audience. The presentations were very successful, with six companies presenting in total; Sunamp, Energiedata, PCS, B9 Energy, Arbarr and Energy Tube. This was chaired by Chris Ashe of European Institute for Innovation, and gave the opportunity for the speakers to interact with the audience and answer any questions about their ideas.
There was a Q&A session to wrap up the afternoon which also proved useful to the audience. Some attendees may only have been at the concept stage with their innovations and would require funding to carry out their ideas any further. This gave them the opportunity to find out how to go about accessing funding and gather information on what other support could be available to them.
Some of the speakers of the Innovate Energy 2016 conference gathered for a group photo before the event kicked off. The conference was held at the CREST – Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable technologies, South West College, Enniskillen. The CREST Passive Pavilion, one of the most sustainable buildings in the UK and Ireland, provided appropriate surroundings for an event addressing innovations in energy.
Front Row (L-R): David Surplus (B9 Energy), Chris Ashe (EIFI), Ciaran McManus (South West College), Joan Condell (University of Ulster), Niko Hänninen (University of Oulu), Heiko Hummel (Energy Tube/Energiedata 4.0)
Back Row (L-R): John Harrison (South West College), Nick Lyth (Green Angel Syndicate), Phil Whitby (Arbarr), Kevin Fitzgibbon (PCS)
PowerPoint Presentations delivered over course of day:
FREED Part One – Full Morning Session
Introduction to FREED Project – Niko Hanninen, University of Oulu
Launch of FREED Funding Competition – John Harrison – SWC
FREED Industry Presentation 1 – Sunamp
FREED Industry Presentation 2 – Energydata Gmbh
FREED Industry Presentation 3 – Predictive Control Systems
FREED Industry Presentation 4 – B9
FREED Industry Presentation 5 – Arbarr
FREED Industry Presentation 6 – Joan Condell – Ulster University
FREED Industry Presentation 7 – Energy Tube
FREED Partner Panel