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Scope and Objectives

The overall aim of the study is to obtain a broad picture of the EC NNE RTD portfolio in comparison to Member States and Third Country RTD by means of a comparative and synthetic approach.

The analysis primarily seeks to define the broad characteristics of the portfolio, establish gaps and duplications and highlight success stories.

The study also aims to provide recommendations on how to structure and orient the portfolio and thereby assist the Commission in progressing:

* from data to information and understanding

* from a project view to a portfolio perspective

* from an EC-centred view to a European (EC and Member States) and global perspective featuring important Third Countries.

It is important to note that the focus of this study is strictly on R&D and does not address the more market-related aspects of the innovation process.

Definitions and Methodology

The core part of the study is to identify and assess the EC NNE research portfolios in the different fields of reference and to compare these with corresponding portfolios in Member States, Associated States and key Third Countries.

In order to achieve results representative for the whole portfolio on the one hand and to produce an in-depth analysis that allows generation of practical recommendations on the other, a broad mix of quantitative and qualitative analytical methods has been employed.

The starting point for the characterisation of the EU RTD portfolio in the fields of reference was a mapping of all research activities with regard to the number of projects and volume (allocated public funds), their distribution between the technology paths and their development over time.

For a deeper understanding and an in-depth examination of the EC RTD portfolio in the different fields of reference, extensive interviews were conducted with the scientific officers at the European Commission, together with desk research of published information from the Commission and project websites.

The study also encompassed a survey of RTD portfolios of Member States, Associated States and Third Countries. A semi-standardised questionnaire was used for the telephone interviews with key individuals responsible for research in the different fields of reference in the various countries. Some strategic interviews were also conducted with the heads of research and other key individuals in different countries to get a broad perspective of their national non-nuclear energy research portfolios. Where possible, data was collated to present funding information for important Member States and key Third Countries.

Note: The study only covers public funding at the EC and national levels. Public funding on a sub-national level (federal state, province or municipal) as well as industry funding is not covered in this report. We are aware that the inclusion of sub-national funding and industry funding could change the funding landscape presented here, but reliable data is not available. Even on a qualitative basis the net effect is unclear as, for example, the substantial state-level funding of the US could be matched by the sub-national funding of major European countries like Germany, Spain and Italy.

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"Lighthouse" Project Criteria

The study identifies certain initiatives in the fields of reference analysed in the report as "lighthouse projects". These reflect current Best Practice and are used to exemplify and illustrate the main findings of the study.

A lighthouse project has been defined as a project that combines some or all of the following key characteristics:

* Involves large-scale demonstration.

* Facilitates significant technology improvement/technology infrastructure development/world leadership.

* Influences policy decisions in terms of defining R&D priorities.

* Increases public awareness and acceptance of the technology by showcasing the technology.

* Paves the way for future research and development.

* Allows major improvements in technical specification and standardisation to pave the way for commercialisation throughout Europe.

* Facilitates integration of new technologies into existing infrastructures.

Key Countries

The research and development activities in the key European Member States and Third Countries have been analysed in the respective fields of reference. This analysis helps highlight the respective objectives and focus of national research portfolios. The "key countries" highlighted in the report have been selected on the basis of the level of funding they contribute to research in the various fields of reference and also on the basis of feedback received during face-to-face discussions with the scientific officers in Brussels. The funding information has been obtained from the IEA database and from literature review (published policy papers, presentations, etc.), as well as through interviews with the technology and strategy experts in different countries.

Currency Conversion Rates

To allow for easier comparisons, all amounts in foreign currencies mentioned in the present report have been systematically converted into the euro currency.

The indicative exchange rates applied are the interbank rates as at 31 March 2005:

Foreign Currency Equivalent in €
1 US Dollar € 0.84
1 Australian Dollar € 0.64
1 Canadian Dollar € 0.72
1 Norwegian Kroner € 0.13
1 Japanese Yen € 0.0072
1 British Pound € 1.455
1 Chinese Yuan € 0.09368

Key Abbreviations used in the Report

US Department of Energy

US Department of Energy Office for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

European Commission

European Research Area

European Research Area NETwork

European Technology Platforms

European Union

Fuel Cells

Framework Programme

5th Framework Programme (1998 - 2002)

6th Framework Programme (2003 - 2006)

7th Framework Programme (2007-2013)

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International Energy Agency

Integrated Project

International Platform for Hydrogen Economy

Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Japan)

Member States (of European Union)

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (Japan)

Non Nuclear Energy

Network of Excellence

Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell


Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (Japan)

Research and Technological Development

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Specific Targeted Research Projects.

Research Horizon and Focus

The EC FP6 portfolio is the focus of analysis of this study. However, the FP5 portfolio has also been studied to understand the shift in research priorities and level of funding from FP5 to FP6. Some forward-looking comments about FP7 have also been provided to analyse future research trends.

Note: Since the complete information relating to FP6 was not available at the time of writing, only the funding data relating to the first, second and third calls for FP6 has been included in the funding analysis. However this represents approximately 90% of FP6 funding available. Certain forward-looking comments regarding the 4th call for proposals for FP6 have been mentioned, wherever possible, to facilitate understanding of the FP6 portfolio structure. However, caution must be exercised when analysing funding data on the FP6 portfolio as it may not be a true reflection of the entire portfolio.

The R&D includes both basic research that is typically long-term research aimed at improving technologies, and applied research that is shorter-term research aiming to bring the technologies to the market. Short to medium-term research is defined as research that aims to achieve the 2010 energy policy objectives. Medium to long-term research, on the other hand, is defined as research that is aimed at delivering results in a time horizon beyond 2010.

The demonstration component of projects has also been considered as a part of R&D and examples have been provided for each of the technologies to illustrate the nature and the scope of the research across regions (Europe, US and Japan).

There are references to both projects and programmes in this document. A project is typically set up to produce a unique and pre-defined outcome or result at a pre-specified time and using pre-determined resources. In comparison, a programme is a coordination of projects organised to achieve benefits of strategic importance.

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