Energy Valley Mission
Energy Valley's mission is to encourage, incite, facilitate and connect companies, knowledge institutes and government bodies to develop projects together and make real progress in clean, reliable and innovative energy.
1. What is the role of energy knowledge in Energy Valley?The development and application of energy knowledge is a key component in the Energy Valley concept. Good knowledge infrastructure is critical in order to stay ahead of the game in the development of new and innovative energy projects. This applies both to practical knowledge from businesses and knowledge institutes, which can be applied in project development. And also to basic research and education at knowledge institutes, in order to be a leader in this area as well, with an adequate number of qualified professionals.
2. What is the focus of energy knowledge?For Energy Valley, the focus areas are linked to practical situations in the Northern Netherlands. The main area of attention is the energy transition and associated energy innovations, such as biomass (conversion), green gas, chain efficiency, decentralisation/smart grids, wind energy and CCS. These topics already feature a broad range of energy knowledge regarding spatial, policy-related, social, legal, technical and economic issues. Knowledge partners are involved at project level in order to work together on appropriate solutions and knowledge building. It should also be noted that, aside from these central themes, there are other relevant fields of knowledge being pursued by institutes and companies in the Northern Netherlands, but which are not directly supported.
3. How does Energy Valley contribute to developing energy knowledge?The Energy Valley Foundation brings together public and private organisations to promote collective knowledge building, transference and development. Efforts in this area are primarily geared towards developing innovative energy projects that generate and evaluate new knowledge. Linking up with practical applications can bind knowledge to the region and accelerate the innovation curve. The Energy Valley Foundation contributes by integrating knowledge from various unrelated domains in order to generate energy innovation. This process of ‘knowledge broking’ promotes not only the development of new knowledge, but also facilitates the valorisation of existing knowledge in new projects.
4. What is being done to promote knowledge exchange?Given its excellent overview of current projects, active players and knowledge-related issues, the foundation plays a pivotal role in connecting businesses, knowledge institutes and government bodies. For this the foundation organises a variety of annual events for partners, platform members, guests and/or other interested parties to bring organisations together, inform them and create collaborations. This typically revolves around areas of expertise knowledge, associated with specific projects and developments in the region. The foundation also has a variety of communicational resources at its disposal to keep parties informed of the latest developments, new knowledge and opportunities for collaboration. In addition our team members also give speeches and workshops in order to disseminate knowledge regarding specific developments.
5. How is knowledge exchange promoted at the project level?At the project level, the foundation acts as a consultant and ‘sounding board’ to determine, in conjunction with the initiative-takers, what knowledge-related issues are involved and how to respond to them. The foundation has specialised staff for this purpose, with strong business knowledge and a good understanding of current developments in particular areas, as well as an extensive network of contacts in order to put parties in touch with one another. Our team members provide consultancy in drafting project plans, finding (knowledge) partners and identifying potential sources of financing. In some cases, questions can be answered directly by the foundation. Otherwise, they can be relayed to other parties who can help. For instance, we are working closely with the Northern Netherlands Technology Centre (www.tcnn.nl), which mediates between SMEs and the regional knowledge institutes.
6. What players are contributing to expanding energy knowledge?Many parties and organisations are actively involved in the day-to-day practical work of knowledge exchange. This is accomplished through education, research and practical applications. The North enjoys a strong number of energy education programmes at the intermediate and higher vocational (MBO/HBO), university and post-doctoral levels at various educational institutions. Some of these institutions are also active in the area of energy research, along with other public and private research centres. Companies contribute to developing knowledge through their own research centres and practical experiences by testing and implementing new projects. Government bodies provide support via policy measures and special programmes that encourage businesses and knowledge institutes to develop innovative projects.
7. Which northern institutes are active in energy research and education?A large number of organisations are involved in knowledge development. Among these, the Energy Valley region distinguishes a fast-growing cluster of knowledge institutes focusing on energy (and energy-related) research and education, including:
- Dutch Energy Research Centre (ECN), Petten
- Knowledge institute for Wind Turbine Materials & Constructions (WMC), Wieringerwerf
- Maritime Campus (M3), Den Helder
- NHL University, Leeuwarden
- Van Hall Larenstein University, Leeuwarden
- Yacht Building Knowledge institute, Leeuwarden
- Nij Bosma Zathe Experimental Farm, Goutum
- Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Texel
- Energy Knowledge Centre (EKC), Hanze University, Groningen
- Centre for Decentralised Energy, RenQi institute, Groningen
- Energy Delta Research Centre (EDReC), University of Groningen
- Energy Delta Institute (EDI), Groningen
- TNO, Groningen
- KEMA, Groningen
- Hanze Institute of Technology (HIT), Assen Stenden University, Emmen