On 27 January representatives of the member organizations of SFERA, including members of staff of the DLR Institute of Solar Research, met at the headquarters of the Spanish research center CIEMAT in Madrid to launch the continuation of the SFERA project.
SFERA-2 Conference in Madrid on 27 January 2014
It is is funded by the European Commission since 2009 and aims at promoting the CSP research in Europe.
SFERA-2 provides funding for another four years to twelve leading European research institutions from seven European countries to improve their research infrastructure and the coordination of their research in the field of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP).
The member organizations of SFERA reaffirmed in the meeting their common vision of “a European CSP research laboratory".
In order to achieve this aim three main activities have been defined in the SFERA framework: Transnational access, networking, and coordination of joint research projects.
Five European CSP research institutions grant access to their infrastructure to researchers from other organizations and the industry with research projects in specific areas. The following research institutions are involved:
The transnational access strengthens the European CSP Research by simplifieing the cooperation among the scientific researchers as well as between research and industry. A description of the possible research areas can be found on the website of SFERA-2.
The creation of a culture of communication between research institutions themselves and the industry is one of the main concerns of SFERA-2 because communication is a key precondition for sucessful cooperation. Therefore the exchange of scientists is promoted and a SFERA Summer School and doctoral colloquium are organized every year.
To facilitate the communication between European researchers and representatives of the European CSP industry, the "European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA)” is a new member of the SFERA-2 consortium. Training courses for industrial researchers will be offered at European Research Platforms to enhance the transfer of know-how and innovations from the R&D sector to the industry.
Furthermore SFERA-2 aims at informing the general public and the European stakeholders about CSP.
Coordination of joint research projects
It is a defined goal of SFERA-2 to improve the quality of the existing CSP infrastructure and services in Europe.
The DLR Institute of Solar Research is coordinator of the joint research activities and concentrates its own research efforts on the following topics:
With these concrete actions SFERA-2 continues in the the next four years to enhance the infrastructure for the European CSP research, fosters the use of existing innovation potential in the research institutions and establishes a framework that encourages cooperations between scientists and innovation leaders from the CSP industry.