Thursday, 28 March 2019
Since 2009, two phases have been successfully implemented (2009-2014 and 2014-2017). SFERA-III will facilitate the close cooperation between the European CST (= Concentrating Solar Thermal) research institutions until 2022 through Horizon 2020 funding of the European Commission.
The project aims at promoting the research on Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) in Europe. This includes the work of thirteen leading European research institutions and two further entities from eight European countries to improve and share parts of their infrastructure and to coordinate their research in the field of CST.
At the meeting, the participating scientists from eight European countries reaffirmed their common vision of “a European CST research laboratory".
The following thirteen European CST research institutions grant access to their infrastructure to researchers from other organizations and the industry with research projects in specific areas:
The transnational access to these facilities simplifies the cooperation and know-how transfer among the researchers and between researchers and industry with the objective to strengthen the European research and innovation. A description of the offered research infrastructures can be found on the website of SFERA-III: https://sfera3.sollab.eu/
The creation of a culture of communication between research institutions themselves and the industry is one of the main concerns of SFERA -III because communication is an essential precondition for successful cooperation. Therefor SFERA promotes the exchange of scientists by organizing each year a SFERA summer school and doctoral colloquium.
To facilitate the communication between European researchers and representatives of the European CST industry, the "European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA)” continues as a member of the SFERA consortium. Five 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-III aims at informing the general public and European stakeholders about advances in the development of concentrating solar technologies.
Coordination of joint research activities
A further defined goal of SFERA-III is to improve the quality of the existing CST infrastructure and services in Europe by joint research activities. DLR’s Institute of Solar Research coordinates part of the joint research activities and additionally works on the following topics:
With the agreed activities SFERA-III will during the next four years promote quality enhancements of Europe’s CST research infrastructure, the use of existing innovation potential in the research institutions as well as the cooperation of scientists and innovation leaders from the CST industry.