Universities in the Energy Transition: Science & Skills for Renewables Integration

The 5th UNI-SET Energy Clustering Event explored how European universities can learn from and further cooperate in research, collaboration and education activities addressing renewables integration in the energy system.

5th UNI-SET Energy Clustering Event

The event was the fifth of a series of UNI-SET “Energy Clustering Events" which took place in 2016 and 2017 to discuss and stimulate the development of innovative research and education programmes in the energy field. The events seek to mobilise the European university community to tackle the “energy challenge” by fostering exchange and collaboration between researchers, educators and other stakeholders, framed by the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) and the Energy Union.

The event in Leuven provided opportunities for clustering, consortia building and knowledge sharing for innovative, university-based research projects and institutional initiatives in the field of clean and renewable energy. The main theme of the event, around which sessions will be programmed, is derived from the SET-Plan core priority “N°1 in Renewable Energy”. The conference in particular addressed various aspects of renewables integration to the energy system.

The event was organised in the framework of the FP7 UNI-SET project, an action implemented jointly by the European University Association (EUA) and KU Leuven, which represents the universities in InnoEnergy.


The event offered insights into innovative programmes and approaches from a multidisciplinary perspective through examples, lessons learnt and other best practice. The conference participants also contributed to the development of thematic pan-European action agendas in the field of renewable energy integration in line with the Roadmap for European Universities in Energy published in December 2016. The overall goal is to strengthen inter-university cooperation and thus the voice of universities in the development of energy policy at EU level. The goal was also to make visible the substantial contribution of universities in implementing the European Energy Union.


The UNI-SET Energy Clustering Events provide a platform for networking and exchange of views with a forward-look towards the future energy society and the need to better prepare the next generation of Master and Doctorate graduates. Specifically, the events will be of interest to university leaders in the field of energy (e.g. rectors and vice-rectors, deans, heads of institutional energy initiatives, with an interest in innovative approaches for energy research and education), as well as other stakeholders from the fields of energy research, education and policy.


Hosted by




EUA EPUE_Logo   UNI SET logo


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 609838.





  • Day 1

    9.00 - 9.15
    Welcome Address

    Prof. Torbjørn Digernes, Chair of the UNI-SET Steering Committee; former Rector, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

    10.15 - 10.45
    Learning at the speed of innovation

    Prof. Frank Gielen, Education Director, EIT InnoEnergy

    11.15 - 12.00

    Introduction to UNI-SET and the Conference Objectives

    Dr Lidia Borrell-Damian, Director for Research & Innovation, EUA; UNI-SET Project Coordinator

    Prof. Johan Driesen, KU Leuven; Education Director, KIC InnoEnergy; UNI-SET Project Leader

    KU Leuven Energy Research & EnergyVille

    Prof. Johan Driesen, KU Leuven; Education Director, KIC InnoEnergy; UNI-SET Project Leader

    12.00 - 13.00
    Setting the Scene – Universities ’ Perspectives on Renewables Integration

    “A European Outlook for Universities active in the Energy Field”

    Prof. Ronnie Belmans, KU Leuven; CEO, EnergyVille

    “Clean Energy Research and Education combining Technical and Social Knowledge”

    Prof. Alberto Bertucco, Director, Interdepartmental Centre Giorgio Levi Cases for Energy Economics and Technology, University of Padova

    “Energy Systems Integration Research & Education–Challenges and Opportunities”

    Dr Sara Walker, Newcastle University; Associate Director for the Nationa l Centre for Energy Systems Integration

    16.00 - 16.30

    "European Perspectives on Renewables Integration– Market Design and Implications for Research and Innovation"

    Dr Matti Supponen, DG Energy, European Commission


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