Europe needs science to drive innovation in energy efficiency and develop better products, research commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has told a conference of scientists and policymakers.
Science is the basic requirement for developing more efficient buildings, vehicles, and appliances, she said. “Greater efficiency in these three key sectors will come from the development of new materials, technological advances, and innovative approaches,” the commissioner told the conference.
Better technologies in this area would also help Europe become more resilient in the face of climate change, and ensure an advantage for European companies on international markets, the commissioner added.
Geoghegan-Quinn was speaking yesterday (26 March) in Brussels at a conference organised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. The conference, Scientific Support to EU Growth and Jobs: Efficient buildings, vehicles and equipment, addressed how increasing energy efficiency would enhance Europe’s competitiveness.
The conference was the first event in a Commission initiative about how science can contribute to growth and jobs in the EU. Around 400 researchers, industry representatives and policymakers were in attendance.
Geoghegan-Quinn stressed the need for industrial groups and public researchers to work together to make sure both basic and applied approaches are used to improve energy efficiency.
“Basic research is not part of the public-private partnerships’ philosophy of emphasising activities that are closer to the market,” Geoghegan-Quinn said. “But there is a real need to coordinate upstream and downstream activities by covering the whole value chain from basic research to innovation, and that’s one of the key aims of Horizon 2020.”
Horizon 2020 is the next EU research programme, which is scheduled to begin in 2014.