The European consortium KIC InnoEnergy, the setup of which is coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), pushes innovations in the energy sector and, thus, works for a sustainable European energy system. It is aimed at closing innovation gaps and strengthening the innovative power of Europe. Now, KIC InnoEnergy has made another important step by founding a limited-liability company in Karlsruhe. This com-pany coordinates the activities of KIC InnoEnergy in the area of “Energy from chemical energy carriers.”
Foundation of KIC InnoEnergy Germany GmbH has been completed by its registration. “Foundation of the GmbH (limited-liability compa-ny) represents a major step in the setup of the consortium, as it enhances the operative force of the German location and, hence, of the network,” emphasizes Professor Hans-Jörg Bauer, scientific spokesman of the KIT Energy Center and current managing director of the company. In his opinion, foundation of the company reflects the long-term commitment of the partners to KIC InnoEnergy and confirms the feasibility of the InnoEnergy concept. Apart from KIT, Stuttgart University, EnBW, and the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum are among the founders of the company. LBBW, Intel, and Fraunhofer ISI are other partners involved in the activities of the GmbH. The company’s office is located in Karlsruhe. From January 01, 2013, Dr. Christian Müller will be managing director of KIC InnoEnergy Germany. The consortium has also founded the European society (Societas Europae) KIC InnoEnergy SE. In late September, Dr. Karl-Friedrich Ziegahn, Chief Science Officer and Head of the Energy and Environment Programs at KIT, was unanimously confirmed in his office as chairman of the supervisory board of KIC InnoEnergy SE. Among others, the supervisory board defines the strategy of the KIC, appoints the managing director, and controls the funds as well as business administration by the management board.
KIC InnoEnergy was selected one of three first Knowledge and In-novation Communities (KIC) by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology three years ago. So far, about 150 partner compa-nies, universities, research institutions, and business schools in Europe have joined the KIC. KIC InnoEnergy aims at establishing a sustainable energy system in Europe, at commercializing new ener-gy technologies much quicker, and at strengthening Europe in worldwide competition. The consortium is organized in six co-location centers (CC) that coordinate one energy sector each. The German CC Karlsruhe-Stuttgart focuses on the innovation process for sustainable energy supply and coordinates the topic of energy from chemical energy carriers in Europe. The high potential of bio-mass for the production of synthetic fuels, for instance, was re-cently confirmed by a study of the mineral oil company Shell. According to this study, up to 70% of fuel may be based on biomass by 2050.
Activities of the consortium address the triangle of education, re-search, and innovation. Since the start of its operative business in December 2010, the network has initiated successfully a number of projects. Presently, 195 participants are taking part in master, Ph.D., and executive master programs. In the coming 2012/13 winter semester, this offer will be extended by another three master pro-grams. One of these programs is “Energy Technologies” (ENTECH) coordinated by KIT. This program offers profound education in the field of sustainable energy systems and underlying technologies. A particular focus lies on conveying entrepreneurial thinking and act-ing. ENTECH students can study not only at KIT, but also at other European universities that are members of the consortium.
KIC InnoEnergy has also extended its commitment with respect to research projects. Last year, the German co-location successfully acquired three new industry-coordinated projects. In addition, the network has conceived InnoEnergy HighwayTM, i.e. comprehensive services for startup projects in the energy sector. The German co-location works on the implementation and commercialization of
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is one of Europe’s leading energy research establishments. Research, education, and innovation at KIT foster the energy turnaround and reorganization of the energy system in Germany. KIT links excellent com-petences in engineering and science with know-how in econom-ics, the humanities, and social sciences. The activities of the KIT Energy Center are organized in seven topics: Energy conversion, renewable energies, energy storage and distribution, efficient energy use, fusion technology, nuclear power and safety, and energy systems analysis. Clear priorities lie in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energies, energy storage systems and grids, electric mobility, and enhanced international cooperation in research.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.