Andreas Umbach elected chairman of the evaluation panel for the establishment of competence centres in energy research (SCCER)
Zug, Switzerland – May 28, 2013 – As part of its energy strategy 2050, the Swiss government is providing CHF 72 million over the next four years to create and run inter-university, network-based competence centres devoted to energy research in Switzerland. The selection of, and professional support for these centres is in the hands of an evaluation panel that will be chaired by Andreas Umbach, President and CEO of the Landis+Gyr Group, headquartered in Zug. The nomination of an experienced business leader is intended to guarantee close ties between existing research skills in Switzerland and the economy.
During the 2013 spring parliamentary session, Switzerland's federal council and council of states voted in favour of introducing affirmative action to promote increased energy research during the period 2013 to 2016. The decision is in line with the implementation of the country’s energy strategy 2050. One plan of action includes the establishment of inter-university, network-based competence centres, otherwise known as Swiss Competence Centres in Energy Research (SCCER). A total of CHF 72 million is envisaged for their creation, which will take place between 2013 and 2016. The centres will focus on different research fields and include efficiency, grids/energy systems, storage, energy supply, economics/environment/ law, mobility and biomass. The aim is to strengthen fundamental research wherever efforts are needed for the effective implementation of the country’s energy strategy 2050.
The evaluation panel assesses the submitted SCCER proposals and formulates a recommendation for the attention of the steering committee formed for this purpose. The panel, in addition to international scientific and business experts, is made up of specialists representing the Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI and the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF. The panel will continuously evaluate those SCCER that are in operation and report annually to the steering committee.
Andreas Umbach comments: "As the representative of a global player for intelligent energy management and smart metering I am looking forward to providing Landis+Gyr's expertise and formidable practical experience for the modernisation of the country’s energy infrastructure. Greater efficiency and the secure and intelligent provision of energy are key prerequisites for safeguarding the long-term implementation of energy strategy 2050, which requires new and innovative technologies. The aim of SCCER is to bring together the research activities of the ETH's energy domain, the universities and the universities of applied sciences and to enable them to work closely with the private sector.”
The invitation for SCCER proposals was made by the CTI on 23 May 2013; applications can be submitted until 9 July 2013. The aim is to conclude the first set of contracts with the individual SCCER by the end of this year so that operation can commence at the beginning of 2014.
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