Renewable energy technologies for heating and cooling are safe, clean, efficient and increasingly cost-competitive. The European Technology and Innovation Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling, officially endorsed by the European Commission since October 2008, aims at playing a decisive role in maximising synergies and strengthening efforts towards research, development and technological innovation which will consolidate Europe’s leading position in the sector. As a result, the whole society will benefit from the increasing contribution of renewable heating and cooling to the European Union’s 20/20/20 targets by 2020.

The European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling (RHC-Platform) became a European Technology and Innovation Platform (ETIP) on 26 January 2016.

The Board of the RHC-ETIP met at the EUREC premises on the date and unanimously agreed that the Platform, as it currently is, respects the points addressed by the European Commission (EC) in the document “New SET-Plan governance structure” and will therefore be called, from this day on, an ETIP.

In the document, the European Commission defines ETIPs as “structures gathering all the relevant stakeholders, with arrangements for cooperative discussions with Members States and Associated Countries (MS/ACs) and the Commission services. Their main role is to provide strategic advice to MS/ACs and the EC on all issues relevant to progressing their R&I efforts, building on consensus among their stakeholders”.

The ETIPs are foreseen to be a continuation of European Technology Platforms (ETPs) and European Industrial Initiatives (EIIs) in a single platform with the freedom to organise themselves as they see fit. They will continue to be the recognised interlocutor for the EC/MS/ACs about sector specific R&I’s needs.

New working arrangements are established. The new element would also foresee arrangements for involvement of representatives of the interested MS/AC’s. In addition, developing working relationships with the relevant national/regional platforms addressing public and/or industrial priorities will become essential to ensure synergies between EU and national/regional activities.

For their work related to the SET Plan, these ETIPs are expected to focus on the following:

  • Upon request of the Steering Group, propose measures at EU and/or national levels (including regional level) and/or by industry that seek to achieve the specific SET Plan action in the areas of their activities;
  • Continue to establish and update Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas per technology area, from basic research to market uptake, identifying priorities in the short, medium and long term, considering the relevant EERA Joint Programmes; discuss where appropriate with the experts from MS/AC’s and Commission services;
  • Identify priorities of cross-cutting nature: e.g. education & training, socio-economics aspects, international cooperation;
  • Identify innovation barriers, notably those related to regulation and financing;
  • Report on the implementation of R&I activities at European, national and industrial levels in order to support the work of SETIS;
  • Develop knowledge-sharing mechanisms that help bringing R&I results to deployment.

The strategic work of ETIPs, including the reporting, will be supported by the Commission services. Consistent treatment, notably as regards EC financial support, will be ensured across all ETIPs.

Composition: industrial stakeholders (in Composition: cl. also SMEs), research organisations and academic stakeholders covering the whole innovation chain, with arrangements for interactions with Member States and the European Commission but also representatives of businesses, regulators, civil society and NGOs as relevant. It is expected that EERA “Joint Programmes” members are actively participating in ETIPs.

Participation: Membership should be open to all having an interest in the specific energy technology area.

It is to note that ETIPs are mostly working within specific energy technology areas (see annex). Interaction between ETIPs is important, especially when addressing system integration, and can be based on a choice of working relationships.