An MCAST-led EU H2020 project worth €0.8 million has been launched this week at the MCAST main campus in Paola. The Minister for Education and Employment Hon. Evarist Bartolo, was present for the launch.
A key objective of the project is to upgrading the scientific, engineering and research performance and innovation capacity in the field of electric mobility research, related integration of technologies, modes and operations, as part of the ongoing effort of the MCAST Energy Research Group (MCAST Energy) within the Institute of Engineering and Transport to enhance its scientific excellence and increase its innovation capacity.
The NEEMO project, Networking for Excellence in Electric Mobility Operations focuses on five research themes:
(i) driving habits and islands drive cycles
(ii) electric vehicles as distributed energy sources
(iii) multi-modal full electric mobility
(iv) market strategies and tourism in electric mobility
(v) examining transport energy pathways in the Mediterranean
MCAST Energy has distinguished itself following the development of the first campus-wide micro-grid training and research facility in Malta. This effort has been supported by other structural funds for new campus development, an on-site testing laboratory, and the scaling-up of devices. The group is also leading another H2020 project JUMP2Excel and participating as partner in ERANETMED projects EDGEWISE and 3DMGrid supported by the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) and in seven COST Action Projects.
The project which is open to MCAST students, academics and staff as well as local and regional participants has launched its full programme of actions including workshops, schools, internships, exchanges, training, mentoring sessions, public lectures, conferences and stakeholders’ engagement. It is supported by two world-leading research centres: AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (Austria) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) together with another community urban community member from a widening country ANEL Nicosia Development Agency in Cyprus, providing access to an extensive network of facilities and speakers.
Project coordinator Dr Inġ. Brian Azzopardi addressed the press conference.
The Hon Minister Evarist Bartolo congratulated MCAST and Dr Inġ. Azzopardi MCAST Energy team and emphasised the importance of energy research in transport for our present and future Maltese community.
MCAST Principal and CEO, Prof. James Calleja highlighted the significant contributions MCAST is making in its strategic plan, research endeavour and stressed the importance of a national participation in these projects.
Dr Inġ. Azzopardi highlighted the challenges and opportunities of electric mobility in Malta looking at the vehicle population, current use of fuel in transport, impacts on the electric utility grid, targets and typical journey distances.
The press conference was the introduction of a public event that included the first NEEMO Public Lecture and Stakeholders Discussion. The event was recorded and live streamed via NEEMO facebook page. The public lecture was delivered by Dr Matthias Prandstetter from AIT Austrian Institute of Technology on corporate emobility. The public lecture was followed by a stakeholders meeting with representatives from the Malta Energy and Water Agency and Ministry for Sustainable Development Environment and Climate Change together with projects partners. All participants had also the opportunity to experience a full electric drive into a London Cab provided gently by Gasan-Zammit Motors.
The half-day event was part of the first series of actions by the NEEMO project which also included during the week a week-long mentoring training sessions to MCAST Energy, staff and students by AIT and kick-off consortium meeting.
H2020 TWINNING Calls consist of Coordination and Support Action Projects aiming at significantly strengthening a defined field of research in a university or research organisation from a Widening country, like Malta, by linking it with internationally-leading research institutions from different EU Member States or Associated Countries. Twinning will enhance the scientific and technological capacity of the linked institutions with a principal focus on the university or research organisation from the Widening Country.
The breadth of energy research at the MCAST Energy includes Device Fabrication and on-site Testing, Energy Economics and Policy, Efficient Buildings, Power Systems, Renewables, Electrical Energy Informatics and Transportation. The group specialises in applied research techniques including optimisation, decision making and life cycle analysis. MCAST Energy offers executive courses, Masters by Research (MRes) and split-site PhD programmes with The University of Manchester.
Expression of interest for participation from interested researchers, stakeholders and the public are to reach our project manager, Renata Mikalauskiene on firstname.lastname@example.org and subscribe to the projects mailing list on the web portal.
The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857484.
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