The TWINN2SET project will provide a coherent network that will strengthen interactions between members of the consortium. More specifically, TWINN2SET will enable the newly established FORTH/IG to participate in the European R&I process on Energy Transition, through the following integrated activities:
- Strengthen its scientific and technical expertise in Geothermal Energy, CCS and Underground Hydrogen Storage, through joint work in teams with internationally leading scientists through staff exchanges, technical online courses on geothermal formations and processes, expert visits and field trips to geological sites of interest
- Raise the scientific profile of FORTH/IG individual staff, especially of the younger researchers, through training and mentoring for joint publications by the internationally leading counterparts, soft skills development through a number of dedicated workshops ranging from gender aspects, responsible research and innovation to the hydrogen economy at system level
- Contribute to the training of the new generation of future human capital, or reskilling current professionals, by re-orienting existing scientific knowledge to be applicable in the energy transition, through dedicated, industry-driven Massive Open Online Courses in geothermal energy and properties of geological storage formations
- Raise the international visibility of FORTH/IG, through joint contribution to international conferences and membership to important industry associations
- Increase FORTH/IG ability for competitive funding through dedicated trainings on strategic mapping of international funding opportunities, proposal preparation and grants management, formation of a dedicated task force as well as joint participation in Pillar 2 calls of Horizon Europe.
- Future joint collaboration between the partners of the consortium through joint case studies in geothermal energy and CO2 sequestration (with IFPEN) and strategic EU calls of interest (Teaming for Excellence) (all partners)
TWINN2SET overarching objective is to strengthen the scientific and innovation capacity of the FORTH/IG in Geothermal Energy and subsurface (geological) storage of both, CO2 (CCS) and Hydrogen. This breaks down into the following:
· Objective #1: Building research excellence of the FORTH/IG: Knowledge transfer and increased collaboration between FORTH/IG and the internationally leading partners UiS and IFPEN is foreseen through:
A comprehensive programme of short-term staff exchanges and expert visits focusing on Geothermal Exploitation and Geological storage of CO2 and Hydrogen. More specifically, FORTH/IG scientists will be trained on at IFPEN during their visits at the Directions of “Earth Sciences and Environmental technologies” and at the “Physico-chemical and Applied mechanics”. FORTH/IG scientists will be trained on the sustainable utilization of subsurface resources for the energy transition during their visits to the Department of Energy Resources at UiS. The research direction would be on characterization of geological storage sites at different scales (pore scale to field scale). The scientists will also go through laboratory measurements and demonstrations, which are essential for capacity building and establishing a research excellence laboratory at FORTH/IG. Research projects and laboratories will serve as supports for these trainings in all 3 thematics (CCS, Geothermal and Hydrogen) that will be studied.
· Objective #2: Strengthen expertise of FORTH/IG on Energy Transition, Geothermal systems and Subsurface storage systems for CO2
With the help of IFPEN’s IFP School, PhD and Master students as well as selected young researchers will be able to attend world-class online courses (MOOCs) paired with practical courses using modelling software on Energy Transition, Geothermal systems and Subsurface Gas systems. It needs to be noted that women candidates will be particularly encouraged to participate. More particularly, IFP School has provided around 16.000 students and young professionals from across the world with master’s or doctoral level training in the fields of energy: georesources, petrochemicals, energetic efficiency, sustainable mobility, new energy technologies and the economics associated to energy transition. The School meets industry needs and society’s demands, particularly in terms of innovation and sustainable development, and prepares its students to be key players in the energy transition of the 21st century. It provides multi-discipline professional training and offers international exposure, by leveraging its strong industrial footing and IFPEN’s scientific environment.
· Objective #3: Develop soft skills of FORTH/IG staff
This objective aims at mentoring the capacity of FORTH/IG, namely of younger scientists to successfully publish in high impact publications by dedicated seminars, as well as deepen their capacity to integrate other research-related issues such as RRI, ethics, Gender aspects as well as the hydrogen economy and value chain of CCS. This will help them produce more impactful research while increasing their employability prospects.
· Objective #4: Strengthen the research management capacities and administrative skills of FORTH/IG
This task foresees issues of research management and administration before grants, during proposal preparation, and after grants during project implementation. It should be noted that the majority of widening organisations have no established processes for such an important task which is linked to sustainability. Most of the researchers devote time for mapping of funding opportunities of interest as well as for proposal preparation beyond their working hours, limited by bureaucracy and scarce support structures.
Secondly, this task concerns tech transfer, IPR and entrepreneurship. Therefore, best practices of the advanced partners would be of paramount importance as they have or are member of dedicated support structures for this.
· Objective #5: Increase FORTH/IG International visibility and links with the industry, the public and policy makers, as value chain actors (quadruple helix approach)
IG/FORTH needs to be positioned in the European research landscape at cutting edge domains underpinning energy transition in terms of hydrogen underground storage, CO2 capture and subsurface storage and Geothermal energy. It needs to obtain competitiveness in research and innovation, establish mutually reinforcing links with industry (in a value chain approach), reinforce existing links with the regional policy makers and energy communities. This paves the way for the creation of a place-based ecosystem of quadruple helix in energy transition.
· Objective #6: Ensuring sustainability
Concrete activities are foreseen in order for FORTH/IG to enjoy the benefits of the twinning exercise beyond the duration of the project:
· Objective #7: Enhance the understanding of gendered aspects
Gender aspects will be addressed at various levels, namely encouragement of women scientists to join staff exchange activities of the project, to attend the MOOCs as well as to enhance understanding of the gendered aspect of the energy transition through dedicated event (part of the soft skills programme).
· Objective #8: Dissemination and exploitation activities
Underpinned by a Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation Strategy, the project will establish its online presence, release dissemination materials, organise summer schools, a final conference, and engage with the local press and Europe Direct.