INNOVER-EAST will host three events in Minsk, Belarus between May 11-13, 2016 to address the energy efficiency policies in Belarus, as well as the need for innovation and promotion in this area.
Starting on the 11th, National Policy Workshop will be held to overview and discuss the current state and development trends of the national energy efficiency (EE), as well as the lessons learned in Belarus and the EU, together with the role of innovation in promoting EE. The outcome of this workshop will be recommendations on further development of the national EE policy, contributing to the final Innover-East policy event aimed at summarizing the lessons learned from 5 Eastern Partnership countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, and Ukraine. Lastly, recommendations will be formulated for EU member states and Eastern Partnership policy makers on a wider and more effective cooperation.
Continuing on the 12th, Brokerage Event will facilitate the matchmaking of research organizations and businesses with the aim of upscaling and commercializing research results and innovative products. Local innovation players will be made aware of selected local and EU financial instruments to support their innovation activities. The series of events will be concluded on the by the 3rd Project Meeting on the 13th.
INNOVER-EAST is an EU-funded project with its main objective to bridge the gap between research and innovation; between researchers and business; and between the EU and the targeted Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine) in the field of energy efficiency.
On February 29, 2016, the 3rd edition of INNOVER-EAST training session took place in Minsk, Belarus. The series of training sessions focuses on developing the skills of researchers from the Eastern Partnership (EaP). The participating trainers, who followed the “train a trainer” method, were from SDEWES (The International Centre for Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems, Croatia) and CERTH (Center for Research and Technology, Greece).
The objective of the session was to teach the participants from the EaP about participation in EU scientific programmes and innovation activities. The local institutions– BelAPE, ENECA and BelISA– participated on both, coordinating the event, and inviting the local scientists, companies, NGOs and policymakers. There was a lot of enthusiasm for this event from each division of the attendants.
45 participants from 7 countries, who represented 32 institutions, joined the training. There was a mention of the pragmatic aspects, such as participation in Horizon 2020 and COST programmes, as well as some policy features of European Research Area and open labour market for researchers.
There were two themes proposed to the EaP countries participating in “Horizon 2020” initiative – “Secure, clean and efficient energy” and “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.” Also, the participants from EaP countries have shared their experiences from various national programmes and international initiatives in the field of energy.
Innover-East project partners, including EAI and Create-Net, are organizing the 1st Training on Innovation services for Eastern Partnership Countries (EPCs). It will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan 6 – 8 October.
The objective of the training is to prepare the EaP partners and service providers to offer their service at a consistent level and harmonize the efforts in the participating countries. The program includes discussions and presentations on Innovation services, energy efficiency, support to Startups and spinoffs and international networking for SMEs.
EAI and Create-Net will contribute to this seminar by delivering a training session based on the EAI360 online platform.
The objective of the training session is to provide attendees with information about the functionalities and innovation services provided through the EAI360 platform. The training will inform about the value of the platform for SMEs, entrepreneurs and researchers – allowing them to draw on past practical experiences. It will also include a presentation of EAI360 structured idea incubation and an overview of success stories of the EAI360 acceleration program. Participants will benefit from targeted acceleration programs and a demonstration and walk-through of semi-automated tools available for users of EAI360, such as online skill-building program for individual researchers and ICT experts.
Graduated in Electronics Engineering with honors in 1982, Giovanni Giuliani is Master Architect at HP. In the last decade he has been involved in several research projects funded by European Commission in the area of Mobility, e-Collaboration and Cloud Computing. In 2005 he joined the HP Italy Innovation Center, where he’s been leading the Cloud Computing Initiative since 2009. Starting from 2013 he serves as Lead Architect of the HP LIFE platform (HP worldwide program offering a cloud based e-learning initiative for entrepreneurs).
Giovanni Giuliani is also the technical coordinator of DC4Cities EU FP7 project (follow-up project of FIT4Green and All4Green), which promotes adaptive data centers policies that affect the energy consumption through the interaction with lower level subsystems. These data centers would play a key role in the Smart Cities energy policies. Giuliani has also been the lecturer at the INNOVER-EAST Webinar on Energy Efficient Data Centers, which took place on April 20, 2015. We talked to him about the innovative features of the DC4Cities project and the reason why the European Commission considers it “visionary”.
Which are the most innovative characteristics of the DC4Cities project?
I would highlight the “adaptive” concept, meaning that eco-friendly energy policies need to be capable of adapting the data center power consumption to the availability of renewable energy and at the same time being adapted to the requests received by the Smart City Energy Management Authority. And all of these without requiring any modification to the logistics of the DCs, and without impacting the quality of the services provided to their users. DC4Cities data centers control system will use an interface to retrieve information on renewable energy availability from the respective providers, and will receive energy constraint directives from the Smart City authorities and the Smart Grid. Then, based on these constraints, the eco-friendly data center controller will communicate with the energy adaptive sub-systems controlling applications and services to create and optimize energy plans and then enact them.
Which benefits will DC4Cities bring to society?
There are huge expectations on Smart Cities in offering high levels of services to the citizens and to optimize their processes. All this requires IT, and therefore data centers able to run at the highest levels of renewable energy sources to comply with Smart City environmental goals. This is the great challenge of the DC4Cities project. Optimizing data center energy use, energy consumption will decrease and therefore emissions reduction. Shifting IT tasks to the highest renewable energy availability periods will also have an important impact while integrating data centers in Smart Cities. Our goal is to enhance the integration of data centers into a city’s infrastructure in an eco-friendly manner, so that each process runs on a maximum of renewable power and to find out how this can work for any city on the planet.
National experts appointed by the European Commission in the ICT and energy field have qualified DC4Cities project as “visionary”. In particular, they have stressed its disruptive character, having indeed great mind-term impact for the European cities of the future. Which are the reasons to be considered visionary?
As EU Commission experts have stated, although it is early to estimate the final contribution of the project to the state-of-the art, an impact can be foreseen in the areas of new metrics and in the shifting of the IT workload to periods of high renewable energy availability. The full development of the DC4Cities methodology requires the presence of Smart Cities and Smart Energy grids, which are currently not available everywhere to a reasonable level. So taken into account the current status of data centers, Smart Cities and Smart Energy grids, its approach is, certainly, visionary.
CREATE-NET and European Alliance for Innovation have organized a webinar on energy Efficient Data Centers on April 20, 2015. This live webinar is a ’pilot’ event in the context of innovation support services and on-site trainings starting from the 2nd half 2015 organized by INNOVER-EAST. The objective of the event was to open up new capacities for providing the innovation services in the Eastern Partnership Countries. The goal of this activity lies in assisting both researchers and business in improving their performance to manage the transfer of knowledge on energy efficient data centers from academy to industry and market. The webinar was arranged using WebEx tool and included a lecture, as well as a Q/A session.
The lecturer was given by Giovanni Giuliani affiliated by Hewlett-Packard Italy Innovation Centre. Giovanni is a master architect at the Innovation Centre and a technical coordinator of DC4Cities EU FP7 project. DC4Cities promotes the data centres role as an “eco-friendly” key player in the Smart Cities energy policies, and fosters the integration of a network of local renewable energy providers (also interconnected with local Smart Grids and Micro Grids) to support the pursued increase of renewable energy share. During the lecture Giovanni stressed the point that data centers could be considered from two stand points: fisrt, they are an ICT infrastructure supporting Smart Cities in terms of ICT services delivery to the citizens, and second, they are incredible energy consumers. To ensure the data centers smooth and ”eco” operation, enough renewable energy should be availble and delivered at the particular time by the renewable energy providers.
DC4Cities finds the adequate actions to run a data centre so as to adapt to external energy constraints and consume the minimal energy, targeting the 80% usage of renewable energy sources. The goal of DC4Cities is to make existing and new data centres energy adaptive, without requiring any modification to the logistics, and without impacting the quality of the services provided to their users. Finally new energy metrics, benchmarks, and measurement methodologies are developed and proposed for the definition of new related standards.
The webinar ended with a number of questions on how the data center owners and renewable energy providers prefer to act in terms of business contracts, what is the price and what efforts are required to scavenge the renewable energy, what are the challenges associated with the reneawble energy infrastructure.