A successful French-German partnership
Starting with a small team of 10 researchers from EDF R&D, EIFER was, from the beginning, imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit. Initially focused on innovation in distributed generation, EIFER grew through research in sustainable development and renewable energy. In 2012, with 110 multidisciplinary and multicultural staff, EIFER continues to pursue its unique human experience and is now a respected partner in European energy research. It is considered the EDF R&D center of competence for Sustainable Cities and Local Energy Solutions.
“EIFER 2.0”: fit for the future
On the 27th of March, to celebrate 10 years of successful partnerships, former and current EIFER staff gathered with representatives of EDF R&D and KIT, and local partners (research institutes, city representatives and industrial partners). EIFER dedicated one whole day to reflect upon and identify the institute’s readiness to address the energy challenges of the future. Visits to testing facilities and offices provided an opportunity to present EIFER’s major achievements. The evening session began with an exploration of the visions of Jean Copreaux, EIFER director, Bernard Salha, EDF R&D director, Dr. Peter Fritz, KIT Vice president of Research and Innovation, and Norbert Käthler, Director of Stadtmarketing Karlsruhe GmbH, and was oriented towards the future and anchored EIFER in a local context.
To initiate discussions on the challenges associated with the energy transformation of cities, four experts from different fields were invited to a round table panel:
Jo Spiegel, former President of the Mulhouse Communauté d’Agglomération and current Vice President in charge of Climate Plan
Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, coordinator ’Smart Energy Cities’ at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE
François Grosse, Senior Vice-President, Digital Services, Véolia Environnement
Prof. Andreas Wagner, KIT Institute of Building Design and Technology, Vice-Dean for Research, Department of Architecture
These discussions identified the importance of engaging the public in future energy initiatives and the challenge of coupling sustainable development and economic feasibility. It is clear that future investment in innovative solutions and technologies should be integrated in a sustainable business case, designed and shared by industries, utilities, local authorities and research institutes. EIFER’s capacity to understand different stakeholders’ positions, to collaborate with them and to apply our expertise to serve their strategic needs, is one of our major assets and has enabled us to become “fit for the future”.
Another unique feature of EIFER, as expressed during the evening’s “EIFER Show” is the diversity and dynamism of our staff, in terms of culture, of experience and of expertise.
At the occasion of its 10 Years EIFER edited a special book "EIFER 2.0". It contains descriptions of a selection of projects as well as specifications about our history and future. Discover our "EIFER 2.0" - Book as downloadable file below.
These key factors, together with our continued engagement and commitment to our original goals, ensure the success of the institute and the future of “EIFER 2.0”.