MEAN4SG is a European project encompassing R&D centres, universities and companies that specialise in the electric metrology sector, forming a tightly woven network for scientific collaboration
The aim of the project is to contribute towards tearing down the technological barriers in the electric sector and meeting the growing demand for qualified personnel
This week, CIRCE hosted the launch meeting for an international project that intends to streamline the roll out of electric smart grids in Europe. The project, named MEAN4SG – Metrology Excellence Academic Network for Smart Grids –, is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie initiative and has been allocated €2.8 million of funding by the European Commission under the Horizon2020 programme. The project aims to overcome the technological barriers in the electricity sector and face up to some of its professional shortcomings.
Smart grids are an essential tool for optimising the integration of renewables in the electric system, and also help to manage the complex interactions between consumers and generators. Despite that, the main EU bodies and platforms have issued a number of studies and reports that reveal the sector’s scarcity of highly qualified professionals . Moreover, the International Energy Agency has stated that the sector is in need of a significant investment in electric transmission and distribution systems, which they have estimated at € 7 billion between now and 2035.
Therefore, the MEAN4SG project will be training eleven researchers who are to write their doctoral theses on specific aspects relating to smart grids, such as electric supply quality, distributed electric generation systems, advanced metering systems and smart diagnostics of MV and HV cables. These theses will be drawn up under the close supervision of a scientific team which includes CIRCE as project coordinator.
Completing the team are other companies, universities and R&D centres of the highest scientific standing, including: TU/e (Netherlands), LNE (France), ENEL (Italy), Strathclyde (UK), Ormazabal (Spain), the Foundation for the Promotion of Industrial Innovation (Spain) and Haefely (Switzerland). Additionally, the MEAN4SG network is backed by other institutions whose researchers will be enhancing their scientific training: CNS/Auburn (USA), VSL/Alliander (Netherlands), EDF/UTBM (France), METAS (Switzerland), UNICA (Italy), MIRUBEE (Spain), UNIGE (Italy), NPL (UK), DIAEL (Spain) and UFD (Spain).
The project is also endorsed by two major international agents, namely the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Thanks to such significant support and to a broad programme for training and dissemination of results, the MEAN4SG network will be laying the foundations for a sound infrastructure of know-how to promote research in smart grids and thus offset the scarcity of qualified professionals in the field of applied scientific research.