Sharing experiences across Europe to enhance energy efficiency

Hi everyone! I am Federico and I come from Italy. A month has now passed since I started volunteering as Interreg Project Partner in the Interreg Europe Project S3UNICA and I feel I am learning so much during this exciting period! Here in the city of Trieste, in Italy, I am hosted by the Environment and Energy Directorate of the Autonomous Region Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

S3UNICA: Smart SpecialiSation UNIvercity CAmpus belongs to the green projects of Interreg Europe and it promotes cooperation for energy transition between local councils and academic institutions. It is based on the interregional exchange of experiences among nine partners located in five different areas of Europe in Finland, Italy, Poland, Romania and Spain. These are local administrations and energy agencies as well as four universities: the University of Malaga, the Lappeenranta University of Technology, the University of Udine and the University of Trieste. The purpose is enhancing the contribution of universities in energy innovation policies as providers of technical expertise and as hands-on laboratories. The project includes five action plans that aim to create good practices of cooperation among local actors such as universities and public authorities or public-private partnerships, to increase the energy efficiency of universities buildings and infrastructure, and to improve the capacity of the actors involved to realise innovative solutions for better energy savings. The actions are inspired by the knowledge and experiences shared between the partners.

As a key moment such as the transition to the second phases of realisation is now occurring, I had the opportunity to follow the concluding steps of phase 1 and the preparatory activities for the last phase. This is a great chance to learn how Interreg Europe cooperation projects are held: I was able to contribute to the conduct of these activities, participating in meetings and taking minutes, and also communicating with the other partners. It is especially interesting to work on the dissemination of activities, writing articles and updating the S3UNICA website and social networks. Doing so, I am interfacing with members of the local cooperation agency Informest which also works in the project.

Thanks to this project I am gaining a real understanding of what interregional cooperation is and of how cohesion policies work in Europe. While I dealt with topics related to energy transition during my studies, here I am faced with a concrete application of cooperation on energy policies. Universities can contribute significantly to make local energy systems smarter, and S3UNICA is a great example of sharing knowledge and practices between European regions and how this can benefit territories by improving their capacity of managing energy services.

I wish to thanks the International Volunteer Youth programme and AEBR for this very enriching opportunity and all the IVY team for the support provided along this experience.

If you wish to know more about the project, have a look here:

– Federico, IVY Project Partner for the Interreg Europe project S3UNICA at Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region -Central Directorate for environmental protection, energy and sustainable development

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