WP 10 - Actions on International Cooperation (INCO)

The main objectives of WP10 are:
• To identify promising International Cooperation (INCO) partner programmes, partner organisations, activities and lab-to-lab collaborations in the field of smart grids for teaming up of the ELECTRA IRP and the EERA JP Smart Grids with activities outside Europe.
• To establish an intense collaboration and effective interactions through the members of the International Coordination Board (ICB) with leading international organisations involved in defining the R&D strategy and/or the execution of R&D activities on smart grids in their own country.
• To define, in agreement with the inputs received by ICB members, the R&D topics of mutual interest for International Cooperation activities with respect to some of the most active countries worldwide in the field of smart grids and to coordinate these with the programmes of work of the IRP and the JP.
• To contribute through the ELECTRA INCO activity to the already ongoing work of the major worldwide initiatives such as ISGAN and the GSGF (Global Smart Grids Federation), highlighting the leadership of European research in the smart grids field.

It is acknowledged that the smart grids solutions and technologies must be adapted to the specific situations and drivers that they are called to enable locally: this is well expressed by the statement: "one smart grid solution does not fit all situations". However, even if the power systems structure and their management show peculiarities and different characteristics depending on the specific local development drivers, many issues can be considered of common interest for all electrical systems in their evolution towards the smarter electricity grids: among these overarching issues we mention for example the study of smart grid solutions using common tools and generic control architectures to maintain frequency and voltage stability and quality. There is a large potential for international collaboration to provide tools and results that can be applied in many systems. This potential exceeds the boundaries of Europe and needs to be well-coordinated with the efforts ongoing at global level. Many of the research items of mutual interest are in areas of pre-competitive research and therefore can easily be the object of international cooperation. Taking advantage of the EERA JP on Smart Grids past activity and relationships, the aim of WP10 is to put the basis for future effective International Cooperation (INCO) activities between extra-EU countries and EU as a whole. This action will complement the many bilateral arrangements between individual European research organisations and extra-EU national entities and laboratories, avoiding duplication of efforts and leveraging the potential of a wider knowledge sharing scheme, ensuring the alignment towards a wider international context. There has already been some effort to establish a wider collaboration e.g. in the form of common workshops, both in USA and in Europe. These workshops showed that many research issues are similar and have allowed to identify an initial list of research topics of common interest. Those R&D priorities shall be revised and adapted to match the needs from the different geographical areas, but certainly forms the basis of the work towards establishing the INCO research plan. The mutual interest for effective INCO activity and lab-to-lab collaborations will be developed with organisations from different countries including USA, Japan, China, Australia and Korea. First practical attempts have been already made with some of the B.R.I.C.S. countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and especially with organisations from China that already reacted very positively. To promote and extend the already started interaction, an International Coordination Board (ICB) has been proposed to several international stakeholders during the preparation of the ELECTRA proposal. All organisations contacted have reacted enthusiastically and have already proposed specific members to participate in this Board. At present, the proposed ICB include a representative from the following countries and organizations:
- USA The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI);
- Japan The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), and
The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST);
- China The Department of Electrical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU);
The Energy Research Institute (ERI) of National Development and Reform Commission;
- Australia The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO);

 - ISGAN The International Smart Grids Action Network
- ITU The International Telecommunication Union

EPRI: EPRI (www.epri.com/Pages/Default.aspx); NEDO: www.nedo.go.jp/english/index.html
AIST: http://www.aist.go.jp/index_en.html; SJTU: http://en.sjtu.edu.cn/; CSIRO: www.csiro.au/
ERI: www.eri.org.cn; ISGAN: www.iea-isgan.org; GSGF: www.globalsmartgridfederation.org/

Moreover, ongoing positive interaction is steadily advancing with the International Energy Agency (IEA), U.S. National Labs, in particular SANDIA and NREL, Brazil and India.One of the objectives of WP10 will also be to succeed in enlarging the representation within the ICB, involving additional members from countries with active programs on smart grids; ongoing interactions include the Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF), the Ministry of Knowledge Economy Republic of Korea (MKE) and the Korean Smart Grids Institute (KSGI), and others. The ICB, its members and all the above links will provide the inputs needed to further improve the foreseen International Cooperation (INCO) activities in the proposal as well as to eventually update the related EERA JP SG R&D plan for the next 4-year period at mid-term. Although acknowledging the specific drivers for the development and deployment of smart grids technologies in Europe, the International Coordination Board will ensure that the most recent developments and research trends at international level are considered also by promoting an adequate knowledge sharing with similar initiatives developed in other regions of the world.

The work foreseen within WP10 activity considers a step-by-step approach towards an increased level of collaborative interaction and that in the second half of the ELECTRA IRP will culminate with the practical launching of the first flagship INCO collaborative projects with selected countries. The above mentioned step-by-step approach has been already preliminarily discussed with the ICB designated members and depending on the mutual interest on a specific R&D topic, could be tackled according to the following scheme:
• Initial exchange of information about ongoing smart grids programs and projects;
• Sharing of national vision, strategy and priorities;
• Selection of R&D topics of mutual interest;
• Exchange of publicly available data and results;
• Selection of areas/topics for potential joint R&D collaborative projects;
• Definition and launching of joint R&D tasks;
• Execution of joint R&D activities involving the use of research infrastructures and researchers exchange;
• Additional INCO activities of mutual interest.

This will be made possible through:
• A close interaction with the ICB members;
• Enlargement of ICB membership;
• Exchange with the ELECTRA Advisory Board
• Organisation of technical meetings and workshops.

WP10 activity will benefit from multiple interactions with the International Coordination Board. In particular, the ICB members will provide input and advice to position the activities of the IRP in the wider international context, constantly aligning the state of the art to the most advanced achievements worldwide, and addressing the opportunities and rules for a wider collaboration in research fields of interest for ELECTRA with research organisations in other continents. This board will also ensure that the main messages of the European research community reach a wider international audience, highlighting the leadership of European smart grids technologies and solutions. The ICB members will be invited to attend the ELECTRA IRP WSs as a means to understand the IRP scope, goals and progress, and to effectively interact with the IRP participants.

International Coordination Board meetings
Six (6) physical meetings of the ICB are foreseen:
• 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th to be held in Europe at months 5, 12, 29 and 46
• 3rd and 5th to be organized either in America or Asia at months 20 and 37

All physical ICB meetings to be organized outside Europe will be in conjunction with ELECTRA international Workshops.
A preliminary planning of the meetings with ICB is included in Section 2.4 of the ELECTRA IRP DoW.

 WP10 Tasks:
• T10.1: Information exchange, collation and selection of R&D topics
• T10.2: Definition of the INCO Activity Plan differentiated by geographical areas or regions
• T10.3: Launching of effective INCO activities on specific topic by country or region
• T10.4: Evaluation of INCO activities, comparison with ongoing initiatives, and establishment of lessons learnt
• T10.5: Definition of R&D topics of mutual interest for INCO activities with B.R.I.C.S and Developing countries

WP Leader: Martini L. (RSE)

WP Vice Leader: Bindner H. (DTU)