A New Boost for Europe's Green Transition with R&I. Key technologies for our Future

Researchers and policymaking professionals from the European Commission discuss technological potential and challenges in Brussels

The universities of Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Vic, and the Representation of the State of Hesse to the EU organised a lunchtime event featuring two-panel discussions on key technologies for the green transition. The Erasmus+ ENGAGEgreeen project and the Mercator Science-Policy Fellowship-Programme of the Rhine-Main-Universities organised the event.

Dr Mabel Mora Garrido (Environmental Technologies at the BETA Technological Center at the University of Vic) provided an overview of the potential of organic waste. Professor Anna Possner (Atmospheric Physics and Climate/Goethe-University Frankfurt) elaborated on the potential of solar radiation management technologies and possible unintended side effects, which might have detrimental effects on the environment. Professor Christian Beidl (Head of the Institute of Internal Combustion Engines and Powertrain Systems at Technical University Darmstadt) stressed the importance of finding technical solutions for vehicles addressing technical efficiency, reliability, and performance issues. Dr Bernd Biervert (DG Research and Innovation) explained that the EU had earmarked 35 per cent of Horizon Europe for research on climate neutrality. The panellists stressed the importance of considering societal needs when exploring technological solutions to tackle climate change.

Professor Michèle Knodt (Chair of Comparative Politics and European Integration/Technical University Darmstadt) opened the second panel by introducing technologies and solutions to generate and store energy by heating iron powder without producing CO2, thereby creating clean circles. Professor Tobias Berg (Chair of Banking at Goethe-University Frankfurt) elaborated on the role of the banking sector in providing funding to develop green technologies. Structural challenges in providing funding included the low amounts of venture capital funding in Europe compared to the United States. Beatrice Coda (CINEA and DG Energy/European Commission) elaborated on the potential of EU support for new technologies and the challenges of putting new technologies on the ground, like permitting procedures. Dr Cristian Kanovits (DG GROW/European Commission) explained that technological progress was exponential. The panellists discussed challenges like international competition and the need for behavioural change.

Pictures: Julia Jost/Representation of the State of Hesse to the EU