ERA Action 11.1/11.2: An ERA for Green Transformation

The Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) was launched in 2007 in response to the second Ukrainian gas crisis. It was intended to serve as a central mechanism for the cooperation between the European Commission and the Member States as well as stakeholders from industry and RTI on energy policy on the one hand and energy-related RTI policies and programmes on the other, and to drive the transition to a CO2 and climate-neutral energy system.

In its activity logic, the SET Plan followed the model of high-level advisory groups in the EU. It is chaired by the European Commission, represented by the Directorates-General for Research and Innovation (RTD), Directorate General for Energy (ENER) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC), while decisions are taken in a Steering Group composed of delegates from the EU Member States and the countries associated in the research framework programme, in which the ministries responsible for energy policy and/or energy-related RTI policy or their delegated institutions are represented, depending on national priorities.

Austria will actively participate in the further acitivities of the SET-Plan as various processes, including the formation of Implementation Working Groups (IWGs) which will attempt to find implementation modalities for various agendas and action plans for topics such as energy-intensive industries and hydrogen. Hydrogen is in particular interest, due to the recent publication of a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda as part of the ERA Action 11.

ERA Action 12: Accelerate the green/digital transition of Europe’s key industrial ecosystems

The implementation of the Green and Digital Transition in industry is a new, highly-relevant aspect in ERA, mainly related to applied research under ERA Action 12. This initiative consist of three pillars:

  • Creation of ERA Industrial Technology Roadmaps
  • Policy Framework for improving the transfer of fundamental/low TRL technologies into industrial R&I
  • Addressing and supporting social change towards the Green & Digital Transition

There are currently two Industrial Technology Roadmaps, on the topics of "Low-Carbon Technologies for Energy-intensive Industries" and "Circular Industrial Technologies". These roadmaps should subsequently be expanded or finalised with Austrian input and implemented at national level (in RTI and in application).

In order to support the implementation of these activities, Austria facilitates numerous workshops and conferences to support stakeholder engagement, give overview of current policies and funding opportunities, engage in capacity building and awareness-raising, and better understand and thereby represent Austrian interests.

One example of a national events to this end is the annual Stakeholderdialog Kreislaufwirtschaft (“Stakeholder Dialogue Circular Economy”). This public event outlined European and national strategies and instruments, featured high-level speakers from the European Commission, national agencies, and Austrian Industry, and received wide-spread attention within – but importantly also beyond – the immediate circular economy community. Further such events are planned – publicly and within expert groups – to better facilitate the green and digital transition in the spirit of the ERA Action.

Additionally, Austria has offered to host and co-organized a segment of the Mutual Learning Exercise of this action in June 2023. All member states which have committed to this ERA Action, the European Commission, as well as independent experts will discuss current policies, lessons learned, improvements to industrial strategies, access to European funding in the wake of European developments within the last two years, including the European Green Deal, Green Deal Industrial Plan, Net Zero Industry Act, New European Innovation Agenda, as well as the Industrial Technology Roadmaps.