The 8th Annual IERC Conference “Enhancing Success in Energy Research – Mind Space to Market Place” took place on 11th of April 2019 , in Fota Island Hotel, Cork


Our Final Agenda is here

Here is a list of our Confirmed Speakers and panellists


Professor Tony Day, IERC.

Guy Vekemans, Strategy  Coordinator Sustainable Energy, VITO

Mark Foley, Chief Executive, EIRGRID

Jim Gannon,  Chief Executive  Officer, SEAI

Peter Klusener, Senior Process Development Chemist, SHELL

Andrea Costa, Managing Partner, R2M Solutions

Caroline Milne, Director of Marketing and Communications, Joule Assets

Victoria Burrows, Head of Advancing Net Zero,  World Green Building Council

Sophie McComb, Business Development Manager, Green Lizard Technologies

Joshua New, Chief Executive Officer, TUNATION

Kirsten Rock, Senior Vice President Operations, LO3 Energy

John McKiernan, Head of External Collaboration, Electricity Supply Board

Mark Bennett, Country Manager, Talent Garden

Felicia Federico, Executive Director, California Centre for Sustainable Communities at UCLA

Derek Roddy, Director, CLIMOTE

Joe Borza, Chief Executive, Energy Elephant

Sarah Jane Larkin, Director General, IVCA

Brendan Murphy, Commercial & Regulatory Director, ERVIA

Mai SantaMaria, Head of Financial Advisory team,  Department of  Finance

Conference Sessions:

 Session 1: The Need for Energy Research and Innovation,

Session 2: Mind Space to Demonstration – Determining the Commercial Potential of an Idea

Session 3: Demonstration to Market Place – Progressing from Prototype to Commercialisation 

A final Panel Session Delivering on Ideas: The Industry Perspective which focused on the provision of products and services to the market.


Conference Sessions

Session 1:  The Need for Energy Research and Innovation

The IPCC special report on Global Warming of 1.5°C has highlighted the urgent need for action on reducing CO2 emissions. Central to this is the transformation of the global energy system globally, and, critically, at the national level. Transforming something as complex as the energy system requires research and innovation that joins up along supply chains, policy and investment decisions and including end users, the citizens, in the solutions. Global agreements and national policies ultimately have to be translated into technological and systemic change, which requires enabling new markets, regulating or pricing out bad practices, and changing public expectations. This can only happen with partnerships and collaborations.

Bringing together multiple partners to deliver disruptive change is time consuming and complex. While partners in a consortium may share a common vision of the desired outcomes, each inevitably has self-interest in the resulting benefits. This makes multi-partner research and innovation projects difficult to frame, resource and execute. In this conference we explore ways in which industry and entrepreneurs can move their ideas as rapidly as possible out to the market place. And as the IPCC report has shown, that movement to technology transformation has to be greatly accelerated if we are to avoid serious consequences.

Session 2:  Mind Space to Demonstration – Determining the Commercial Potential of an Idea

All of us think our research ideas are brilliant and have great potential. While this may be so, in practice only a handful of them will reach a commercially successful conclusion. What is the secret to reaching the energy market place? – At that stage where an idea has been transformed into a product? or a service being delivered to different markets demanding its consumption?

This session will examine the process required to formulate and select the best ideas in the energy research sector; How to perform a reality check and embark into the development journey with the most promising ones. In the process of translation of business need into research ambition and then delivering that ambition into a demonstrator for validation, it is important to focus human and financial resources on ideas that will produce the best returns on investment. The particularities of energy research and implementation will also be discussed.

 Session 3:  Demonstration to Market Place – Progressing from Prototype to Commercialisation

Turning original research ambitions into a market-ready outcome is the focus of this session.  What are the key decision points in the delivery process that make the research market ready, or hamper it from becoming so?  What are the pitfalls so often overlooked until hindsight makes them seem so obvious?

How can we prepare our researchers and industry partners to be on the lookout for these potential points of blockage?  What does ‘market-ready’ really mean?

This session focuses on the results of demonstrators that are ready to be turned into market offerings.  What are the key indicators of the validation step (the demonstrator) that ensure a robust market-ready outcome? This is an important process with a sharp timing element to understand how industry partners can prepare themselves (and their market segment) for the new offering and what is needed from both research and industry to ensure a smooth transition.

 Session 4:  Panel discussion:  Delivering on Ideas: The Industry Perspective

Access to, and the ability to utilise, new technologies is essential in order to benefit from a global economy. Entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs are actively transforming the Irish energy market with ideas aimed at enhancing competitiveness and disrupting incumbent business models. This session will provide a platform products and services to the market and will provide a platform for SMEs to share experiences, will tackle issues such as how research and innovation can assist indigenous entrepreneurs and will explore how governments work with business to tackle the issues identified