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Energy Academy Europe opening in Groningen

22 November 2011

Groningen will gain a unique teaching, research and innovation institute on the theme of energy. The Energy Academy Europe (EAE) is the initiative of the University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen. The starting gun was fired for the EAE on Wednesday 23 November at the closing of the Energy Delta Convention, an international congress held in Groningen from 21 to 23 November.

The objective of Energy Academy Europe is to become the national and international centre of expertise for excellent teaching, research and innovation in the field of energy. The aim is to bundle current activities in the field of energy of the two institutions and to build upon these further.

Broad concept

What makes the Energy Academy Europe unique is the broad concept combining fundamental, applied and practical research and teaching. It will bring together expertise from the humanities and the natural and social sciences, and will involve students from senior secondary vocational education, higher professional education and academic higher education in its activities. The Academy will closely collaborate with regional knowledge and educational centres in the Northern Netherlands. Schools of senior secondary vocational education will tune their programmes to the staffing requirements of the energy sector and will retrain their instructors via teaching and research.

The Energy Academy Europe will work on the technical, economic, social and legal aspects needed to give a new impetus to energy provision. The EAE’s research will mainly arise from the interaction between the EAE, businesses and social institutions. The EAE will attract students, researchers and businesses from all over the world.

Infrastructure for innovation

The EAE will have a centre and a network, which will allow for activities not just on the Zernike Campus – where the University and University of Applied Sciences are based – but also in other places in the northern Netherlands. The EAE is developing a number of facilities including an energy-neutral building on the Zernike Campus, an energy testing site and different branches at businesses.

Environmental and safety regulations mean that the energy testing site will be realized at the north of the Zernike Campus, where it will be easily accessible to the participating businesses that will require access to the test site for shorter or longer periods with installations, equipment and heavy goods vehicles. The test site will be connected to the EAE building in the centre of the campus via sensor and data technology.


There are already a lot of energy-related activities in the northern Netherlands. The municipality and province of Groningen are committed to energy programmes, and the two institutions already have much energy-related research and programmes in house. The aim is for the Energy Academy Europe to become the driving force behind the Netherlands as a centre of knowledge, innovation and industry in the field of energy.

The initiative for the EAE was launched a year ago by Gas Terra Director Gertjan Lankhorst. The plan has received the support of Minister Verhagen, who last month promised EUR 6 million from the state as part of the Green Deal. In the next ten years the knowledge institutions, business community and government will invest a total of EUR 100 million in the development of the Academy. Over the coming year preparations will be made with the northern provinces, municipalities and business community for the EAE’s launch in September 2012.

Last modified:13 March 2020 01.54 a.m.
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