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Energy Efficiency in Eastern Partnership Countries – Unfolding Research & Development and Innovation in Promoting Energy Efficiency

Kovács, O. (2016): Energy Efficiency in Eastern Partnership Countries – Unfolding Research & Development and Innovation in Promoting Energy Efficiency. INNOVER-EAST Synthesis Report, August 2016.

About the INNOVER-EAST project

The 36-month INNOVER-EAST project targets five countries of the Eastern Partnership of the European Union (in short, EPCs: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine) to overcome the bottlenecks of innovation and intensify thel evel of cooperation between research and business in the target countries. The project aims, on one hand, to develop new skills and competences in innovation services at relevant organisations in the above countries, and on the other hand, to contribute to the learning process on how to bridge knowledge and business with a direct focus on energy efficiency. INNOVER-EAST targets an area which is highly prioritised in all of the targeted EPCs, being on the top of strategies both in economic and energy policies. All countries are active in energy efficiency and – based on activities of the past decade, largely due to assistance programs provided by major international players – have gathered experience how to approach these challenges. Innovation, as an opportunity forsolution is well-known, but it has not been given too much emphasis so far. Therefore the concept of INNOVER-EAST brings new ways of tackling the challenges of energy efficiency in the targeted EPCs.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 609570.

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About the Synthesis Report

The Synthesis Report aimed at (i) delivering a more systematic understanding over the energy efficiency increasing opportunities in the innovation ecosystems of EPCs (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), and (ii) identifying potential innovation support services that are of immensely importance for EPCs to increase their energy efficiency.

Despite the observable commonalities among EPCs, the Synthesis Report suggests that they are heterogeneous by varying along various factors (e.g. institutional architecture, energy endowment, etc.). Since energy sector development is interdependent and needs a systemic view, the Report can be considered as a clarion call for differential diagnoses when outlining policy implications and potential innovation support services.

As for the structure of the Synthesis Report, Chapter 1 outlines the novelty of our report by emphasising the crucial role of systemic approach considering various disciplines. Chapter 2 shortly describes the common methodology developed along the INNOVER EAST project. Chapter 3 then presents the cross-country economic development landscape by building on a comparative perspective to analyse international competitiveness, convergence to the European trends, internal and external balance, trade and enterprise conditions, investment and savings, and income inequality as well as poverty affairs. Chapter 4 devotes attention to the current status of innovation ecosystems in EPCs with the description of linkages between relevant parts by emphasising the role of institutional factors as well as the capacity of the public sector. The main mechanisms (R&D&I absorptive capacity; R&D&I supply, R&D&I diffusion and demand for R&D&I) driving the innovation ecosystem are also examined. This chapter unfolds from an institutional point of view why cooperation is difficult in these countries. Chapter 5 concentrates on energy sector and energy efficiency in general by (i) giving an overview on general trends in energy use; (ii) outlining the geographical significance and energy efficiency potential; (iii) mapping the attitude to increase energy efficiency; and (iv) identifying drivers, barriers and bottlenecks of increasing energy efficiency. Chapter 6 provides some important policy recommendations for EPCs in supporting increasing energy efficiency. Additionally, a potential list of innovation support services are given.

 

Olivér Kovács Ph.D is a Hungarian economist specialised in the research fields of sustainable development, fiscal sustainability, innovation and innovation policy.

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