The focus initiative Integrated, Regional Energy Systems is more commonly referred to as Smart Energy Systems (SES), but goes by RegSys for short. The focus initiative is an ERA-Net co-fund, which is a financing instrument under Horizon 2020 (followed by Horizon Europe) that:

  • supports cooperation and coordination of activities across countries in national and regional funding programs in Europe, and
  • increases funding committed to challenge-driven research and innovation to achieve a European Research Area (ERA).

Funding and Call Management

Nordic Energy Research participated with funding in the ERA-Net SES Joint Call 2019, supporting Nordic and Baltic participants in research, development, and innovation (RDI) projects on energy storage.

Besides such financial support, Nordic Energy Research has been responsible for Call Management within RegSys since 2015. This responsibility involves scoping themes, supporting applicants, administering the evaluating project proposals, and finally supporting the process of selecting the projects of highest quality. The selected projects shall answer to the RegSys main goal – to accelerate the development and integration of regional energy systems by innovation in system management. By combining different end-users and energy conversion management with all elements of the energy system (such as electricity, heating and cooling grids, infrastructure, etc.), security and synergies are pursued, and regions and local communities meant to fulfil their decarbonization ambitions. The involvement of end-users and need-owners has always been emphasized by RegSys, along with the notion that projects should take market integration and obstacles in societies into consideration, in addition to the technological solutions.


Along the RegSys overall lines, projects are firstly supposed to develop and demonstrate technologies, systems, and solutions that enable efficient ways to provide, host, and utilize high shares of renewables, locally or regionally. Secondly, the projects should connect to a secure and resilient European energy system and knowledge base that makes it possible for regions to take part in energy and knowledge exchange and share responsibility to maintain the overall system, considering a sustainable use of local and global resources. This will support European industrial leadership in sustainable energy solutions worldwide, while paving the way for a low-carbon economy.

Each RegSys call may have a different scope and ambition for projects, but in a nutshell, the projects:

  • identify the critical needs and involve the most significant need-owners in local and regional energy systems,
  • involve technology and service providers, innovators, and researchers to develop and define tailor-made solutions for local and regional energy systems that meet the demand of the need-owners, and
  • engage private and public stakeholders in co-creation ecosystems that accelerate the innovation and implementation of new solutions, while stimulating European business development with support of the transnational ERA-Net RegSys knowledge community.

Furthermore, the projects have basic characteristics in common, such as involving call participants from at least two different countries, relating to the Three Layer Research Model “Stakeholder/Adoption, Marketplace, Technology”, having cross-sectoral approaches, and preparing or implementing demonstration projects with potential to become best practice by 2025.

Previous calls and current applicants

RegSys has set up two joint calls before, in 2018 and 2019. In the Joint Call 2018, 23 projects from 16 regions/countries were awarded funding of €33.3 million in total. These projects started from May 2019 and will close in December 2022 at the latest. In the Joint Call 2019, 14 projects from 16 regions/countries were awarded funding of €22 million in total. These projects started from autumn 2019 and will close in December 2023 at the latest. Currently, evaluation is also ongoing for the project proposals submitted to the Joint Call 2021 – Accelerating the Heating and Cooling transition. The call was launched in collaboration with the ERA-Net Geothermica and brings together national and regional programs aimed at supporting projects on energy system integration and technological progress in the various heating and/or cooling technologies, with an emphasis on but not limited to geothermal energy technologies. The call process is finalized in June 2022 and projects are expected to start in September 2022.