Expectations were high for this first meeting with all three project managers and the External Reference Group. Also the NER Board was present and got a first-hand knowledge of the four year research projects.

The external experts are as follows:

  • Florian Kern, University of Sussex
  • Oluf Langhelle, University of Stavanger
  • Benjamin Sovacool, Aarhus university
  • Nigel Brandon, Imperial college
  • Patricia Harvey, University of Greenwich

The purpose of the External Reference Group is to contribute especially on two tasks, namely:

  • To strengthen the scientific quality of the projects, and
  • To improve the dissemination and international visibility of the research results.

How this can be done, was one of the issues being discussed at the meeting. There were basically two challenging issues common for the three individual research projects: How to ensure the quality of data, since registration and national statistics are not standardized among the Nordic countries? And how to ensure interest from industry and politicians, so that the research results will be of relevance for implementation into practice? These questions are important in order for the Flagship Projects to succeed, and will be high on the agenda in future meetings.

It was suggested to exchange news and draft papers inbetween the meetings. Another suggestion was to meet more than once a year, and hopefully we will find an opportunity to meet this fall. Even if there were more questions than answers at this first meeting, a shared enthusiasm for the work was developed, and also a team spirit among the involved participants. One of the final comments summarizes this: – Yes, let’s make this work!

As part of the program a tour in the SINTEF energy lab facilities was arranged. Yngve Larring and colleagues demonstrated the lab equipment and presented some of the ongoing studies, which are done mostly in collaboration with international industry partners.