At the university locations the research activities are coordinated in internal university research associations – the “Energy Research Nodes“ – where their own focus areas are supported. Following an interdisciplinary approach researchers from engineering science, natural sciences and social sciences cooperate in the EFZN. The central foundation of cooperation of the five universities involved is a systemic, interdisciplinary approach to research and, subsequently, the coordination of a joint energy research agenda in the state of Lower Saxony.
National and international collaborative research is conducted in the EFZN lines of research and cross-cutting research areas “Solar Energy", "Wind Energy“, “Integrated Energy Systems / Sector Interlinking“, “P2X Technologies“, “Material Sciences“ and “Social Sciences“.
Besides the development and conducting of collaborative research the EFZN presents a permanent Networking and Communication Platform for the university locations involved. This networking of the stakeholders is not limited to the sphere of science. Rather, it is envisaged to integrate the areas of economics, politics and civil society in the discussion processes in order to develop interdisciplinary, implementable solutions in the transformation of the energy system. In order to ensure the necessary exchange on current issues of energy research, the EFZN holds numerous Expert Events together with its partners.
On the cooperation within EFZN, the activities and objectives the former chairperson of the Board of Directors Professor Carsten Agert stated the following on occasion of his inauguration:
“When, in 2015, we transformed the EFZN into a joint scientific centre of the five universities involved we first took stock of all topics and stakeholders relevant in energy research in our state. On this basis we then gave the EFZN a new content-related structure that is now reflected in the so-called EFZN lines of research. Within this structure we have set ourselves ambitious objectives for the next years: we want to expand networking among the five EFZN locations, initiate joint projects and lend more visibility to energy research as a whole in the state of Lower Saxony – nationally and internationally. Furthermore, we strive to enrich the dialogue between research, society and business through attractive conference formats. For all who are looking for a contact person in energy research in Lower Saxony, EFZN is to be the central platform that provides competent and holistic answers and that establishes contact with the relevant experts at the member universities.
Former EFZN Spokesperson of the Board of Directors Professor Carsten Agert. Photo: © DLR
Lower Saxony has the potential of being energy state no. 1. Our aim is to support our federal state in reaching this success nationally and internationally.
Together with my colleagues of the Board of Directors I will ensure that we as energy researchers in Lower Saxony develop a strong and self-confident joint identity. If we succeed, we should be known and appreciated nationally and internationally in ten years as a powerful network. I am optimistic that we will succeed.“