Energy and food security, health and transport are the objectives of Horizon 2020, the European Union's new funding programme launched on 14 January, and the way to attain these goals is through focusing on research and innovation.
'Secure, clean and efficient energy' is one of the objectives set out by Horizon 2020 in order to face up to 'social challenges' and achieve 'a reliable, sustainable and competitive energy system in the face of increasingly scarce resources, increasing energy needs and climate change'.
Energy is the core element at the heart of a number of different objectives, with the programme also focusing on 'smart, green and integrated transport' and 'climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials'. These aims are considered crucial for sustainable development in Europe and intrinsically connected with innovation and research in energy, and in particular in electricity.
Innovation and research have been two of Enel's distinguishing traits for many years now, complementing its activities across the globe with initiatives and projects in which sustainability and energy efficiency are brought together with competitiveness and the fight against climate change.
From Enel Drive to the start-ups taking part in Enel Lab, the Group supports innovation in a whole host of ways along the entire energy supply chain, from production to end use.
Last year Enel research led to the launch of a range of innovative projects in Italy, Spain and Latin America involving distribution networks, electric mobility, enhancing plant efficiency, renewable energy and home energy consumption. The Group's commitment to innovation and research will lead by 2017 to a total investment of €300million in support of research and innovation in technology projects in both generation and electricity grids.