Rey Juan Carlos University is currently leading the research consortium “Campus of International Excellence Smart Energy”. This project was born with the wish of five Spanish public universities – Rey Juan Carlos, Alcalá, Murcia, Politécnica de Cartagena and Extremadura – to become one of the relevant actors in the European research panorama, and a reference in the areas of bio-energy and smart infrastructures.
To achieve this goal, the project plans to capitalize on the large expertise offered by two Spanish multinational companies – REPSOL , FERROVIAL – two public research centers – Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT) , Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados en Energía (IMDEA Energía) – and IDAE, Spanish agency devoted to the improvement of energy efficiency. The aggregation of these institutions represents more than 9,000 researchers, 700 patents and R+D investment in excess of 250 million Euros in 2010.
The “Campus of International Excellence Smart Energy” will focus its activity on the creation of knowledge around energy sustainability, specializing in bio-energy and the design of smart infrastructures for increased energy efficiency.
The focus on bio-energy will approach the exploration of biological strategies for obtaining energy products allowing maintaining economic development with no or even negative carbon footprint. In this context, very diverse alternatives will be analyzed, ranging from the use of microorganisms to produce raw materials for fuels to the use of supported enzymes to generate energy products, or crop production with no impact on food markets.
In the area of smart infrastructures, rational use of energy is proposed, both in transportation and in construction. Improved designs, optimizing the use of resources, and the efficiency of facilities are considered.
The Campus of International Excellence Smart Energy will create an International Research School which will make the coordination of R+D Programs possible. It will design and develop post-graduate courses in bio-energy and smart infrastructures with the full involvement of both companies.
One of the pillars of this School will be the collection of internationally renowned researchers complementing the capabilities already present within the aggregation, thus facilitating the implementation of theses and innovative projects of entrepreneurial interest. An additional goal is foster a creative environment in which researchers and graduate students develop their ideas and results, thanks to technology enhancement projects and the creation of innovative technology based companies.