Highlights in 2019
Highlights in 2019


High impact innovation activity triggered by MI

Germany participated in the MI Champions Programme and the MICall19 funding programme as a direct result of Mission Innovation. In addition, the involvement in other innovation challenges, in particular IC5 and IC8 contributed to the shaping of energy research policy in Germany.

Impact of your national clean energy innovation activity

German energy research policy was completely geared towards the energy transition by the 7th Energy Research Programme published in September 2018. The topics emphasized within MI were considered in the design of the programme. For example, the research topic of artificial photosynthesis, as being explored within IC5, was included as an important research topic for the first time. In addition, the funding for clean energy research has increased substantially since the launch of MI.

Update on clean energy innovation policies and strategies

In June 2020 Germany published its National Hydrogen Strategy. “Green” hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water using renewable energy is at the centre of this strategy. Research, development and demonstration are key elements of this strategy, which will also strengthen international partnerships on hydrogen. In line with this strategy, Germany focuses on the inherently global topic of hydrogen within Mission Innovation. In addition, in 2019 Germany published the Energy Efficiency Strategy 2050. Regarding research and innovation, this strategy aims to strengthen research into energy efficiency, particularly for industrial processes and buildings.

Major innovation initiatives and programmes in 2019/20

  • In July 2019 the German Government announced the first round of Living Labs for the Energy Transition. 21 projects were selected to demonstrate the technologies needed for the energy transition. The projects take a systemic approach and focus on the topics hydrogen and neighbourhoods. €100 million per year are being made available for these projects, the first projects kicked-off in early 2020.
  • In the area of applied research, two additional funding calls were announced in 2019. One addressed socio-economic questions and the societal context of the energy transition. The other addressed the effects of the digital revolution on energy technologies and the energy system.
  • A new phase of Kopernikus Projects was launched. Together, the Kopernikus projects are forming one of the biggest German research initiatives focusing on the energy system transformation. Industry, science and civil society are working together closely in all projects in order to advance science and technology for a secure, climate-neutral and affordable energy system.
  • In April 2019 the NaMoSyn project tackling the complete process chain of synthetic fuels was started. The project is supported with €24 million and aims for CO2-neutrality in the transport sector.
  • 17 new projects have been started within the German-African Client II initiative focussing on options for a sustainable design of the energy system. Additionally the development of the “Atlas of Green Hydrogen Generation Potentials in Africa” was initiated in January 2020.

Private sector engagement in 2019/20

Cooperative projects with partners from research institutions and industry are an important element of public energy RD&D funding in Germany. Within such projects, companies contributed €223 million for energy research in 2018 alone. This funding approach ensures firstly that the research questions addressed by publicly funded research projects are relevant to industrial partners and secondly, the innovation transfer to practical solutions and products needed for the energy transition is already considered at the start of the research project. To accelerate the transfer of innovations, the German Federal Government has initiated eight Energy Research Networks. Currently around 4000 experts from industry and academia are organized in these open networks.

Major activities in support of the Innovation Challenges in 2019/20

In 2019/2020 representatives from Germany participated in different workshops, in particular with respect to the innovation challenges 5 and 8. Germany is promoting MI within its research communication activities, for example in the yearly Federal Government Report on Energy Research.

Other Mission Innovation related activity in 2019/20

Germany is participating in the second round of the MI Champions Programme and promoted it within the energy research networks. In addition, Germany is actively participating in the design of a potential new phase of Mission Innovation post 2020.

Germany was part of different activities supporting MI targets starting in 2019, specifically:

  • The joint R&D call of the ERA-NET Smart Energy Systems and MI on energy storage. A total of 21 countries and regions worldwide are participating with a budget of more than €22 million.
  • The Cofund Joint Call CSP ERA-NET. A total of 8 countries are participating with a budget of €13 million.
  • The IEA TCP Heat Pumping Technologies in cooperation with MI IC7 via Annex 55 “Comfort and Climate Box”.
  • Germany is initiating and leading within IEA TCP Solar Heating and Cooling in cooperation with MI IC7 the new task “Solar Cooling for Sunbelt Regions”.

Additionally, Germany participates in the second call of ACT (Accelerating CCS Technologies). This call addresses the Priority Research Directions (PRDs) developed during the 2017 Houston Mission Innovation Workshop. ACT now involves seven MI members (Norway, Germany, France, The Netherlands, UK, USA as well as the EU). The total budget of 12 projects selected in 2019 is €43.6 million. A third call was published in 2020.

National plans and priorities for clean energy innovation

German energy research policy is geared towards supporting the energy transition in Germany and worldwide. The limited time available until 2050 necessitates an increase in the speed of innovation transfer and the strengthening of applied energy research. With the living labs for the energy transition, the German government has introduced a new funding instrument that will demonstrate energy technologies on an industrial scale and in a real world environment.

New Collaborations

Sustainable Energy
Topics are batteries, power-to-X and hydrogen technologies as well as Smart Grids
Sectors: public-private
Type of collaboration: research and development
Start date: 2019
End date: 2022
Funding amount: €6M
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MICall19 – 2019 Joint Call on Energy Storage
Austria, Denmark, Finland, India, Italy, Norway, Sweden
The 2019 joint call focuses on the development of integrated storage systems and will support solutions answering to identified challenges within this area.
Sectors: public-private
Type of collaboration: research and development
Start date: 2019
Funding amount: €22M
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Cofund Joint Call CSP ERA-NET
Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece
Strategic targets (based on priorities in the (SET) Plan: Short-term: > 40% cost reduction; Longer-term: develop the next generation of CSP/STE technology
Sectors: public-private
Type of collaboration: research and development
Start date: 2019
End date: 2023
Funding amount: €13M
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ACT second and third calls
Norway, France, The Netherlands, UK, USA
Advancing CCUS Technology: aimed at getting carbon capture und utilisation technology closer to being deployed
Sectors: public-private
Type of collaboration: research and development
Start date: 2019
End date: 2022 (second ACT call 2021 to 2024 (third ACT call)
Funding amount: €31.5M
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