The key focus of this innovation field is achieving low carbon industrial processes, to be achieved by reducing CO₂ emissions through more efficient energy use and through the introduction of novel technologies and processes. Disruptive process technologies or alternative process routes are covered. Examples: Utilization of industrial waste heat; introduction of new heat exchanger concepts, development of innovative burners.
The extension of renewable energy sources for the industrial energy mix means new challenges for the energy infrastructure due to volatile generation. This field of innovation examines energy storage systems, innovative conversion technologies and demand-side management (DSM) tools from this perspective.
This field of innovation is dedicated to the development of system-solutions using industrial waste-energy streams (in form of power, industrial gases, process-heat, etc.) to cover energy demands in the surrounding environment of the NEFI flagship region. Such industry to grid energy networks do not reduce the industrial production’s end-energy demand but they do reduce the primary energy demand of the overall energy system.
To achieve a successful industry transformation towards decarbonization, NEFI innovation processes and innovation ecosystems need to be aligned with appropriate political, institutional and legislative framework conditions. The innovation lab NEFI_Lab supports this process with specific know-how and runs an innovation platform where different legislative and other research policy aspects can be discussed. NEFI_Lab enables the knowledge transfer and exchange between different industrial sectors, end-users, politicians, regulatory authorities and the public. Additionally, Living Labs as new RTI (research, technology and innovation) policy instrument have been introduced as integral part of this innovation field.
Establishing the necessary systematic solutions and infrastructure for the regional and transregional exchange of energy streams between industrial users, grid operators and (renewable) energy producers is the key element of this innovation field.
NEFI supports projects, spin-off companies and start-ups in their attempt to find and test novel business models and solutions.