Energy Transition in Focus: A recap of the first ALIGN4Energy General Assembly

The first annual General Assembly of the NWA-funded ALIGN4energy (A4E) project was held at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam on Thursday, 29 February 2024. Akin to the project’s kickoff in November 2022, the GA brought together societal and research partners of A4E. The aim was twofold: first, to share the progress made so far and, second, to explore additional opportunities that strengthen collaboration between different research and societal partners, while reviewing current assumptions and challenges.

The GA started with a review of the progress in the first year, emphasizing the joint mission to accelerate the Dutch energy transition in built environments. The project management team summarised recent developments regarding the SAMEN platform modules, and discussed two major achievements of the first year – the Spring School and Knowledge Module – both of which were led by AMS Institute, the valorisation lead of A4E. 

Further, in line with the second objective of the GA, that is to connect research and societal partners, each work package leader delivered a short pitch outlining the goal, tasks and outputs of their research package. Following this pitch, the assembly was divided into two rounds of breakout sessions, enabling relevant and interested societal partners to engage in further discussions with the work packages to inform research testbeds. At the end of this part, a joint reflection session allowed the consortium to assess the challenges and re-evaluate the assumptions surrounding the energy transition.

The afternoon was reserved for the research partners and focused on lessons learned and future planning. The "Sharing Carousel" session featured four modules: reflections on breakout groups, a recap of the SAMEN design, discussions on testbed planning, and steps forward. 

The event highlighted the importance of coordinated solutions and collaboration in accelerating the transition to sustainable energy through the presentations, breakout sessions, and discussions.