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University of Basel is leading one of the new Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research

16.12.2013 - (idw) Universität Basel

The University of Basel will be the Leading House of one of the seven new Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCER). These centers have the aim of finding solutions to problems arising from the shift in energy policy. The center will deal with the economic, legal and social aspects of this turn. To do so, it will receive CHF 11 million over the next four years from the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI). The States energy strategy is aiming at a political change in the energy policy, with the ultimate goal to become independent of fossil fuels. The State has thus provided CHF 72 million for the development of seven new energy competence centers. These Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCER) will build new additional scientific competence and will thus create the prerequisites necessary to make the shift in energy policy possible.

According to todays announcement of the CTI, the University of Basel will be leading the Competence Center for Research in Energy, Society and Transition (CREST). The Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) will act as Co-Leading House. Apart from these institutions, the two Federal Institutes of Technology as well as the Universities of Geneva, Lucerne, Neuchatel and St. Gallen will be important partners in the CREST composite. The CTI will support the operation of the center for the period of 2013 to 2016 with CHF 11 million.

Economic and social aspects of the shift in energy policy
With regards to content, the main focus lies on economic and social questions related to the shift in energy supply and use. The individual research projects are dealing, for example, with the influence of incentives, new business models, the acceptance of new technologies, with consumer behavior and with the regulation of the international energy market.

At the University of Basel, the center is associated with the Faculty of Business and Economics and will work closely with the subject area Sustainability and the Research Center for Sustainable Energy and Water Supply. The environmental economist Prof. Frank Krysiak from Basel and Prof. Bettina Furrer from the School of Engineering at ZHAW will be in charge of the center.

In its Strategy 2014, the University of Basel defined the topic of sustainability and energy research as one of its new thematic focal areas. Therefore, the success of the SCCER tendering is reinforcing the research on environmental and energy economics at the University of Basel at an ideal moment in time.

"This is a tremendous success for the Basel team lead by Professor Krysiak and his colleagues. Like many Universities worldwide, we have responded to the prospects of climate change and the new challenges associated with the post-nuclear turn by identifying energy and sustainability as a focal area in the new strategic planning. As this successful award of the Center indicates, Basel is uniquely placed to offer a coherent approach to the problems building on long-established expertise in disciplines such as economic, legal and sociological research, which have traditionally been diverse. The approach is multidisciplinary and this 'joined up' approach is a typical hallmark of modern cutting edge research. We are particularly pleased to be Leading House for this SCCER and we view this success and new structure as being fully equivalent to a National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) in its importance and relevance", explains Professor Edwin Constable, Vice-Rector for Research of the University of Basel.


Further information
Prof. Dr. Frank Krysiak, University of Basel, Faculty of Business and Economics, Environmental and Energy Economics, phone: +41 61 267 33 60, Email: frank.krysiak@unibas.ch
Prof. Dr. Edwin C. Constable, Vice-Rector for Research of the University of Basel, phone: +41 61 267 10 01, Email: edwin.constable@unibas.ch
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