The South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd. (STRIA) had the opportunity to organize the Steering Committee meeting and Study visit between 26th and 27th of September 2018, in Budapest.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of the FIRECE project partners from seven European countries. The project main aim is to improve the capacities of the public sector and related entities to plan territorially based low-carbon strategies in the frame of Regional Energy plans, supporting the low-carbon energy transition of traditional industrial sector to meet the regional energy saving targets defined according to EU and national legislation. The objective is to achieve supporting Regional Authorities, Energy Agencies and Regional Financial Agencies to elaborate and implement innovative financial instruments (IFIs) particularly addressed to provide Energy savings investments and project plans elaborated by SMEs.

On the first day the partners have discussed the progression of the project in Danubius Hotel Gellért. The Steering Committee meeting was followed by a study visit at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, where the new, EU-funded energy efficiency-related investments were presented by dr. Tamás Csoknyai to the partnership.

The meeting was continued on the following day with an elaborate session of interregional exchange activities, including presentations by the colleagues of the Ministry of Finance: Adél Apagyi has introduced the framework of the Economic Development and Innovation Operational Programme (EDIOP), she talked about the funds, which is provided to the SME sector.

As organizer, STRIA has considered it important to invite Hungarian enterprises – who received funding in the frame of EDIOP – to present their planned investments. As two good practices, Timpa Lp. and EU-FERR Ltd. has speak about the efficiency of development.

The next stop at the afternoon was at Szentendre, where the participants had the opportunity to get a better insight into the activities of ÉMI Nonprofit Limited Liability Company for Quality Control and Innovation in Building. ÉMI Non-profit Llc. is Hungary’s largest complex building and construction materials industry approval, testing, inspection, certification, professional and innovation institution, and a member of a number of European and international organizations (EOTA, EGOLF, ENBRI, WFTAO, CIB, ECTP, UEAtc).

Dr. Károly Matolcsy, Deputy Director of Development at ÉMI and International Development and Development Manager for R & D, summarized the organization’s diverse activities for the participants. In addition, he presented the Concerto PIME’S project, which aims at demonstrating community-wide demonstration of energy efficiency and integrated use of renewable energy sources. István Nagy has introduced that Szentendre was selected as the location for Solar Decathlon Europe 2019, which is a collegiate competition that challenge student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses. Lajos Vass, Head of the Energy Efficiency and Intelligent Technology Office of the Company, presented the cooperation of the ÉMI with local governments and the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans, (SECAP documents) and their significance. After the presentations the participants had the opportunity to take a look at the ÉMI Szentendre Industrial Park and at the testing laboratory.

From the feedback it turned out that the project partners found the study tour very informative and enjoyable.