ARENA launches International Engagement Program

ARENA is linking with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Technology Collaboration Programs and with the Mission Innovation Challenges. The two programs target certain specific challenges facing the global energy transition and foster collaborative approaches from researchers and industry.

“The IEP is a gateway to opportunity,” ARENA Chief Executive Ivor Frischknecht said in a blog announcing the initiative published on Monday. “The program will enhance Australia’s access to global knowledge and have it widely shared with the relevant Australian sector to advance renewable energy innovation in areas that align with ARENA’s purpose and priorities.”

ARENA says that it is looking for applicants that are trying to increase Australia’s R&D in cleantech and who want to be global leaders in renewables.

“We’re looking for people who will extract the most value out of international networks while understanding the Australian energy market and it’s needs in a changing time,” said Emily Morton, from ARENA’s IEP team.

The Mission Innovation Challenges were formed during the Paris climate talks two years ago. 22 individual countries and the EU have signed up. The program is comprised of seven “challenges” right across the cleantech spectrum. ARENA says they align well with its objectives.

One or more participating countries lead each of the challenges and ARENA encourages people working in the target fields to apply to IEP.

Each country taking part in Mission Innovation has signed onto the goal of doubling governmental investment in cleantech. This could potentially deliver an estimated $30 billion in annual research funding by 2021.

The IEA’s Technology Collaboration Programs has a similar structure as it involves the establishment of international working groups focused on specific issues or fields. These groups are expected to work in a collaborative the internationally focused manner.

Prospective IEP participants have until December 13 to submit their application.