Elforsk AB started operations in 1993 and is owned jointly by Svensk Energi (Swedenergy) and Svenska Kraftnät (the Swedish National Grid). Its overall aim is to coordinate the industry's joint research and development. Operations are organized in five programme areas - Hydropower, Electricity and Heat Production, Transmission and Distribution, Electricity End-Use, and Strategies and Systems. Issues touching on several programme areas are handled primarily by Strategies and Systems. Because environmental awareness is essential for all R&D activities, projects focusing on or including environmental aspects are conducted in all programme areas.
Elforsk - an R&D broker not only for the power industry
Elforsk's activities are carried out in the form of individual projects and, increasingly, as comprehensive framework programmes. Proposals for R&D projects come from our owner companies, Elforsk staff members and external collaboration partners, after which they are evaluated with the support of our programme councils and developed in consultation with potential customers and contractors. R&D projects, together with a detailed description of the anticipated benefits, are then tendered for bidding among the owner companies and other parties with a possible interest. When funding has been secured, Elforsk orders project implementation from one of the owner companies, a university department, a manufacturer or a consultant, and is then responsible for quality assurance. Elforsk's final task is to transfer project results to the funding providers so that they can be put to use. Hopefully, Elforsk's new role at the commercialisation stage will contribute further to this practical application.
Only projects that are guaranteed sufficient funding can be carried out. Elforsk has no fixed source of financing for its operations, not even for staff costs, which is rather exceptional for an R&D organisation. The underlying idea behind this model is obvious: only projects directly demanded by the customers are pursued. Elforsk's working method is unusual, from both a Swedish and international perspective. In various contexts, the Elforsk model is put for-ward as an example of how universities, public agencies and industries can work together towards common goals.
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