Interview from the Project Advisor Olav Luyckx

Monday, 16 March 2015

Olav Luyckx is the Project Advisor at the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).

Q: What do you do at EASME?

A: The EASME manages programmes on behalf of the European Commission, turning policy into action. Within the Agency, our team manages the Energy Efficiency part of the challenge 'Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy' of the H2020 programme, and the projects of the previous Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme, of which the eBRIDGE project is part. The IEE programme funded more than 600 projects for a total budget of € 730 million and reached out to 3200 organisations in 32 countries. About € 105 million were invested in 64 transport projects during the period 2007 – 2013[1], of which some are to run well into 2016 and 2017. As Project Advisor, I contribute to the launch, management, promotion and monitoring of the Calls for Proposal that our team is responsible for. Moreover, I also provide assistance to the experts responsible for the evaluation of the submitted project proposals and I manage the contract preparation phase for the selected proposals. Apart from that, a large part of my daily working time goes to the management of the projects that I am responsible for. This means that I keep close contact with the project coordinator, attend project meetings and that I perform the technical assessment of the project reports and deliverables. Most of my projects relate to the market uptake of clean and energy-efficient vehicles in an urban environment. Most importantly, I enjoy looking at the real impact of the project and feeding this into the policy making process, making synergies work and help projects communicate their achievments.

Q: eBRIDGE Project has started two years ago and will end in March 2016. Any interesting results or it is too early?

A: Although it is too early to draw conclusions, the eBRIDGE project produced already some interesting deliverables such as the country reports on the potential for electric vehicle car-sharing services. I also look forward to the outcomes of the pilots that take place in several EU countries, looking at different target groups and user profiles for eCar-sharing. An eBRIDGE project app and the project website are key sources of information for those interested in the project outcomes.   

Q: Are you supervising other projects about sustainable mobility like eBRIDGE? If yes, do you see any synergy?

A: Several projects in my portfolio could create synergies with the eBRIDGE project. An example is the eBRIDGE – PRO-E-BIKE joint project event planned for April 2015 in Lisbon. Synergies might also be possible with the EMOBILITY WORKS project that aims to provide support at municipalities and companies regarding the integration of electric mobility, and with the I-CVUE project, that carries out fleet analysis to assess the potential for replacing at least a part of a company's fleet with clean and energy-efficient vehicles. By organising activities such as the STEER workshop of June 2014 and our regular contractor meetings, our Agency also tries to stimulate projects to build synergies.

Q: What have successful European Projects in common?

A: Experience has shown that successful European Projects start from clear and well-defined market needs relevant to their target groups, and have a clear vision on how the project results will live on after the end of the project lifetime. Successful projects manage to have a real impact on their target groups and show real results in terms of energy savings and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the ECOSTARS project involved 315 operators with a fleet of more than 25,000 vehicles in eight local fleet recognition schemes, and resulted in annual fuel savings equivalent to 59,858t CO2. The ECOWILL project trained 32000 learner drivers and 10600 licenced drivers in 13 EU Member States and contributed to the recent changes in EU legislation, making eco-driving a mandatory element of the practical examination of category B in all European countries. 

[1] An additional 28 projects for a total of almost € 40 million were funded in the period 2003 – 2006.