The event opened with speeches by Dr Damir ČRNČEC, State Secretary at the Slovenian Ministry of Defence, Mr Ngandu MUPANGILAI, European Commission (DG DEFIS) as dedicated INDY Project Officer, Col Robert ŠIPEC, the Head of Armament Division at the Si MoD and newly appointed INDY Project Manager, and Mr Matej GAJZER, Managing Director of TECES and the President of the SiEnE.
State secretary of the Slovenian Ministry of Defence, Dr Damir Črnčec, emphasised, “… To foster our advancements on a global scale, intra-European Union cooperation and harmonisation of efforts are of significant strategic value, especially within vital sectors, where our security and autonomy might be contested. Common collaborative projects, such as INDY, offer a good reference point to why and how this could be done.”
In the following session, the French Ministry for the Armed Forces representatives, Maj Raphael DANINO-PERRAUD and Mr Fabien MICHELIN presented the military deployable camps’ energy challenges from the perspective of the end users, also related to the “Permanent Structured Cooperation – Energy Operational Function” (PESCO-EOF) project. Both emphasised that “The PESCO OEF recognises the special interest on the research activities conducted within the EDF21 INDY project. INDY contributes to the current reflections on energy in military operations with the evaluation of civil energy technology bricks and the definition of energy-resilient camp concepts adapted to the military environment. As an end user, the PESCO-EOF acknowledges the importance of developing a full-scale demonstrator as a follow-up of INDY.”
After the keynote speakers, the following programme session focused on providing insight into INDY’s general strategy and goals towards energy independence, with Mr Peter van HOOFT from TNO (NL), and Dr Bernard THONON from CEA (FR) providing a brief outline of technical work supporting the ambitions of INDY’s general strategy and goals.
A very intense first kick-off day was concluded with the work package leaders’ presentations of each of the nine structured work packages to align expectations and desired outcomes of the project. Participating partners and known subcontractors have also introduced themselves in the final programme session to present their capabilities and internal motivation for joining the project.
The second day’s focus was on establishing the project governance structures, including the INDY General Assembly (GA) and various project bodies needed to ensure efficient project monitoring and delivery of results in such a complex project organisation with more than 31 entities and external stakeholders.
At the first meeting of the End-User Advisory Board (EAB), the representatives of the Ministries of Defence proposed Col Robert ŠIPEC from the Slovenian Ministry of Defence (Si MoD) as the INDY Project Manager.
In parallel, the work package leaders have organised hybrid working groups (WGs) sessions to provide in-depth understanding to participating partners on the organisation of technical work and needed collaboration to achieve desired results.
The Kick-Off event emphasised fostering networking, introducing partner team members and creating a shared understanding of the project strategy and goals to work together effectively. Discussions on technological and development challenges were mixed with evening cultural events for participants to learn about the Slovenian ethnocultural heritage and the organiser’s “I FEEL Slovenia” spirit. The participants were also greeted by the group of Kurents (Korants), traditional and mystical carnival figures, who brought a touch of the neighbouring town Ptuj and adjoining villages as a carnival centre of Slovenia.
For more information about your participation in the SiEnE activities and involvement in international activities, projects, or supply chains, contact us.
Goran POTOČNIK ČERNE – TECES .:. +386 2 333 13 53 .:. SiEnE@teces.si