PANTERA and SUPEERA Special Panel

The PANTERA Special Panel discussion is on ‘Boosting the R&I of Smart Grids, Storage and Energy communities‘, chaired by Dr. Venizelos Efthymio (FOSS – University of Cyprus).

Malta is an active member of the EU since 1st May 2004 and actively works for the success of the energy transition objectives to achieve the declared policies for achieving a low-carbon economy. However, the following areas are still a concern in achieving carbon neutrality and we would like to address them in this workshop that brings together stakeholders in the field of smart grids, storage, and local energy systems:

  • R&I activities in the field are weak calling for more national and European support to raise opportunities, bring closer to the wealth of EU knowledge, and offer the means to address local needs with the support of the industry and broader communities.
  • Enabling technologies like digitalisation, storage, smart grids, e-Mobility, and reliable communications are not adequately addressed to facilitate the much-wanted transition for the effective use of emerging technologies that include distributed RES, e-mobility with smart charging and V2G attributes and demand flexibility.
  • End users and citizens are not adequately empowered through codes, appropriate regulation, and market instruments to build and operate effective energy management systems utilizing emerging technologies that can grow into efficient energy communities with appropriate technologies in place to facilitate optimal use of local resources for the benefit of the citizens.

The sessions aim to bring the stakeholders of Malta actively participating in the workshop to address all the above issues and together try to pave the way forward for helping the country to move faster toward the much-wanted energy transition to the low carbon economy.

The PANTERA project and the EIRIE platform

PAN European Technology Energy Research Approach (PANTERA) is an EU H2020 project aimed at setting up a European forum composed of R&I stakeholders active in the fields of smart grids, storage and local energy systems, including policy makers, industrial stakeholders, standardisation bodies and experts in both research and academia, representing the EU energy system ( The long-term objective of PANTERA is to strengthen EU clean energy R&I activities with special focus on the countries that appear to be less involved (including Malta).

To reach these goals, PANTERA launched an interactive multi-functional collaborative platform EIRIE that stands for European Interconnection for Research Innovation & Entrepreneurship ( EIRIE vision is to become a reference operational point to unify European activity, incentivise further investments in smart grids and support access to exploitable results that can spark further cooperation and bridge the existing gaps.

Alignment and collaborative work are essential to create the pan-European modus operandi envisioned within PANTERA. The feedback and continuing support of relevant national and international stakeholders, EU platforms and initiatives, national and international projects, will enable EIRIE to fulfil its goals.

The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and SUPEERA project

The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) is an association of European public research centres and universities active in low-carbon energy research. EERA pursues the mission of catalysing European energy research for a climate-neutral society by 2050. Bringing together more than 250 organisations from 30 countries, EERA is Europe’s largest energy research community. EERA coordinates its research activities through 18 Joint Programmes and is a key player in the SET Plan. For further information, see

Among different high-level objectives, the “SUPEERA” project aims at raising awareness about the SET Plan and the Clean Energy Transition among research organisations, funding bodies and National Contact Points (NCPs) from the EU-13 countries and it proposes to widen the activity of those countries towards the SET Plan by facilitating the mobilisation of the identified stakeholders. SUPEERA aims to realise these objectives through the implementation of the following actions:

  • The identification and mapping of national research organisations from targeted EU-13 countries with limited or inexistent participation in the SET Plan Implementation Plans, with great potential to be strategically involved in the future;
  • The engagement at EERA activities and the SET Plan of those stakeholders beyond EERA network through the organisation of workshops and events; 
  • The facilitation of knowledge exchange activities and sharing best practices between EU-13 stakeholders and key EERA members with the ambition of establishing long-lasting interactions.

14:00 - 14:30

The SUPEERA project

The SUPEERA project: Mobilization of EU‐13 national public research resources in the Clean Energy Transition: challenges and opportunities:
 – SET Plan and CET – benefits and engagement possibilities
 – Investment and reform measures for Malta for CET
Dr Ivan Matejak, SUPEERA coordinator, EERA, Belgium

14:30 - 14:50

The PANTERA project and the regional approach

Opening the workshop and setting the scene for open dialogue on the role of the PANTERA process in helping Malta to grow stronger in sustainable energy R&I.
Dr Venizelos Efthymiou, FOSS – University of Cyprus, Cyprus

14:50 - 15:10

Opportunities and Vision amidst an Energy Crisis

Inġ. Abigail Cutajar
Ministry for Environment, Energy and Enterprise

15:10 - 15:30

EIRIE at your service

EIRIE, The multifunctional platform that can make the difference: Step-by-step introduction to its capabilities that serve your needs.
Mr Tasos Tsitsanis (Suite5), Dr Anna Mutule (IPE)

15:30 - 16:00

Coffee Break

16:00 - 16:50


R&I opportunities for collaboration and funding

  • Horizon Europe
    • Clean Energy Transition Partnership
    • Widening Calls
  • Norway/EEA Grants


Spyridon Pantelis, Project Manager, EERA, Belgium

Petter Støa, Vice President Research, SINTEF Energi AS, Norway

16:50 - 17:20

Panel Discussion and Q&A session

How to accelerate the R&I activities of Malta in support of the energy transition? · Research Collaboration · National regulations · Policy issues · Financing opportunities · good practice.
Moderator: Andrei Morch (SINTEF) Inġ. Sandro Lauri (EWA), Dr Inġ. Brian Azzopardi (Chair | Senior Academic)

17:20 - 17:30

Closing Remarks

Wrap up by giving emphasis on the outcomes of the workshop.
Dr Shafi Khadem (IERC)

Dr Venizelos Efthymios
FOSS University of Cyprus

Dr Venizelos Efthymiou worked for the Electricity Authority of Cyprus from March 1979 to November 2013, and he left the Company for the position of Executive Manager of Networks / Distribution System Operator of Cyprus. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the ETIP SNET, ETIP PV, the DSO committee of EURELECTRIC, the Steering Committee of the SET Plan, and the Horizon Europe Programme Committee. He is the chairman of the Research Centre FOSS of the University of Cyprus.

Mr Tasos Tsitsanis
Suite5 Data Intelligence Solutions Limited

Mr Tsitsanis has an MSc in Energy and Environmental Management. He has extensive expertise as a consultant and project manager in national and EU projects, including data management, data analytics, and data sharing technologies applied to energy efficiency in buildings, energy security of supply, and demand side management/active demand response. He is Suite5 Data Intelligence Solutions Limited’s Business Development Director. He is a technical coordinator, project manager, and team member in 70 EU-funded FP7, H2020, and Horizon Europe projects. Besides his skills in data management, governance, interoperability, analytics, and blockchain technologies, he has a significant understanding of energy and environmental management, energy saving and planning, EU energy legislation, Energy market operation, and economics. He has participated in academic and professional training activities on multi-criteria decision-making, business modelling, and ICT-based energy service provision. He has 50 international journal and conference papers and 3 IGI-Global Editions book chapters. He’s engaged in ETIP-SNET, SmartBulit4EU, and BRIDGE’s Data Management and Business Models Working Groups.

Prof. Anna Mutule
Head of Smart Grid Research Centre
Institute of Physical Energetics (IPE), Latvia

Prof. Mutule has over 20 years of research experience in the field of power system planning, including smart grids, energy communities, and RES. She holds a PhD and MSc from Riga Technical University in 2005 and 2002, respectively. She is one of the founders (in 2015) of the National Technology Platform – Smart Grids Latvia; a member of the Baltic Association of Electric Power System Researchers; an expert of the Latvian Council of Science in the Energy field; active ETIP-SNET WG5 and EERA JP on Smart Grids member, member of IEEE PES and the founder and chair of IEEE Latvia Section WIE AG. At Riga Technical University, she is lecturing courses on Power Systems Management and Planning for bachelor, master, and doctoral students.

Mr Spyridon Pantelis
European Energy Research Alliance (EERA)

Spyridon Pantelis is a project manager at the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA). He holds a MSc in Sustainable Cities from Aalborg University of Copenhagen and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He has a broad expertise in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency (e.g. energy system modelling, relevant EU policies) from international and several Brussels-based umbrella associations. His main areas of interest at EERA concentrate around the coordination of various activities within R&I funding of low carbon technologies and the Strategic Energy Technology Plan.

Dr Ivan Matejak
SUPEERA coordinator
EERA, Belgium

Ivan Matejak is Operations Director at European Energy Research Alliance (EERA). In this capacity, he contributes to developing the association’s performance goals and long-term strategic plans. By coordinating more than 250 universities and public research centers in 30 countries, EERA represents a research pillar of the EU’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan). Structured in 18 joint research programmes covering the whole range of low-carbon technologies and systemic and cross-cutting topics, its mission is to catalyse European energy research for a climate-neural society by 2050. He holds a PhD in Geopolitics and Geo-economy from the University of Trieste, Italy.

Dr Shafi Khadem
Ireland Tyndall National Institute

Shafi Khadem heads “intelligent Grid” research at Ireland’s Tyndall National Institute. His research focuses on Grid Stability and Power Quality, Local Electricity Networks and Microgrids, Energy Communities and Markets. As a researcher, lead researcher, and principle investigator, he’s worked on national (IRSET, EI, HEA) and international (UNEP, JICA, EU, IEA) projects and obtained over €2.5 million in research funding. He has more than 60 peer-reviewed papers in scholarly journals and conference proceedings.

Inġ. Abigail Cutajar
Ministry for Environment, Energy and Enterprise

Ing. Abigail Cutajar is an Advisor to the Maltese Minister for Environment, Energy and Enterprise. Abigail is a mechanical engineer by profession and her main responsibilities at the Ministry include Energy, Electrification and Climate Change. For more than 10 years, she has been involved in multiple high-profile projects worldwide, developing regeneration and sustainable development projects, policies and strategies within the same field of expertise. Abigail is a Chartered Engineer and has expertise in the field of Sustainable Construction and Green Building rating systems. She is the only local LEED Accredited Professional in the field of Building and Construction and has carried out numerous projects in this regard.