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EUREKA 2017: A unique cross-generational debate about the future of HVAC-R technologies
Brussels, 18 December 2017: Last week saw the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) and the European Ventilation Industry Association (EVIA) jointly organise in Berlin the two-day conference "EUREKA 2017: Heating, Cooling & Ventilation: Sustainable technologies for a better life."
The event follows on from the inaugural edition of EUREKA, held in December 2016 in The Hague, but this year was bigger and better and involved representatives of “Generation Z” directly in our panel discussions and brainstorm sessions. Other speakers at the event included representatives from the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, the German Institute of Economic Research, European and international associations, governments, NGOs, industry, and academia.
“This year EUREKA did something truly original by instigating a cross-generation debate with young people,” said EPEE Director General Andrea Voigt. “Industry representatives and students were able to exchange views, not only about how they see future HVAC-R technologies, but about their lives more generally. For example, Generation Z are not so interested in owning something, but in being able to use it when they need it. Industry needs to bear this trend in mind when developing new products.”
Joan Miró Ramos, Chairman of EVIA, said: “As an industry it is important to continuously improve our knowledge of what we all need in order to continue to innovate and meet even higher levels of comfort and sustainability. A key element of EUREKA is to explore how our sector can bring sustainability and comfort in the long term, respond to future consumers' demands, and make solutions fit for the future.”
The event saw more than 100 participants from business, non-governmental organisations, media, and – of course – students come together at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, a fitting location to interact with the young people of today.
Juergen Goeller, Chairman of the EPEE Steering Committee said: “We have to ensure that regulatory changes fully encompass the expectations and needs of next generations. The recently agreed global phase-down of HFCs under the Kigali Amendment is excellent news for the environment but also a major challenge for the industry. We are all committed to make it happen, but flexibility and openness for new solutions and technologies are more important than ever. This is why EUREKA is so important, to determine the best ways to achieve these goals and to also communicate these potential solutions to the next generations.”
Given the success of both this year’s EUREKA and the preceding one in 2016, plans are already being made for next edition of EUREKA, where it is hoped that Generation Z will be even more prominent and where we can take discussions and activities one step further.
The Generation Z representatives thanked EVIA and EPEE for enabling them to participate, saying it had been an exciting opportunity to not only meet but also challenge industry leaders in the heating, cooling and ventilation industry. They are looking forward to future developments in the sector and to the next edition of EUREKA.
Both EPEE and EVIA would like to thank our sponsors for supporting EUREKA and enabling it to take place - our diamond sponsor Danfoss, sapphire sponsor Johnson Controls, Ruby sponsors Bitzer, Daikin, and Mitsubishi Electric, and individual sponsors Carel and Emerson Climate Technologies.
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