Last december, the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) and the European Ventilation Industry Association (EVIA) jointly organised the two-day conference “Eureka 2017: Heating, Cooling & Ventilation: Sustainable technologies for a better life.” The event, which took place in Berlin, follows on from the inaugural edition of Eureka, held in December 2016 in The Hague. According to the organisation, the 2017 edition was ‘bigger and better’. It involved representatives of ‘Generation Z’ directly in panel discussions and brainstorm sessions.
“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.”
‘Sustainability and comfort’
Joan Miró Ramos, Chairman of EVIA: “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.
“We have to ensure that regulatory changes fully encompass the expectations and needs of next generations”, according Juergen Goeller, Chairman of the EPEE Steering Committee. “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 Eueka 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.
More info can be found at the Eureka website.