CIRCE – innovation in energy and environment

CIRCE Foundation is an independent Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption founded in 1993 in Spain by the University of Zaragoza, the Aragón Government, and the Endesa Group. It is intended to develop scientific and technical knowledge and provide innovative solutions to the business sector in the field of energy to support sustainable development. EMDESK as a project management tool for research projects, especially those under Horizon 2020, proudly supports CIRCE’s goals and ambitions.

In 1993, the Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption (CIRCE), was established as an independent research centre by the University of Zaragoza, the regional government of Aragonin, Spain, and multiple industrial partners; with the goal of developing technical and scientific knowledge that would be able to provide new and innovative solutions in the field of energy to support sustainable development to businesses.

With over 25 years of experience, handling 1,500+ research projects, CIRCE has been able to expand from its headquarters in Zaragoza by establishing branches in Brussels (2010) and Madrid (2016). At present, CIRCE has 150 multidisciplinary professionals working with over 250 clients around the world.

CIRCE – centre for energy efficiency & research projects

CIRCE aims to achieve its mission of supporting companies in their sustainable growth by assisting them at every stage of the innovation value chain. CIRCE helps companies to get involved in the major research fora and programmes and provides innovative solutions to the challenges that they face in developing R&D&I projects.

CIRCE builds a long-term partnership with businesses and entrepreneurs and helps them to find the proper funding programmes that would turn their ideas into reality, optimize their processes, boost efficiency, and gain a competitive advantage in their sector. CIRCE’s energy and environmental expertise provides clients with customized support and advice on development strategies, project management, actions, and regulation.

CIRCE provides solution services for:

  • Businesses: helping companies at every stage of the innovation value chain, from generating ideas that respond to a specific need to turning those ideas into solutions
  • R&D Center and Universities: forming new alliances with other technology centres and universities around the world to work on research projects that require collaboration
  • Public Administrations: helping public institutions in every area linked to energy and environmental matters, as well as boostering their role as drivers of innovation through public contracting

Innovative and competitive project management tool for CIRCE

The success and growth of CIRCE hasn’t been without its challenges. Tasks like collaboration with a large number of teams and partners, preparing proposals, managing the technical and administrative aspects of research projects under Horizon 2020, project management in Horizon 2020, being positioned on a variety of EU platforms, associations, and fora linked to energy and the environment were becoming increasingly difficult.

To meet these challenges, in 2013 CIRCE switched to EMDESK as its project management tool. Using EMDESK to complete countless proposals and twenty research projects. EMDESK was able to provide CIRCE with support not only in project management itself, but also in team communication, event planning, deliverables, follow-ups, and their document repository.

One of the biggest challenges of project management within a large team is sharing data in a way that allows everyone to get the information they need without compromising the integrity of sensitive information. EMDESK project management tool was able to customize a secure data sharing system to fit CIRCE’s organizational framework and needs.

With the help of EMDESK, CIRCE is better equipped to manage, understand, and visualize the distribution of resources from a general (consortium) point of view. Consequently, EMDESK’s document repository has become a great resource to gather the results of projects and meetings in a safe and accessible manner. This allows CIRCE to provide beneficiaries of Horizon 2020 with clear follow-ups on research projects with a significant amount of time saved.

Overall, EMDESK has been a successful project management tool for CIRCE to streamline its collaboration and Horizon 2020 project management in a secure environment.

Challenges

  • Preparing Horizon 2020 proposals with a high level of collaboration
  • Managing the technical and administrative aspects of research projects under Horizon 2020
  • Positioning on major EU platforms, associations and fora linked to energy and the environment
  • Finding an efficient and secure platform for information sharing with hundreds of partners
  • Ensuring accurate and consistent data reporting and tracking of various research projects

Solutions

  • Analysing the existing infrastructure and providing a customized system for project management with CIRCE’s organisational framework
  • Delivering smart and powerful solutions for managing and distributing resources
  • Providing a platform for team communication, events planning, deliverables, follow-ups, and a document repository
  • Providing an effective project management tool for coordinating research projects under Horizon 2020

Results

  • A secure document repository with resources to maintain the results of projects and meetings
  • Switching other research projects to EMDESK after the first successful project completion
  • The successful set-up and management of 20 research projects including those under Horizon 2020
  • Completion of a countless number of proposals including those under Horizon 2020
  • Improved technical and commercial support

CIRCE was certified as a National Innovation and Technology Center in 2001. In 2009, it established the CIRCE Mixed University Research Institute in collaboration with the University of Zaragoza. CIRCE currently manages the European Project Office of the Spanish CO2 Technology Platform.