One of the critical issues in supply chain services, particularly regarding the logistics and distribution of materials and goods, is the management of the dedicated network and its flows. A robust network is essentially one that ensures efficient route scheduling, accounting for the location of resources, while using the optimal number and means of transport and fit-for purpose supporting infrastructure.
To optimize its supply chain operation and management, our client, a leading company* in its sector, has appointed MERIT as the Logistics and Distribution consultant in supporting its logistics network design. MERIT is responsible for critically evaluating the performance of transportation modes within the specific industry of its client, and for demonstrating and showcasing means of effective connection between the resources and stakeholders.
To that end, MERIT provided its Project Management expertise towards improving its client’s network planning and scheduling capability. Starting from a review of the current market status in intermodal transportation and competition analysis between modes, MERIT analyzed the implementation of flows through different corridors with a focus on rail freight transportation, identifying the optimal characteristics for future network design, through multiple activities including current infrastructure review, development of strategic plans for transport, and assessing the financial and service level effects of different logistics’ options. Throughout the project, MERIT was also the liaison with the market stakeholders and provided key insights into future policy shifts in favor of improving the network’s quality and interoperability. In all, MERIT demonstrated in detail all the work planning for the effective implementation of a corridor spanning from SE Europe and all the way to the Nordic countries, for achieving cost efficient and sustainable transport services, and found targeted funding to fulfil the project realization.
Property investments, irrespective of their type, can be difficult to carry forward, as they might come with a fair share of financial risk or be complicated enough to begin with. To optimize any investment, decrease uncertainty and increase returns, careful planning is needed from the early stages of property development to its construction and commissioning.
Our client, a large company* in the product development and manufacturing industry, has delegated MERIT with the responsibility of leading the pre-development of its new-workstream facilities in waste management to address its strategic unit planning. Particularly, MERIT is responsible for defining the legal, financial, and planning parameters of its client’s new waste management constructions, setting the timeframe and defining its new area of work. Building on its extensive experience in strategic advice and cost management, MERIT is responsible for the evaluation of the new construction’s capital and operating expenses, for conducting strategic and financial risk assessment and reviewing all financial issues leading up to construction.
Sludge treatment and disposal has started gaining considerable ground in recent years calling for new, cost-efficient solutions as the sludge output from all sorts of processes (industrial, municipal, and others) is expected to rise world-wide. Sludge treatment is also a rather costly procedure and an environmental challenge in its own right, having to fit within the strict compliance constraints of regulatory and environmental standards.
MERIT has been appointed by an industrial company* as the exclusive consultant for delivering a highly efficient and sustainable, sludge management and treatment solution for its industrial facilities. In this framework, MERIT in collaboration with its partners from academia, catered for advancing and transferring scientific and technical knowledge on all aspects of sludge treatment and management for its client, developing an innovative waste management solution in full compliance with the relevant regulatory, environmental, and social standards. The solution delivered spans all stages from developing the new waste treatment technology to catering for the waste final disposal.
MERIT specifically, conducted an initial assessment of the waste stream treatment context, covering all aspects from the rationale behind the proposed technology and its process flow to the financial readiness assessment, including a review of the facilities’ capital and operating expenses and investment analysis and benchmarking. Further to that, MERIT developed the whole work plan, including the timeframe and area of work for the sludge disposal, assessing all parameters for effective implementation, including investment analysis and risk assessment, setting a fully-fledged target model for the planned project. Within its responsibilities, MERIT also ensured the funding of the project implementation, by developing the project plan and feasibility for the targeted subsidy program, walking its client through the whole process until ensuring grant payment.
Currently, there are many technologies able to reduce CO2 by chemically converting it to value added products. Amongst the various technologies, electrochemical processes have been recognized as very promising in terms of their potential environmental and economic benefits.
Within this context, the EU project DECADE was awarded a €5.3 million -worth contract in order to produce innovative photoelectrochemical devices that use carbon dioxide as a raw material and convert it to highly value-added products. More specifically, the DECADE solution is based on the concept of creating devices that use solar energy to valorize the waste CO2, with the use of a photovoltaic system as well as chemical substances, such as bioethanol, to produce advanced chemical compounds . In this way the project contributes to the functional closure of the carbon cycle and the reduction of the carbon footprint by various processes.
The project is being undertaken by 16 partners from the EU and Japan with the European Research Institute of Catalysis (ERIC) being the coordinating beneficiary.
Within the project, Merit has undertaken the definition of the strategy for the maturation and utilization of DECADE technology to ensure the continuity and commercial exploitation of the project’s solution.
The increased use of fluctuating renewable energy sources in the grids, has given rise to a number of challenges, such as production curtailment and unbalances in the electricity grid, to name a few. Electric batteries have come into play as a widely adopted solution to overcome such challenges. Besides energy storage however, other technologies, such as Power to Heat (P2H), Power to Gas (P2G) or Combined Heat and Storage (CHP) can bring further benefits to the energy system, by offering flexibility to the demand side. Such technologies arise from the interaction between the electricity network with other energy networks (e.g. natural gas network).
The PLANET project envisions to facilitate the full integration of renewable energy in the electricity grid through global coordination of all energy networks (electricity, gas, heat) and the different technologies for energy storage and conversion. Acknowledging the project’s potential, the European Union awarded the PLANET consortium a € 4 million worth contract to create simulation models for the integration of renewable energy in the network and for exploring and demonstrating the synergies between energy networks and conversion/storage technologies.
PLANET develops a holistic decision support system based on hardware, software and networking components that will be available for use by utilities (DSOs), policy makers and storage technologies. The PLANET tools will enable all stakeholders to explore, identify, evaluate and quantitatively assess grid planning and management strategies for future energy scenarios that target full energy system de-carbonisation.
The project is being carried by a consortium of 11 partners from 7 different EU countries, including Italy, Belgium, Greece, Finland, UK, France, Germany with Technical University of Torino (Italy) being the coordinating beneficiary.
MERIT, deploys its extensive expertise in market and policy analysis as well as in consumer behavioral profiling, to contribute insights into generating the user requirements and specifications and the system architecture and into formulating the exploitation strategy and business innovation planning. On top of that, MERIT is also actively involved in developing policy and market reform recommendations to facilitate the carbon-free energy system, to showcase the compliance and commercial viability of the PLANET project.
Decentralized energy systems offer promising opportunities for utilizing renewable energy sources available locally, and for providing clean energy access to isolated or remote communities. At the same time, however, it is also a technological and financial challenge for the power network to adopt the increasing share of renewables.
MERLON, being acknowledged as a project that addresses both the financial and technological challenges of renewable energy integration in decentralized systems, was offered a € 7.5 million contract by the European Union. The project offers a holistic approach to the optimization of the local energy system by means of an integrated modular local energy management framework which accounts for high shares of fluctuating renewable energy generation. MERLON is spanning across many levels of the energy system and combines all currently relevant sustainable technologies, including distributed generation, demand, storage as well as electric vehicles and interconnections between different local energy networks.
MERLON also enables local energy communities to introduce themselves in local flexibility markets; novel business models are being developed while local DSOs are being assigned the role of “Aggregator of Aggregators” and the tools for the provision of added value services to the overlay distribution grid.
MERLON’s innovative solutions are being tested in two pilot sites, in Austria and Spain, exhibiting diverse characteristics to ensure a representative validation process of the project solutions.
The project is being carried by a consortium of 12 partners from 7 different EU countries, including Spain, UK, Cyprus, Austria, France, Belgium, Greece with HYPERTECH (Greece) being the coordinating beneficiary.
MERIT, as an expert in the field, is leading the exploitation and business innovation activities. For this reason, a plan is developed to facilitate the realistic delivery of the exploitation and business planning process. This plan includes sales strategy, supply chain management activities, competition analysis, operational plan, financial projections and post project funding needs for the exploitation of project outcomes during and after the project.
With a significant experience in project management coordinating activities, MERIT is forming the link between the consortium members and the European Commission along with being responsible for managing the project consortium, handling budgeting, and monitoring the overall progress and use of resources in accordance with the project’s targets to make sure everything is delivered on time and on budget.
Besides that, Merit is the partner responsible for carrying out the dissemination and communication strategy and activities as well as being responsible for exploiting the project results and for delivering the project’s marketplace to provide an effective link for SMEs in the field to access the PVadapt- BIPV market. Further, MERIT deploys its expertise in various activities within the project, from providing key insights regarding consumers’ behavior and user requirements that help shape the PVadapt technology specifications, to consolidating the project business plan.
The project is developed and implemented by a consortium of 16 partners from 10 different EU countries, including Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Poland, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Germany and Belgium, with Fraunhofer FIT (Germany) being the coordinating beneficiary.
MERIT, building on its energy behavior modelling and profiling experience, analyses the full set of requirements from all stakeholders involved in the buildings’ renovation process in order to produce recommendations for the design of the BIMMERS tools and processes. On top of that, MERIT leads the dissemination and communication activities of the project and, brings its extensive knowledge in new models’ exploitation strategy and business innovation planning, to plan for the commercial deployment of the BIMERR results. During the whole project course, MERIT also leads the organization of the BIMERR Living Lab activities, as a critical source of stakeholder feedback to make sure the BIMMER solution keeps up and operates in the real life context.
To validate the viability of its concept under real circumstances, IELECTRIX tests its solutions in 5 real scale demonstration sites, in 4 different countries (Austria, Hungary, Germany and India), to account for diversity across different regulatory regimes, geographical, technical and economical conditions. The project brings together 15 European countries and one Indian partner spanning in 9 different countries under the coordination of ENEDIS (France).
Within IELECTRIX, MERIT deploys its expertise in business model innovation and exploitation, market and policy analysis, innovative systems’ integration, new model’s exploitation strategy and business innovation planning to unravel the business aspects of the local energy systems’ optimization. Specifically, MERIT develops the business cases to be tested in demonstration sites, particularly focusing on the benefits the project brings about to all stakeholders involved, from the customers participating in the network ecosystem through Demand Response schemes to the DSOs and aggregators, and produces tangible and quantifiable outputs through realistic energy system evolution scenarios. On top of that, MERIT proposes informed plans for the IELECTRIX solution take-up in both similar and different network installations and configurations to showcase how the IELECTRIX solutions can be adapted and implemented viably under different real case conditions.
The European Union Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), as a means to promote the implementation of energy saving measures in buildings, requires Member States to develop programs encouraging companies to undergo energy audits for promoting the implementation of energy saving measures. Energy audits aim to gain sufficient knowledge of an existing set of energy consumption characteristics in a building, building complex, as well as in industrial or commercial activities or establishments, and are particularly important in energy intensive sectors. The auditing process results in the identification and quantification of efficient, case-specific energy saving measures. Yet, many of the relevant sectors suffer from lack of awareness regarding the benefits of energy efficiency.
In the context of the EED, the European Union awarded the E2DRIVER consortium a € 1.9 million-worth contract to train SMEs in the automotive sector, as one of the energy intensive industries, in energy auditing and energy saving measures. To overcome the lack of knowledge, skills and awareness prevalent in the industry, the project’s integrative approach aims to boost capacity-building programmes on energy auditing by establishing an innovative learning platform to promote cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.
The learning platform places people at the centre through a creative training methodology. The hallmark of this methodology is the adaptation of training materials and energy self-assessment tools to each trainee’s needs and motivations through an adaptive learning environment. In addition, peer trainers will take central stage as they generate own knowledge on energy efficiency and share it with their co-workers. Training material, online lessons, guidelines along with energy and financial tools, virtual reality modules will be part of the E2DRIVER platform and key actors in the SMEs’ sector will undergo energy audits and implement their recommendations.
The project is being carried by a consortium of 12 partners from 5 different EU countries, including Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Belgium, with CIRCE (Spain) being the coordinating beneficiary.
Within E2DRIVER, MERIT leads the business model development and the definition of the replication strategies. Specifically, MERIT will leverage its experience in market analysis and business planning, and its extensive expertise in the energy efficiency sector but also in training strategies, to analyze the existing market and build on the competitive advantages of the E2DRIVER methodology and platform. Through the development of a specific business plan MERIT will highlight the unique value proposition of the product and support its positioning, formulating an optimal go-to-market strategy to make sure E2DRIVER reaches the right audience. Following that, MERIT will develop the exploitation strategy while accounting for the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) management to maximize the project’s potential and address all the relevant stakeholders’ needs and expectations. Based on the outcome, MERIT will also deliver the replication strategy so that the E2DRIVER platform and methodology will be ready to be repeated in more territories.
The integration of renewable energy sources into the grid, and the electrification of sectors such as heating, cooling and transport, require targeted upgrades to the distribution network. DSOs, in their role as active system managers, have to strike the right balance between the investments needed for carrying out the upgrades and ensuring affordability and security of energy supply as well as grid stability.
Acknowledging the vision of the PARITY project, the EU awarded a € 9.3 million worth contract to its consortium to provide solutions for increasing the durability and efficiency of the electrical grid, while simultaneously enabling the adoption of more Renewable Energy Sources (RES). This project deals with the organizational status quo of the distribution grids, by: enabling customers to participate in the way the electricity network is operated through a blockchain based local flexibility market platform, and introducing smart grid management tools and flexibility management tools to enable control and coordination of Distributed Energy Sources.
The project is being carried by a consortium of 17 partners from 7 different EU countries, including Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, with CERTH (Greece) being the coordinating beneficiary. The PARITY solution will be demonstrated in 4 pilot sites across the EU (Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Greece), to validate its effectiveness across various cultural and techno-regulatory conditions.
MERIT leverages its experience in communication and dissemination activities, to promote the project and its results, raise awareness regarding smart grids, energy efficiency technologies in buildings and Demand Response management systems. MERIT has proven track record in new models exploitation strategy and business innovation planning, making it ideal to develop the business innovation plan and replication/scale-up roadmap for PARITY, to maximize the project’s impact and ensure broader use of the project results. Owing to its experience in consumer profiling and energy behavior modelling, MERIT is also responsible for enabling and strengthening community engagement, taking a strategic approach to the interactions and relationships between community members, thereby increasing acceptability of the project’s results.