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9th W4RES Webinar on Women in RES at SINTEF Norway
Was organized by the European Centre for Women and Technology
The 9th webinar in the framework of the W4RES Capacity Building measures for supporting gender mainstreaming in Women in Renewable Energy Systems was organized by the European Centre for women and Technology presenting Women in RES @ SINTEF Norway. SINTEF founded in 1950 is a world-leading independent multidisciplinary research organization based in Trondheim, Norway with international top-level expertise in the fields of technology, the natural sciences, medicine, and the social sciences and with the vision: Technology for a better society. 
The two keynote presenters of our webinar were Sigrid LædreSenior Research Scientist, and Marie-Laure Fontaine – Research Manager, both working at SINTEF Industry.Sigrid Lædre focused in her presentation on 3 key questions: (i) SINTEF intro, (ii) DEI at SINTEF, (iii) own research(i) SINTEF with more than 2200 employees, 6900 projects and 3200 clients, with 6100 publications and a turnover of 3.8 bn NOK is a respected partner when business and governments seek to accelerate the Green Transition in Europe and globally. SINTEF is participating in 10 out of the 12 EU Green Platform projects awarded funding in 2021- 2022. In the Green Deal, SINTEF is participating in projects that have attracted 17.5 per cent of the EUR 1 billion in green funds the EU has made available.SINTEF´s organization with six research institutes (SINTEF Community, SINTEF Industry, SINTEF Digital, SINTEF Ocean, SINTEF Energy and SINTEF Manufacturing) ensures market relevance and academic strength for the SINTEF Foundation.SINTEF´s strategic initiatives provide multidisciplinary collaboration for complex challenges. SINTEF´s innovation capacity builds on three key pillars: massive expertise and cooperation between Businesses, University research and education and SINTEF Multi-disciplinary contract research. SINTEF is also focused heavily on exploring how it can use the EU taxonomy to strengthen its client offering in order to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society and pleased to see that social conditions (equity and diversity) are being established as criteria in the taxonomy. Finally Sigrid stressed the importance of the four key SINTEF Values: Honesty – Generosity – Courage – Togetherness. 

(ii) DEI at SINTEF: A general tendency is showing that the proportion of women is greater in the youngest age groups: 20 to 29: 48 % women and between 60 to 69: 16 % women. The goal is to have at least 40 % women by 2031. In regard to the different research institutes, it varies between 46% in the SINTEF Community and 20% in SINTEF Manufacturing. Among senior researchers at present: 27%. The SINTEF Gender Equality Plan (GEP) valid from 1st Jan 2022 has formulated clear targets for 3 (2024) – 5 (2026) – 10  (2031) years.

(iii) Own research: Sigrid started as a research scientist in SINTEF in 2016, gained a PhD at NTNU and became Senior Research Scientist in 2022. Sigrid specializes in Renewable Energy Systems with main focus on production and use of hydrogen and ammonia in maritime systems with some large-scale research projects: Code_PEM, H2, Zero-Kyst and CORE.

Marie-Laure Fontaine has a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at CIRIMAT in Toulouse focusing on porosity and composition graded electrodes for SOFCs and is research manager of the group Thin Film and Membrane Technologies at SINTEF Industry since 2021. The group has 19 scientists (6 women and 13 men) from seven countries. Marie-Laure´s research activities focus on the development of electrochemical devices for sustainable technologies aiming at power, chemicals and fuel production with CO2 capture and core areas of research: Hydrogen, ammonia, e-fuels, Carbon capture, transport and utilization, Energy storage, Solar technologies and Sensor technologies. Their daily work comprises different competence levels from TRL 1 to TRL 6.

Key take-aways from Marie -Laure´s presentation were the facts she very strongly emphasized about: 

  • A unique opportunity to have a great depth and variety of tasks going from researching new solutions: advanced materials and thin films, advanced technologies and applications and understanding: characterization and modelling of properties.
  • Core research in Proton conducting ceramic based technologies
  • Currently coordinating several European projects (WINNER, SUSTAINCELL) funded by Clean Hydrogen Partnership.
  • All researchers have also a strong responsibility for securing the funding of their work: basic grant of the Research Council is around 8%. It is therefore crucial that researchers have a passion and enjoy their work!

Marie-Laure is coordinator of the Autumn School 2023 in Valencia 24-26th October.

A three-day event co-organized by five EU projects and desiring to create an international exchange and learning forum for scholars interested in learning more about organic electrochemical reactors for sustainable chemicals, fuels and power production.