15 Jun 2009


GERG, the European Gas Research Group, held its 1st Academic Network Event in Brussels on 4th & 5th June, as a means of establishing an academic network to enlarge and strengthen links between selected universities and the European gas industry’s research centres.

The Academic Network is an opportunity for academics to:
-be a part of the gas industry’s contribution to a sustainable energy future;
-have closer links with gas industry experts across Europe;
-share knowledge & problems;
-be aware of international energy issues;
-publish papers and promote successful R&D.

Twenty post-graduate students working towards an M. Sc. or Ph. D. funded by, or relevant to, the gas industry were invited with their supervisors to present their work to a select audience made up of their peers, gas industry R&D experts and representatives from the EU institutions.
The oversubscribed Event, which proved very successful, comprised two days of high quality presentations on research topics, debate and discussion in the beautiful setting of the Victor Horta-designed Hotel Van Eetvelde in Brussels in an atmosphere that encouraged interaction and conviviality.
Three substantial prizes were awarded for the best work, based on the criteria: Technical Quality, Innovation and the presentation itself, to:
1st Roy Visser. University of Twente, The Netherlands. “Long term performance of plastic pipes in gas distribution systems”;
2nd Patricia Seevam, Newcastle University, U.K. “CO2 transport by pipeline”;
3rd Jiexun Di, Oxford University, U.K. “Development of highly active natural gas reforming catalyst for internal reforming in low temperature SOFC”.


• Links to industry, including manufacturers, international energy producers, transporters and suppliers;
• Potential for employment by major European energy companies;
• Opportunity to be a part of the gas industry’s contribution to an energy sustainable future;
• Possible source of:
• new funding;
• new projects;
• new project partners;
• Access to:
• a wider industry knowledge base;
• information on real technical issues/problems of international significance;
• new potential applications for R&D results;
• an implementation route;
• European Commission, National Energy Regulators and other National Government Agencies;
• Closer links with gas industry experts across Europe;
• Opportunities to research applicability of latest technologies;
• Invitation to GERG Programme Committee meetings;
• Sharing knowledge;
• Sharing problems;
• Potential for post-graduate placements in laboratories across Europe;
• Awareness of international/world energy issues;
• Opportunity to:
• be part of a large international network;
• publish papers and promote successful R&D;
• share knowledge;
• The GERG prize.

What is GERG?
GERG, the European Gas Research Group, is a research and development organisation with a unique role in Europe, in that it provides both support and stimulus for the technological innovation necessary to ensure that the European gas industry can rise to meet the technological challenges of the new century.
GERG was founded in 1961 to strengthen the gas industry within the European Community and it achieves this by promoting research and technological innovation in all aspects of the gas chain. Established as a network to enable exchange of information between a select group of specialist R&D centres to avoid duplication of effort, it has grown steadily to its current size whilst retaining and expanding its original aims. Its priorities are networking, technical information exchange, and the promotion of collaborative R&D.
GERG membership currently stands at 21 members from 12 countries, each actively involved in natural gas R&D. It’s worth noting that despite, or maybe as a result of, the changes in the European natural gas landscape, GERG membership has doubled in recent years.
GERG is based in Brussels to benefit from proximity to the institutions of the European Union and great emphasis is placed on maintenance of links with the EU, working for recognition of the importance of natural gas-related R&D and providing support to members in setting up collaborative R&D projects under the European Union’s R&D Framework Programmes.
It is worth reinforcing the point that the members of GERG represent some of the most expert technical performers in the international natural gas R&D community, combining to contribute key skills and experience that would be impossible to resource at the purely national level. GERG is, without doubt, very well-equipped to undertake energy sector research and technological development and make a significant contribution into the 21st century.