José Ramón PERAN GONZALEZ

Roger Léron Award 2018 Finalist

Dr. José Ramón Perán Gonzalez is an emeritus professor at Valladolid University, where he manages the Department of Systems Engineering and Automatics. Because he has worked in the private sector for thirty years, he could see the existing gap between the Academy and Industry and to solve the industrial problems, he promoted applied research and innovation. He dedicated his professional career, more than 50 years, to research and teaching and he continues to be active through the management of the pioneer Technological Centre CARTIF. He actively contributed to the creation of the regional innovation system in Castilla y León. After 20 years of work, CARTIF has consolidated a relevant group of more than 70 professional researchers leading high-level projects on Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energies, Smart Cities, Circular Economy, Biofuels. He has always been aware of the great importance of energy in all its applications, especially industries and cities.


Description of the active role towards local sustainable energy in Europe:

José Ramón Perán has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and in Physical Science and is an Economics graduate. He has been working in the private sector for thirty years, becoming the Industrial Director of Renault factory in Valladolid. Also, he is an emeritus professor at Valladolid University, where he managed the Department of Systems Engineering and Automatics. Thus, he could see the existing gap between the Academy and Industry. In order to solve this problem (at least in Castilla y León region), he put all his efforts in building a Technological Centre (now known as CARTIF) to solve industrial problems through applied research and innovation. One of the challenges José R. Perán focused on was the use of renewables to boost the economy of the region. For over 20 years, he has contributed to the development of sustainable energy in the European Union, through the promotion of work in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by means of CARTIF Foundation. From the very beginning, CARTIF promoted the implementation of thermal and photovoltaic panels and biomass heating systems in homes and in the tertiary sector as well as testing the transformation of sub products and raw materials in bioethanol for being used in vehicles. As a result, the centre was a pioneer in R+D+i projects in renewable energy and biofuels in Spain. After twenty years of work, and under the leadership of J.R. Perán CARTIF became a European reference centre for Energy Efficiency, Sustainability and Smart Cities in Europe. More than seventy professional researchers are leading high-level projects on these themes with a very strong impact on Castilla y León and beyond. As a result, the capital city of the region, Valladolid, is the first in the ranking of Spanish municipalities receiving funds from Horizon 2020, mainly due to the projects led by CARTIF. Thanks to CARTIF projects, thousands of people from Castilla y Leon have been indirectly benefiting in terms of GHG emissions reduction; improved air quality and better living conditions, among others. Directly, around 100 residential and tertiary buildings have implemented energy measures and RES integration in Castilla y Leon region. More than 6000 people have seen the reduction in their energy bills, 5 e-buses and 47 EV deployed in the city, can be mentioned as example figures. Finally, CARTIF has promoted the participation of Spanish companies in European programmes. During the last ten years, more than 40 projects have been led by CARTIF promoting the access of more than 70 Spanish and 30 Castilla y León regional entities to the European Framework and LIFE Programmes.     


Persistence:

José R. Perán has dedicated his entire professional career, more than 50 years, to research and teaching and he continues to be active through the management of a pioneer Technological Centre such as CARTIF.         


Impact:

J.R. Perán and CARTIF have had a very active role in the transformation of the European cities toward a more sustainable living environment and in the development of energy efficient buildings and facilities. More than 100 international projects have been executed under Perán’s leadership. As a result, he has contributed to achieve a reduction in energy consumption, GHG emissions, improve air quality and better citizen’s living conditions. More than 100 European cities have been impacted with these projects, deploying innovative replicable and integrated solutions in the energy and transport sectors. In addition, these projects have allowed implementing energy solutions for around 100 residential and tertiary buildings just in Castilla y Leon region (several hundred across Europe). Castilla y León, a region where CARTIF is located and where J.R. Perán has worked all his life, has hugely benefited from his actions. The energy-efficient solutions and RES implemented have allowed savings on final energy consumptions of 50% in the buildings involved and a reduction in the energy bills of 6,000 residents, as a minimum. Also, energy retrofit of emblematic and historic buildings (markets, churches, etc.), sports centres and industry with energy efficient measures and RES integration, strategic energy city plans, clean transport systems, etc., are developed by CARTIF in the region. Thanks to CARTIF, the electric vehicle has been encouraged in Valladolid. 5 e-buses, 47 EV and 20 private charging infrastructures in the city are some of the resulting figures. Total investment has been around 24 M€, a part of creating better conditions for economic growth and employment generation in the region.         


Strategic Vision:

José R. Perán has actively contributed to the creation of the regional innovation system in Castilla y León. He has participated from the very beginning in all processes focused to design and implement regional technology plans, from the first one in 1997 to the last RIS3. From his position as Professor in the University and with a background of Manufacturing Director of the Renault factory, he could see the existent gap between the Academy and Industry. From this moment he has been devoted to contributing with a solution to this great problem. The creation of CARTIF, a technology centre focused on applied research, was the direct result of this concern. The candidate could also identify the lack of an applied research capacity in the region around Energy and Environment and promoted the creation of a research area in CARTIF. After twenty years of work, CARTIF has consolidated a relevant group of more than seventy professional researchers leading high-level projects on Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energies, Smart Cities, Circular Economy, Biofuels, etc. In 2010, José R. Perán showed again his strategic vision when he decided to promote, with the collaboration of Castilla y León Regional Government and the municipalities of Valladolid and Palencia, the creation of a public-private association aimed to foster the interdisciplinary collaboration for leading ambitious projects to be implemented in the participant cities. The successful initiative resulted in the involvement of both cities in REMOURBAN and mySMARTLife Lighthouse projects, and other relevant achievements.


Leadership:

José R. Perán has always been aware of the great importance of energy in all its applications, especially industries and cities. His commitment is clearly focused on Energy Efficiency and clean energy sources. Twenty years ago, he gathered a small group of young and very dynamic researchers working in the field of energy and facilitated their activity by marking some strategic guidelines aimed to work on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. This first group of researchers is now a professional and consolidated team of more than 70 women and men working very closely with companies and institutions under different projects and initiatives. The candidate strongly fostered the participation and leadership by CARTIF of international projects. The centre has a very remarkable growing trend as partner and coordinator in Framework European Programmes. Participating for the first time in the V Program, in a very testimonial way, it was not until the Seventh Framework Program when the international scope began to be relevant in the CARTIF activity. Currently, the activity in H2020 is the main one in the centre, which most of the researchers in the area of Energy and Environment are dedicated. The LIFE program is also of great importance for CARTIF, in which in the last 8 years, it has been one of the main actors, especially as a project leader.