In 2013 I had the good fortune to be able to join Ferrovial Services as an innovation and processes technician with the purpose of participating in a project co-funded by the European Commission, within the framework of the CIP programme (Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme).
Getting involved in a project of this kind proved to be a highly enriching and interesting experience from the outset. Firstly, working with such a varied group of people, with different professional profiles, is a unique experience. It helps to open your mind and to understand the differing points of views of your colleagues. Companies from Serbia, Italy, Poland, the UK, Ireland and Spain have participated in TEDS4BEE. Despite the cultural barrier it might sometimes pose, working in a language which is not your native tongue has proved a unique opportunity for me.
The project, which is drawing to a close, consisted in introducing a digital energy management service into 16 public buildings of different types, and spread across five different countries, with the resultant variety in climate and characteristics. As such, by studying the different energy consumption figures and external variables such as humidity or temperature, based on the implementation of a series of energy efficiency measures specific to each of the buildings, we studied their impact on consumption in the buildings and the influence of external variables.
Furthermore, the diverse range of tasks I carried out as part of my work gave me the chance to get out of my comfort zone and acquire new skills to complement my training. Apart from the more engineering-based and technical tasks, coordinating the project called on me to take on responsibilities more related to management, organisation and logistics. We also participated in innovation trade fairs, presenting TEDS4BEE, and we held assessment meetings with staff from the European Commission. Tasks, in short, that were new to me. Personally, the opportunity that the project has given me to be able to travel to different parts of Europe feels like a prize in itself. The project requirements called for us to attend events and meetings in London, Novi Sad (Serbia), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Brussels.
I recall how overwhelming it all seemed at first, with huge amounts of information to take in, which ended up becoming an ongoing learning process in every aspect. The working team has been united as one throughout, and the collaborative atmosphere we breathed in all around us was perfect for successfully completing all of the project tasks and goals.
TEDS4BEE set me a number of challenges, both technical and personal, which I have attempted to address with enthusiasm and the desire to learn at all times. I feel that RDI used in real cases, when not limited to theoretical application, is a passionate experience because it deals with something “tangible”, given that we can verify and measure the effects of our work immediately.
Now that this great adventure is coming to an end, I can say that I will be taking three words from it: illusion, team, innovation. The three pillars responsible for the success of this project and, most importantly, the concepts that helped me see all too clearly that my place lies in the world of innovation and energy efficiency.