The ENeRAG project started to run from 1 October 2018 through the cooperation of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE)University of Milan (UMIL) and Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and support of external partners. The aim is to upgrade the expertise of ELTE in the fields of geofluids through an innovative approach that relates diverse aspects of geofluids application. Geoenergy, groundwater and hydrothermal minerals are the three main pillars around which expertise can grow. 

The project had planned plenty of activities: student exchanges, short courses, field courses, as well as participation and organization of events.  

Plans got affected by the spread of the pandemic and with it the project got an unexpected twist in its realization. In a phase where face-to-face happenings had not been possible, the best emerged from the worst. We all learned to use remote meeting tools. Having all to face basic challenges in the same periods brought up an innovative spirit while learning new platforms and handling new modes of interrelations. Newly discovered opportunities came out from the difficult situation, in the specific, the short courses first planned to be realized internally within ENeRAG partners have been opened up for free to the public. 

Online workshop on: 

  • “Environmental Isotope Tracers in Hydrogeological Applications” (5-9 October 2020), 
  • “Shallow geothermal energy: from the ground to buildings, from the field to modelling” (30 November – 3 December 2020), 
  • “Knowledge transfer for modelling shallow bedrock energy utilization” (23-25 March 2021), 
  • “Mineral resources in hydrothermal mineral systems” (17-21 May 2021), 

attracted hundreds of participants from around the world.  

Project partners coupled with invited expert speakers also coming from the work fields merged theory and application for all-around education. The adaptation to the new type of training has generated the creation of valuable educational material, which not only presents theoretical aspects but also demos on open access tools and videos on field and laboratory methodologies applied in the sectors.  

Figure – 1) Isotope analyses process of O&H with Picarro- virtual tour.  2) Participants could enjoy a virtual tour by Turku Region Water Ltd to the MAR plant that has been presented to the workshop and that is not public for security reasons. 3) Video on GTK’s mobile geoenergy unit activity was also shown. 4) About minerals, demos of the online tool MPM has been saved within the video captures of the workshop on mineral resources in hydrothermal mineral systems.  

The workshops have been an opportunity for creating new contacts and for sharing knowledge at international level, but also an opportunity for mutual growth. More than 20 lecturers from GTK, 2 from UMIL, 1 from ELTE, 19 externals have cooperated in the realization of the workshops.  

The last educational online event of the project goes beyond the workshops done until now and tackle a 2-week winter school on “Improving skills in conservative and reactive transport modelling” (20-30 September 2021). Content will introduce mathematical models for flow and transport in geological media, will present stochastic transport modelling and risk assessment aspects will teach the use of multi-domain upscaling modelling tools and applied reactive transport modelling using multicomponent geochemical systems.  

The corresponding summer school run at the beginning of ENeRAG project involved only the partners in direct teaching and field trips. Now the winter school is realized online, free of charge and open to the public. The event will be held between 20-30 September 2021, it is organized by UMIL and GTK and benefits from internationally recognized invited lecturers. Registration closes by 10 September 2021 and we wish large international participation as for the previous events.  

Still an opportunity for common development where we are keen to be participating.