Together with two other European projects SYMPHONY started a new international initiative and formed the cluster ERHASE – EneRgy HArvesting for a Sustainable future. The three projects – FAST SMART, InComEss and SYMPHONY – are funded by the European Commission under the same action in 2019 call on energy harvesters.
The SYMPHONY Consortium at the M18 meeting in Weiz. Copyright: Gerhard Krobath, WEIZ Innovation centre
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The aim of the ERHASE cluster is to address the technical scope areas within the context of energy harvesting and storage technologies. Through the cluster, participating projects may expand their impact beyond the project level, while contributing to the dissemination of state-of-the-art research and developments. Together, the three projects will boost awareness regarding the research outcomes and promote energy harvesting with relevant stakeholders, such as academia and industry, in particular:

  • Define a knowledge sharing framework around common goals
  • Increase the outreach of each project’s activities and enhance the visibility of EU efforts towards energy harvesting and storage technologies
  • Enhance and rationalize communication and dissemination and stakeholders engagement activities
  • Strengthen the relationship between EU-funded projects guidelines

All the three projects gather together a consortium of excellence, active in different strategic areas:


PLUG AND FORGET“ is the inspirational motif that generated FAST-SMART, an international European project funded by EC that gathered together for 48 months top-rated universities, research centres and companies expert in materials, solar panels and transport systems. The objective of the project is to improve the efficiency of how we can collect alternative forms of energies generated by our surroundings (e.g. light, heat, mechanical vibrations) and convert them in energy that we can reuse to feed our devices, such as sensors and solar panels. This process is called ENERGY HARVESTING.

Energy harvesting happens using devices called ENERGY HARVESTERS. Their science and development is relatively new and, at the moment, it is possible to obtain only small amounts of energy that, by the way, can already allow small devices such as mobile phones handset to have their own power supply without being plugged. Energy harvesting is beneficial to our environment because reuse natural forms of energies that otherwise would be dissipated or wasted. At present energy harvesters are produced using toxic material (such as Lead) and other strategic materials classified as Critical Raw Materials (such as Titanium) available in limited quantities in Europe and making our continent vulnerable and dependent from external sources.

FAST-SMART project aims to develop energy harvesters based on new materials without elements that can harm our planet or elements no present in Europe mining portfolio. In particular, two categories of energy harvesters will be innovated: piezoelectric and thermoelectric and tested in three application fields: sensors for railway track vibration detection, solar panels and hybrid engines.  FAST SMART project will bring innovation not only in materials but also in the assembly steps, with more efficient low energy consumption synthesis process and faster assembly techniques.“


The InComEss project proposes a new green and cost-effective strategy for high efficient energy harvesting by combining new smart advanced polymer-based composite materials and structures into a single/multi-source concept to harvest electrical energy from mechanical energy and/or waste heat ambient sources, which consists of three novel Energy Harvesting Systems (EHSs) configurations: Piezoelectric, Thermoelectric and hybrid Thermo/PiezoElectric EHSs. InComEss will implement innovative lead-free Materials, Systems and Structures to develop Energy Harvesting Systems able to power FOS, GPS and MEMS sensors in SHM and vehicle monitoring in automotive, aerospace and building, presenting the highest market potential.

The project seeks at developing efficient smart materials with energy harvesting and storage capabilities combining advanced polymer based-composite materials into a novel single/multi-source concept to harvest electrical energy from mechanical energy and/or waste heat ambient sources. The project will demonstrate its applicability in key sectors and applications, SHM and vehicle monitoring in automotive, aerospace and building, presenting the highest market potential.


The SYMPHONY project delivers an energy supply platform for the powering of wireless sensors/sensor nodes for monitoring remote or difficult-to-access locations. The energy supply in this system is completely made of printed, recyclable, and non-toxic materials including the ferroelectric polymer P(VDF-TrFE), printable Si-based rectifiers, redox polymer batteries and cellulose-based supercapacitors. The SYMPHONY project develops cost effective and scalable methods to print these materials on flexible films and to combine them with energy efficient electronics and sensor technologies.

The SYMPHONY solution will significantly reduce the carbon footprint by increasing the lifetime of wind turbines, making room heating/cooling more efficient, through presence and motion tracking smart floors and decreasing the energy consumption in e-bikes, through remote tube pressure control. The printed technology can be integrated cost effectively in stretchable and flexible devices, representing a huge potential for usage in a wide range of further IoT-supported applications.

EU funding acknowledgment:
The project FAST SMART, SYMPHONY and InComEss receive funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the European Commission.