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Linear (Local Intelligent Networks and Energy Active Regions) is a large-scale project about smart grids. It is collaboration between industry and research institutes. The Flemish government, as well as the industry, support the project financial with budgets for innovation. The project is carried out by a consortium of around twenty partners and will last 5 years (2009-2014). This project is crucial for Flanders to realize a transition towards sustainable energy supply and is one of the projects to occupy a leading position within the European innovative regions. This paper reports on the early findings and lessons learnt.