The transition to a low-carbon energy system poses a unique set of policy, technological and scientific challenges, as it changes the fundamental nature of the interrelations between all actors in our societies (from energy incumbents to regulators and citizens). Not only there is a need to find novel approaches to the development and application of technological or social processes as they relate to the energy transition, but also to better understand the changes they bring to people’s behaviour, pervasive values, cultures of practice and modes of communication.
Since researchers in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) have a particular expertise in analysing and understanding deep change and in designing innovation processes, including social innovations, they must play a stronger role in addressing energy-related challenges. Accordingly, SSH aspects must be better integrated into all stages of the research process.
At present, the energy-related SSH landscape is quite fragmented: there is a lack of exchange among different SSH communities, as well as between these communities and other energy-research disciplines. Creating a platform for better interaction between SSH and other energy-research disciplines would fill an existing gap and contribute to better responding to on-going changes and arising challenges in the energy field.Scope:
Within the scope of this call a platform for SSH research communities in the energy field will be set up at European level, aiming to integrate and build upon the experience of already existing networks and initiatives. The platform will seek to structure and enhance the energy-related dialogue at EU level among the different SSH stakeholders, as well as with other energy-research communities, creating greater inter-disciplinarity and fostering knowledge and information sharing among various disciplines. It will promote the generation of novel, evidence-based research designed to inform and influence relevant policy processes, particularly with respect to the role of SSH aspects (including gender) in hindering or accelerating the transition to a low-carbon energy system in Europe. The platform will also be a source of specific expertise and advice to EU policymakers, such as on how best to embed SSH aspects in Horizon 2020 energy calls, as well as how to address the SSH dimension in EU energy initiatives more broadly.
With a view to addressing specific research and innovation needs in the energy field, and as a principal goal of the platform, a program of activities will be designed. This program will set out how the platform will:
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.Expected Impact:
The proposal is expected to:
This activity directly aimed at supporting public-public partnerships with Member States and Associated Countries, technology platforms with industrial partners is excluded from the delegation to INEA and will be implemented by the Commission services.