Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Energy-SHIFTS (Energy Social sciences & Humanities Innovation Forum Targeting the SET-Plan)
Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-03-31
Energy-SHIFTS – “Energy Social sciences & Humanities Innovation Forum Targeting the SET-Plan” – responds to the latest phase of the EC’s support for energy-SSH research at the EU policy level. As is now widely recognised, rapid technological uptake is not the only factor in moving towards low-carbon energy systems. Critical social issues must be centrally considered from the earliest stages, including: democratic inclusion, burden-sharing, participation beyond niche groups, transformative governance, social acceptability, cultures, pervasive values, ethical responsibilities, etc. We also centrally involve EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) stakeholders (including industry) and a wide range of energy policy-facing roles.
Specifically, Energy-SHIFTS works to:
o Inclusively broaden interactions (objective 1): by developing accessible guides to energy-SSH in EU policy and open databases of key individuals (WP1), through scoping workshops and masterclasses for key audiences (WP1/WP4), and via digital communications channels (WP5);
o Deepen interactions, based on SSH- and policy-led priorities (objectives 2 & 3): through expert SSH Working Groups with 100+ leading academics across 4 SET-Plan Topics (WP2), and via 1-1 policyworker-researcher dialogue on policy-led questions, across 120 meetings (WP3);
o Evaluate novel collaboration mechanisms (objective 4): utilising SSH methods to implement and test novel interaction streams, e.g. Horizon Scanning (WP2), Fellowships (WP3);
o Collectively set future energy agendas (objective 5): using our SSH Priority Themes and research agendas from 4 Working Groups, we will work to directly inform future H2020/FP9 priorities, as well as the future of the SET-Plan itself.
This will provide both reactive policy insights for the short-term and pro-active policy insights for the longer-term, thereby enabling evidence-based energy-SSH insights to successfully reach the ‘policy front line’. We will involve 10,788+ stakeholders in our innovative activities
Alongside the completion of WP1, our core WPs have begun which have focused around bringing together 120+ energy-SSH researchers for a Horizon Scanning exercise that will identify the top energy-SSH research questions for Horizon Europe (WP2); and a similar number of policyworkers and energy-SSH researchers who have agreed to meet/discuss mutual topics of interest, as part of the Energy-SHIFT Policy Fellowship programme (WP3).
Moreover, when SSH has been considered, it is often viewed as a homogeneous mass of identical viewpoints, and as such is treated in the singular, rather than the plural. This matters when connecting energy-SSH research to energy policy(making), and Energy-SHIFTS is doing this through how it makes the divergences and differences amongst energy-SSH communities transparent in – and indeed implicit to – the recommendations it provides.