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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I000151/1
Title: SYMPACT: Tools for assessing the systemic impact of technology deployments on energy use and climate emissions (EP/H033610/1) (TEDDI call Part 1)
Principal Investigator: Preist, Dr C
Other Investigators:
Elghali, Dr L Basson, Dr L Yearworth, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Mr P Shabajee
Project Partners:
The Guardian
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2010 Ends: 30 November 2012 Value (£): 332,549
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency Human-Computer Interactions
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Creative Industries
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Mar 2010 Transforming Energy Demand Through Digital Innov Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is a general need to carry analysis of the possible broader, systemic impacts of technological transformations on energy and climate emissions of society, and to support policy developers, business strategists and technologists in considering this in their decision making. This need is particularly acute in the case of information technology, where the impact of the changes in behaviour and organisation which are enabled by new technologies is often far greater than the direct impact of the IT solutions deployed.One example currently in transformation is the news publishing and media industry. Over the next decade, a number of digital technologies will mature which will change the industry: high-speed digital printing, e-readers, personalisation technologies, mobile phone readable 2-D barcodes, etc. How the industry exploits these, and the resulting change in the overall system, could have a substantial (but not a-priori predictable) impact on the energy use and carbon footprint of the overall industry.Our research aims to develop methods and tools that would enable collaborative model building to take place at scale to enable shared learning to take place over large sets of stakeholders, and to trial this with a user community associated with the technological transformation of the news publishing industry. The following will be required:- Develop a toolset to allow less systems-aware stakeholders to either develop their own systems model, or explore their understanding of a given model, of the energy use and climate emissions impact of a specific technology intervention. The approach would require an appropriate graphical user interface that enables wide inclusivity.- Develop functionality which allows a community of stakeholders to explore the assumptions behind the models, critique them, and look at the impact of altering the assumptions in some way.- Work with a group of stakeholders to use prototypes of the toolset to develop initial systems models of the news publishing stakeholder system, how technology might transform it in the next 10 years, and the potential energy and climate implications of this. Gather feedback on appropriate design and functionality of the system iteratively. This will be done in collaboration with the Guardian Media Group.Allowing stakeholders in the industry to explore the possible broad impacts of different decisions as this technology transformation unfolds would increase the chance that a lower energy path is taken, and reduce the exposure of the industry to energy and carbon prices.
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