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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K00154X/1
Principal Investigator: Skea, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Centre for Environmental Policy
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 April 2012 Ends: 31 March 2017 Value (£): 1,876,792
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This work has two principal aims: a) to develop a roadmap that will help the Research Councils and others to plan their research activities in ways that will contribute to the achievement of the UK's energy policy goals; and b) to conduct a programme of research that will assess how effectively different countries conduct their energy research and development (R&D) activities in different technology areas with a view to learning lessons for the more successful execution of policy.

The roadmap will consist of a top-level document which will act as a bridge between higher level energy strategies and more specific R&D plans for individual technologies. The aim is to improve the coherence of energy policy on the one hand and energy research activities on the other. The top-level document will be supplemented by web-based roadmaps for individual technology areas such as carbon capture and storage or different forms of renewable energy. Demand-side technologies, for example for transport and buildings, will also be covered. Given the interplay between technology and human behaviour, especially on the demand side, social scientists as well as scientists and engineers will be involved. The roadmaps will address both technological needs and needs for training and capacity-building. The roadmaps will be produced through interviews with policymakers and R&D funders and through a mixture of facilitated technical workshops and strategic workshops engaging a wider range of stakeholders.

The first task in the research programme is to map out "systems of innovation" for different energy technologies in different countries. We intend to cover a small number of EU countries, the US and China. The mapping will cover institutions and their roles, networks and research capacity. The task will be carried out through documentary analysis and interviews in the relevant countries. We will also look at systems of innovation internationally, for example through education and training, and the activities of multinational companies.

The second task will be to develop and analyse measures for the effectiveness of R&D activities in different systems of innovation. Many countries intend to achieve fundamental transitions in their energy systems, for example by moving to low-carbon technologies. We will draw on a new branch of innovation theory, "transitions theory", to develop measures of effectiveness.

Finally, we will review hypotheses and findings from the analysis of the effectiveness of R&D activities with experts and draw conclusions about how the success of energy R&D programmes and their contributions to energy policy can be improved.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk