Picture caption: ENERGY-X coordinator Jens Nørskov, during the opening session of the stakeholder workshop
ENERGY-X organized a strategic Stakeholder Workshop in Frankfurt on December 2, 2019 in collaboration with SUNRISE. Both initiatives will merge to continue as SUN-ERGY as of March 2020, in order to reach a big community compromised with a climate-neutral EU by 2050.
The one-day workshop aimed at gathering input from a range of societal and industrial stakeholders, covering the ENERGY-X and SUNRISE value chain, on the nature, timing and content of stakeholder involvement in a large-scale research initiative on sustainable production of fuels and chemicals.
The workshop was kicked off with complementary presentations from ENERGY-X coordinator Jens Nørskov (DTU), and SUNRISE deputy coordinator Hervé Bercegol (CEA), laying the scientific foundations and highlighting the cornerstones of the future joint initiative.
Egbert Lox, Umicore Senior Vice President, provided an industry perspective on participating in large-scale research initiatives, recommending SUN-ERGY members to become involved in the European Green Deal. He also suggested to link SUN-ERGY to IPCEI-projects (Important Projects of Common European Interest) for funding of their FID (First Industrial Demonstration), as well as to liaise structurally to several KICs (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) of the EIT (European Institute of Innovation & Technology).
SUNRISE and ENERGY-X supporters Astrid Björnsen (WSL), Anna Roschewitz (Novatlantis GmbH) and Professor Erik Paredis (Ghent University) provided a reflection from the social sciences on how to make the project socially relevant to make a real and lasting impact. Both Astrid and Anna emphasized the need of linking research with the social needs, highlighting the importance of bottom-up and top-down approaches to have different stakeholders involved in shaping the scientific agenda.
Erik, instead, focused on approaches to stakeholder involvement, elaborating on the concepts of co-creation and co-production, as well as stressing the importance of stakeholder diversity, especially with regards to the citizen stakeholders.
The 6 interactive workspaces were designed to bring together attendees from different domains to discuss how stakeholders could see themselves being engaged in SUN-ERGY and on which topics different stakeholders should be consulted. During the different sessions, participants discussed over 16 different questions regarding the involvement of stakeholders, e.g.:
- How can a lasting participation of stakeholders in the SUN-ERGY project be facilitated?
- Which are the most important elements within a large-scale research initiative like SUN-ERGY for stakeholder involvement to be focused on?
- How can SUN-ERGY ensure continuous evaluation of assumptions and correction when necessary?
Thanks to a group of highly engaged participants, the different discussions provided valuable input to inform the strategy for stakeholder involvement in the future joint initiative of SUN-ERGY. Check out our Twitter Moment with a few highlights from the ENERGY-X Stakeholder Workshop: