Empowering Sustainable Innovation: Digitalizing Knowledge Support for Policy Makers

Main Presenter:    Tabea Hagedorn 

Co-Authors:   Albert Jan Van Zuilichem                                               

Sustainable innovation is accomplished through the research of innovative technologies, methodologies and strategies. However, the implementation and regulation of sustainable innovation are managed by politicians and decision-makers in the government. The steps between research results and the actual systematization of innovation are filled with obstacles like communication issues and a lack of accessible knowledge support. Policymakers are not always experts on the entirety of the informational background of sustainable research, which hinders the integration of innovation. Thus, simplifying the influx of information for policymakers is a key component for the implementation of sustainable innovation solutions.

The EnArgus project is focusing on exactly this matter for the energy research sector. Initially, a list of topics from the current energy research field, which are deemed essential for policymakers, is selected. The selection process is assisted by AI and points of interest from the public media. Each of these main topics is described concisely for non-experts to support the specific background knowledge. An online platform facilitates the information exchange of these articles with policymakers who can then tap into a wealth of expertise from various topics in the energy sector (Sikorski et al., 2013; EnArgus, 2014). An AI system additionally analyses each article for connecting words and builds a network of links between the plethora of topics provided on the platform. The main goal of the EnArgus project is to reduce the knowledge gap between policymakers and researchers to facilitate the effective uptake of sustainable innovation into practice. This may seem like a small and
insignificant change but often communication between research and policy halts exactly on the lack of knowledge by non-experts on core topics considered ‘basic’ by experts. That is why it is imperative to spread awareness of this digital knowledge support platform and urge other research sectors to close this knowledge gap between experts and policymakers.

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