Thematic Areas

Energy, Climate Change, Bioeconomy and Food

Contributing to sustainability and SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 15 (Life on Land) and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger)

ZSI has a long history of working on projects in relation to sustainability. Climate change has a strong link to social issues: On the one hand, people and social systems are the biggest contributor to climate change and the speed at which it is changing. On the other, people and social systems will suffer from the severe effects of climate change, and humanity is already facing a multi-faceted variety of challenges due to it. Research at ZSI is reflecting this challenge, both in addressing climate change issues in mitigation and adaptation directly and as a cross-sectoral theme in its research activities. We are also involved in projects supporting awareness on the circular economy, energy efficiency and the bioeconomy or supporting international R&I cooperation for renewable energy solutions etc.

One of the flagship projects coordinated by ZSI is "EC² - Energy Citizenship and Energy Communities for a Clean Energy Transition" which gathers empirical evidence on how the set-up of energy communities fosters or hinders energy citizenship (Horizon 2020, 2021-2024). Another ZSI-coordination project is "RIPEET - Responsible research and Innovation Policy Experimentations for Energy Transition" which supports policy experimentations for energy transition in three European territories building on RRI, transformative innovation, transition management and a multi-level-perspective.

Several of our international co-operation projects, for example, contribute and contributed in the past to the definition of roadmaps for the co-operation addressing societal challenges, including climate change and energy (an example is "LEAP-RE, Long-Term Joint EU-AU Research and Innovation Partnership on Renewable Energy" which supports cooperation between the EU and Africa on renewable energy, funded in Horizon 2020, 2020-2025). A variety of national and international projects focus on technological-societal issues related to climate change, such as stakeholder involvement in climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions and platforms for management of resource efficiency measures. Examples are the projects "ENTRANCES - ENergy TRANsitions from Coal and carbon: Effects on Societies" (Horizon 2020, 2020-2023), "CAPTOR - Collective Awareness Platform for Tropospheric Ozone Pollution" (Horizon 2020, 2016-2018). A national project in this thematic area was "PLAISIR - Planning Innovation: learning from socially innovative energy projects" which analysed socially innovative energy projects in structurally weak regions. We are also involved in innovative dissemination actions such as Climatubers, where participatory video design and digital storytelling are used to address climate-driven inequalities. Another example is our involvement in "STEP Change - Science Transformation in EuroPe through Citizens involvement in HeAlth, coNservation and enerGy rEsearch" which uses citizen science in several critical fields of research (including energy and the environment).

A previous ZSI-coordinated flagship project "BLOOM - Boosting European citizens knowledge and awareness of bioeconomy" (Horizon 2020, 2017-2021) provided a rich set of tools, using co-creation and open innovation to engage all stakeholders to stimulate bioeconomy activities.

In the area of food, we are involved in the project FOODSAFETY4EU which is focused on the design, develop and release of a multi-stakeholder platform for the future European Food Safety System and ProFuture, which focuses on the implementation of innovative, sustainable and effective technologies to produce microalgal-based protein ingredients at the pilot plant and industrial scale.


Contact person: M.A. Gorazd A. Weiss

Related Articles:

Cooperation Partners