Anglia Ruskin's GSI to lead €1million project

Published: 16 July 2018 at 12:43

Logo for the Energy SHIFTS project

Two-year study will examine societal opportunities for European energy policy

Anglia Ruskin University has been chosen to lead a pan-European project to help the European Commission understand and apply research looking at the social implications – and opportunities – of a move towards a low-carbon future.

The new €1million Energy-SHIFTS project, which will begin in spring next year, is being led by Anglia Ruskin’s Global Sustainability Institute (GSI), which also heads up the €2million SHAPE ENERGY project.  Both projects are funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

Energy-SHIFTS will bring together four leading interdisciplinary research institutes at European universities with three highly-respected policy, industry and communications organisations.

The two-year project will focus on the social sciences and humanities, which have so far played a much smaller role in shaping European energy policy compared to disciplines such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Over 100 leading academics from across Europe will research topics such as renewables, smart consumption, energy efficiency and transport, and by targeting in excess of 10,000 stakeholders, Energy-SHIFTS aims to deliver social sciences and humanities insights to the ‘policy front line’. 

It will report directly to the energy strategy unit of the Directorate General for Research & Innovation at the European Commission, as well as working closely with strategic energy policy groups at the European level.

Dr Rosie Robison, of Anglia Ruskin University, said: 

“Through Energy-SHIFTS, those working at the frontline of energy policy will be able to more easily access expertise from diverse and active communities working in energy-related social sciences and humanities across Europe, to support policy which better considers the social impacts of energy.”

Fellow project lead Dr Chris Foulds, of Anglia Ruskin University, said: 

“Energy-SHIFTS will provide insights on how citizens and different stakeholders interact with the energy system. In particular, we’ll ask: how will people, in whatever their role, influence or be influenced by the way that we will consume and supply energy in the future across Europe?

“We will be asking policy workers themselves what problems and questions are important to them, to ensure that the recommendations we give them are of interest.  We will be asking established experts from across Europe what research and innovation priorities they see for the future.”