1st reading: Effective research and innovation agendas to tackle societal challenges.
The case of Strategy Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan)
In the EU policy landscape, long-term trends, often referred to as “grand” or “societal” challenges such as climate change or population’s ageing, call for efforts that go beyond mere public regulatory intervention. These challenges demand a major and sustained effort and their realization is not possible without major breakthroughs in Research and Innovation (R&I).
Priority has been given by the new strategic R&I initiatives to solution to societal challenges. This is leading to the emergence of the concept of “innovation partnerships” and should materialize many of the ideal characteristics of an effective R&I agenda, such as strategic coherence, an integrated approach to R&D, innovation and education, the establishment of favorable framework conditions, the promotion of cooperation between all actors, good governance and adequate funding.
In 2007, the European Commission has presented a plan which aims to accelerate the development and deployment of cost effective low carbon technologies: the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). The SET-Plan provide a strategy concerning the research and innovation (R&I) to green the EU energy sector while ensuring the security of the supply and increasing the EU competitiveness. The SET-Plan could become a good groundwork to tackle other societal challenges.
Many institutions, programmes and committees are involved in policymaking in the energy sector. The SET-Plan puts some order by introducing a strategic framework at European level to organise and align efforts. Proper attention must be paid to the heterogeneity of the various instruments: differences not only in the hierarchical levels and the type of actors involved, but also