Columnists: Hans Nilsson, Fourfact

Published on: 20 Jun 2017

eceee is the liberator of minds

Ruth Mourik asks an important question in her eceee column about how we can speed up the scientific process and enable faster action in order to combat climate deterioration. In my opinion, the answer is to a very large extent – eceee. Or maybe “an eceee on steroids”?

The problem is not primarily that the scientific process is too slow. It needs to continue to be focused on quality and safeguarding the integrity of its findings. Not the least, this is to ensure that certain presidents and “sceptics” in different countries don’t get ammunition for their claims that science is biased or skewed (or whatever reason they find for their complaints). Not that they will ever change their minds but at least they should be refuted on solid scientific grounds.

But the results of science could be disseminated and communicated faster and better,

  • and in wider circles,
  • and be applied earlier,
  • and tested for its validity in many more circumstances.

This is where eceee could have a major role! This is also where eceee can develop its modus operandi to run on steroids and not only the traditional shy and low-key appeal to people’s good will and common sense. But rather appeal to their wish for being part of the solution and see results now! Just as Ruth asks.

What eceee is already doing (but could improve) is to tie together the two ends of knowledge development. There is a correspondence between R&D on one hand and the Market on the other hand. These should be working closer and exploited to make good things happen (faster). In the figure below this is shown for the “simple case” where R&D and Market institutions are well defined. Results from R&D is put to Market for development of products to be tested by consumers and then feeding back experiences for R&D.

Yes eceee has embarked on this road with the summer studies every odd year and the industrial efficiency events every even year. Going back to the figure showing the virtuous circle it is obvious that eceee is addressing both the scientific community and the practitioners, thus forming a base for them to refine the common knowledge to higher value.

Thus, building volume on the market that generates ideas which attracts new actors and companies – all building the market learning and forming the learning curve. The trick is to make it happen with more regularity and this is where eceee fits in. eceee gathers and communicates relevant experiences in summer studies, reports, workshops and policy focus, making use of thousands of concerned scientists and practitioners.

But what happens in between? What more can be done? Who else should be confronted? What happens with the huge material in the proceedings? Who feels a responsibility and a challenge to use it further?

The question is how can we do more of that? How can we engage more people to build the volume and make the process faster to liberate the minds throughout Europe and with more actors?



The views expressed in this column are those of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the views of eceee or any of its members.

Other columns by Hans Nilsson