We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
On 2 September, Pavel Kabat, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and Vladimír Šucha, Director-General of the JRC, signed a new research framework arrangement at the opening of the 1st Joint JRC – IIASA Summer School, which took place at IIASA's premises, the Laxenburg Palace in Austria.
This new agreement provides a basis for future collaboration between both sides by setting out the overall framework. The collaboration aims to coordinate research activities in fields of common interest, such as energy, transport, water, environment, climate action, disaster risk reduction, agriculture, food, bioeconomy and citizen science.
The Summer School brings together some 45 participants from across the EU, broadly split between scientists and policy officers working in the field of energy, including its links to climate and air quality.
The participants, panellists, masterclass facilitators and organisers of the 1st JRC-IIASA Summer
School, outside the Laxenburg Palace in Lower Austria. Copyright IIASA © 2015
The main aim of the school is for scientists and policy makers to learn together how to better use evidence for policy making. Following a high-level panel discussion on the gaps in energy policy, the participants actively engage in different masterclasses to learn different skills, namely the provision of evidence in a policy context; using uncertainty; effective communication; modelling; random assignment to test policy ideas; anticipatory foresight; serious games to simulate policy scenarios; big data; and the pros and cons of working at the science-policy interface. Participants also have to develop, in a short time, a proposal on how an energy issue is to be addressed from both the science and policy perspectives.
IIASA and the JRC play key roles in bridging the gaps between science and policy in the European Union and worldwide. They have been working together for more than 20 years on a number of topics, including the Scientific Support to the Danube Strategy. Given the success of this Summer School, both organisations agreed to continue them on an annual basis.