The Nordic region is rich in adaptive capacities and in climate adaptation research, but how do we ensure that research is implemented at the policy level? What are the barriers, and how can we overcome them? What are the opportunities, and how do we make the most of them? These were some of the issues discussed by practitioners and researchers from all over the world at the course on “Climate Adaptation Policy” offered by NCoE NORD-STAR and hosted by the University of Iceland from 13 to 17 August 2012.
The Arctic is experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate changes on Earth. This brings along a number of consequences – not only for the Arctic, but also for the rest of the world. Keynote speaker Professor Carina Keskitalo addressed this issue at the Second Nordic International Conference on Climate Change which took place in Helsinki 29 – 31 August 2012.
Head of Programme Kirsten Halsnæs from DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark joins NORD-STAR as part of her recent appointment as Honorary Professor at AU Herning.
10 July NORD-STAR Director Michael Goodsite participated in the seminar “From the Arctic to the Tropics: Green Growth in the Overseas Countries and Territories” in the European Parliament.
Michael Goodsite was invited as a guest at the seminar due to his position as lead author on several arctic reports as well as due to NORD-STAR’s and Aarhus University, AU Herning’s potential research efforts in the Arctic.
During the seminar Michael Goodsite met the Danish Arctic Ambassador Klavs A. Holm and Greenland’s Representation.
- We discussed the possibilities for educational and research collaboration with Greenland, and there is a positive expectation to this from both parties, Michael Goodsite said.
Green growth through education and research
More than 90 participants attended the seminar including members of the European Parliament and representatives from Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) including Greenland. The purpose of the seminar was to discuss the need for investment in education, research and development in the OCTs as central drivers for green economic growth. There was a general agreement that the OCTs have good conditions for development of green energy such as solar energy and wind energy, which can help reduce the need for import to these islands. But there is a need for collaboration and partnerships with organisations outside the OCTs such as the EU and international organisations and research centres.
Science communication and open innovation were the hot topics which NORD-STAR researchers addressed at the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF 2012) in Dublin 11 – 14 July, where NORD-STAR participated as part of the NordForsk delegation.
“What are the criteria for successful open innovation and how can research contribute to open innovation in business development?” These were the key questions discussed by speakers from both industry and academia as well as the audience present at the NordForsk seminar on open innovation.
Successful open innovation with industry
Professors Michael Goodsite and Björn-Ola Linnér presented NORD-STAR’s collaboration with the insurance industry “VisAdapt” as a lead example of how to perform open innovation in collaboration with industry.
- VisAdapt is an open innovation initiative between multiple competitors bridged by a research center and an idea. NORD-STAR researchers and four companies from the insurance industry are co-developing a web-based tool VisAdapt that homeowners can use to help them to adapt to new climatic conditions, explained Björn-Ola Linnér.
In order to create effective open innovation collaboration with the industry, Björn-Ola Linnér stressed the importance of engaging your stakeholders in the entire process.
- Societal dialogue is needed – not just dissemination. Research planning should include stakeholders from idea to results and beyond, professor Björn-Ola Linnér concluded.
Why we need to rethink our ways of communicating science
Dialogue was also a key concept in the second NORD-STAR presentation at ESOF2012 performed by PhD fellow Anne Gammelgaard and professor Michael Goodsite. Under the heading “Hot Science – Warmer, Wilder, Wetter” they underlined the importance of communicating the challenges of climate change as an interaction process, not as one-way transmission of information.
In her presentation, Anne Gammelgaard underlined that scepticism, complex data and perceived relevance for the general public are among the major challenges for communicating climate change.
As moderator of the session BBC science journalist Quentin Cooper asked if there are effective ways to achieve dialogue and change attitudes and behaviour towards climate change.
- If we want to motivate people to change behaviour, we must give them relevant information and focus on “what's in it for me?”, Anne Gammelgaard said and explained how interactive visualisation tools such as VisAdapt can enable homeowners to see the future effects of climate change for themselves and understand how climate change can affect their own lives.
ESOF 2012 – a place for networking and Nordic added value
In addition to presentations and discussions, ESOF 2012 opened ways for new potential collaboration.
- I was delighted to see the interest that our participation at ESOF 2012 brought and we are actively following up on requests from collaboration. We are grateful to NordForsk for supporting our participation, not only for the Professors and one of our PhD fellows, but also our NORD-STAR Press Officer who attended as part of the NordForsk press team and who we plan will continue to work closely with NordForsk in the future - a nice example of our NCoE working to add Nordic value across the professions necessary for successful major research initiatives, Michael Goodsite said.