Purpose and description:
SMARTEES – Social Innovation Modelling Approaches to Realizing Transition to Energy Efficiency and Sustainability – is a transdisciplinary research project which aims to support the energy transition and improve policy design by developing alternative and robust policy pathways that foster citizen inclusion and take local peculiarities into account.
To reach these objectives, SMARTEES examines five types of energy- and mobility-related local social innovation in ten front-runner cities and islands across Europe. The results stemming from this analysis will then feed into the development of a policy sandbox tool. Using a comprehensive modelling approach, this tool will help forecast the effects of policy measures and social innovation in similar local contexts, thereby supporting the improvement of policy design and decision-making. Through these means, the project will contribute to achieving a resilient, low-carbon and climate-friendly Energy Union that puts citizens at its core.
SOCIAL INNOVATION CLUSTERS
An array of pilot projects linked to the energy transition towards a low-carbon society were successfully implemented locally across Europe in recent decades. Of these, the SMARTEES project has selected five types of social innovation as part of a multi-method analysis to study the socio-economic and structural drivers of each. These five case study clusters, more specifically, consider the domains of consumer-driven renewable energy production, energy efficiency in buildings, and low-carbon regional transport, with a particular focus on consumer empowerment. Each cluster draws on the experiences of two cases, which proved to be reference models for other cities and regions, and includes four follower cities or islands as part of an effort to upscale and replicate the innovations in different contexts.