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Visiting International Programme

01 December, 2020

Visiting International Programme

Clare Downing

Case study  

Clare Downing

UK universities are conducting internationally leading researchOpens in a new tab that is changes lives and bringing in billions of pounds to the UK economy. The post-Brexit trade deal secured UK access to research funds including Horizon Europe (previously Horizon 2020) and Copernicus programmes that will allow us access to funding but also sharing of not only data but also talented people.

CREDS mission is to make the UK a leader in understanding the changes in energy demand needed for the transition to a secure and affordable, low carbon energy system. We have extensive international engagement within our nine theme areas with many representations at international conferences and highly cited articles in prestigious international journals.

For example, CREDS researchers contributed to the Global Roadmap for Buildings and Construction, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the UN Environment Programme and the Lancet Countdown on Health & Climate Change 2019 report. A paper on E-working (teleworking) has been published in Environmental Research LettersOpens in a new tab, as part of a special edition on the use of systematic reviews for climate and energy policy. The teleworking paper attracted significant international media attention and is the subject of a separate case study.

One of the most relevant events for our field, particularly in a European context is the biennial conference eceee – the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. CREDS was very well represented at the 2019 eceee contributing to 11 papers that were presented across the topics of transport, buildings, policy and flexibility. We also ran events to raise awareness of CREDS that had at the time only recently begun, and to gather opinions and material for our research.

CREDS and UKERC hosted a joint interactive workshop on sufficiencyOpens in a new tab led by Sarah Darby, Tina Fawcett, Clare Downing, Sarah Higginson and Nick Eyre. Participants came up with lots of creative ways to encourage and enable individuals and organisations to live within limits. There was also an informal session on excessive energy demand – exploring and debating different types and meanings of excess. This provided extensive material for the project team to investigate this topic further within the CREDS High Energy Consumers project.

eceee attracts energy researchers, practitioners, policy makers, NGOs and businesses from across Europe and beyond, with around 450 people in attendance. This made it an ideal venue for contacting potential visitors and for encouraging international links with CREDS. Nick Eyre announced the launch of the CREDS Visitors: International Programme (VIP) within the joint workshop. In addition to the launch, Clare Downing and Sarah Higginson ran a specialist informal session with potential applicants to the programme. We invited 6 people to visit CREDS as a result of the call that was launched at eceee. Two if these visits went ahead before the COVID-19 pandemic and four are continuing remotely with productive collaborations and joint papers.

Future plans

Our collaboration on flexibility and machine learning produced a conference paper submitted to the 34th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, Vancouver, Canada and a journal paper which is about to be submitted. The two international visitors from Japan and Switzerland are taking part in our online theme gatherings and will implement their plan of collaborative research remotely. We are also editing a journal special issue on ‘personal carbon trading’ with our Israeli visitor.

Finally, to bring all of our international work together we are planning an International conference in 2022.

Sources of information

Publication details

Downing, C. 2020. Visiting International Programme. Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions. Oxford, UK. CREDS case study.

Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash

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