European Trends in Low carbon Economy Research: An Analysis of Europe-wide Research Topics, Projects and Networks

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


Research and development (R&D) contributing to the transition towards a low-carbon Economy (LCE) through low-carbon products, technologies and processes has the potential to considerably support climate change mitigation efforts across all sectors. The main objective of the paper is to give an overview how the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) - the most important programme for R&D in Europe - addresses LCE aspects. To answer the abovementioned question we carried out our analysis in four subsequent steps: (1) The FP7 monitoring system (, which we developed, is based on FP7 documents (containing research topics) and links them to the operational objectives of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. (2) Based on a literature review we extracted a set of operational objectives related to LCE aspects to identify 1125 projects with expected positive impact on the respective LCE objectives. (3) Through a quantitative analysis we identified structural differences within FP7 and (4) by applying a network analysis of organisations involved we distinguished patterns of low-carbon research collaboration across Europe. Overall , more than one third of the projects (i.e. 1125 out of 2987) that have been funded so far by FP7 under the SP 'Cooperation' Work Programmes 2007 to 2010 accounts for LCE-relevant research. Of the total FP7 'Cooperation' budget about 40% (i.e. Euro 4.3 billion) of the European Commission Co-financing is addressing LCE aspects. Among the ten thematic areas of the FP7 research for energy systems, Nanotechnologies and new materials, the space sector and environmental issues contributes proportionally more to LCE aspects than research for health or agriculture.
Period19 Oct 201126 Oct 2011
Event titleLow Carbon Earth Summit - Leading the Green Economy, Returning to Harmony with Nature
Event typeUnkonwn
Degree of RecognitionInternational