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EU Horizon 2020 Platform for energy-SSH (2017-2019)

Twitter: @ShapeEnergyEU


Social Sciences and Humanities for Advancing Policy in European Energy (SHAPE-ENERGY) was a €2m investment through the EU Horizon 2020 programme. It represented a new European platform for energy-related social sciences and humanities (energy-SSH).

Energy-SSH has played less of a role to date in shaping (European) energy policy than Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. In funding this project, the European Commission supported better integration of energy-SSH into the policy process.


SHAPE-ENERGY aimed to develop Europe’s expertise in using and applying energy-SSH. Our innovative platform united those who ‘demand’ energy research, because they could use it to develop practical initiatives with those who ‘supply’ that research.

Each of our platform activities created space for these two groups to meet and collaborate in ‘shaping’ the European energy agenda. This built deep and shared understanding of what is needed and what is possible, as well as stretching collective ambitions.


The platform co-ordinated an exciting array of activities, including: 18 multi-stakeholder workshops in partnership with cities across Europe; MEP workshops in Brussels; conferences; Horizon 2020 sandpits; early career researcher summer schools and secondments to Horizon 2020 energy projects; funding for collaborative think pieces; funding for an innovative ‘research design challenge’; and online policymaker-citizen debates.

SHAPE-ENERGY also undertook an extensive review of the current state of the energy-SSH research landscape, and attempted to bring European energy researchers/practitioners together around a commonly agreed framework for future interdisciplinary energy-related endeavours. SHAPE-ENERGY ultimately provided the European Commission with recommendations for the future direction of the energy work programme in Horizon 2020 and beyond.


For a full list of publications and outputs from this project, including workshop reports, think piece collection, and theme reports, please refer to the SHAPE-ENERGY website.


SHAPE-ENERGY worked across the full range of social sciences and humanities, including energy-related research (both current and potential) within: Business, Communication Studies, Demography, Development, Economics, Education, Environmental Social Science, Gender, History, Human Geography, Law, Philosophy, Planning, Politics, Psychology, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology, Social Anthropology, Social Policy, and Theology.


The SHAPE-ENERGY consortium included: Anglia Ruskin University, UK; Karlsruher Institut Fuer Technologie, Germany; Politecnico di Torino, Italy; École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État, France; Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet, Norway; Middle East Technical University, Turkey; Univerzita Tomase Bati ve Zline, Czech Republic; Black Sea Energy Research Centre, Bulgaria; Energy Cities, France; Friends of Europe, Belgium; Duneworks, Netherlands; Acentoline Comunicación Editora, Spain; and European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Sweden.

European Union flag

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731264.