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Closing the gap between research and projects in climate change innovation in Europe

Larosa, Francesca and Mysiak, Jaroslav and Molinari, Marco and Varelas, Panagiotis and Akay, Haluk and McDowall, Will and Spadaru, Catalina and Fuso-Nerini, Francesco and Vinuesa, Ricardo (2023): Closing the gap between research and projects in climate change innovation in Europe.

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Innovation is a key component to equip our society with tools to adapt to new climatic conditions. The development of research-action interfaces shifts useful ideas into operationalized knowledge allowing innovation to flourish. In this paper we quantify the existing gap between climate research and innovation action in Europe using a novel framework that combines artificial intelligence (AI) methods and network science. We compute the distance between key topics of research interest from peer review publications and core issues tackled by innovation projects funded by the most recent European framework programmes. Our findings reveal significant differences exist between and within the two layers. Economic incentives, agricultural and industrial processes are differently connected to adaptation and mitigation priorities. We also find a loose research-action connection in bioproducts, biotechnologies and risk assessment practices, where applications are still too few compared to the research insights. Our analysis supports policy-makers to measure and track how research funding result in innovation action, and to adjust decisions if stated priorities are not achieved.

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