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Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions about R&Dialogue. Questions and comments regarding this FAQ may be directed to info@rndialogue.eu and will be answered by Samuela Vercelli (social researcher), Robert van der Lande (consultant) or Olav Øye (consultant).

What do we want to achieve with R&Dialogue?

We want to bring together science and society in order to agree on how to switch society to sustainable energy. We do this by organising a dialogue between R&D organisations (RDOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) aiming at:

  • A joint vision on the development of a low-carbon society;
  • Actions to improve the dialogue and mutual learning.

Who will participate in the dialogue?

In the dialogue we aim to include people from R&D organisations in the field of energy, Civil Society Organisations and other interested stakeholders. The 10 European countries in which we are starting a dialogue are Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the UK.

Who are we?

We are a consortium of scientists, NGOs, consultants and policy makers? from the field of energy. To see who are the people and organisations that make R&Dialogue, please have a look at the list of partners that organise the dialogue.

Why are we doing this?

We are a consortium of people that are united to find distinct solutions to one of the major problems of our time: the lack of consensus on what decisions need to be made for our world to go forward and overcome climate threats and economic crisis.

There are many research outcomes and innovative technologies that could enable the transformation of the energy system and make our society more sustainable but these are not being seriously considered or significantly implemented. Meanwhile pollution from energy production continues. The partners and participants in R&Dialogue have joined forces to find constructive solutions to this problem. We think the key to these solutions lies in dialogue with society.

What does the R&Dialogue project look like and what does it do?

R&Dialogue is a project funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme and lasts 42 months (3,5 years). The project starting date is June 1st, 2012. R&Dialogue consists of the following phases:


Phase 1 is for the consortium to prepare for the dialogue action. In phase 2 in each of the 10 countries we aim to join a group of key stakeholders who are really motivated to tackle the issues together with us. In phase 3 the dialogue is broadened to a national level. This phase is concluded with national events. In phase 4 the national dialogues are taken to the level of European learning, which ends with a big European event.

In R&Dialogue, this is being done:

  • 10 country teams start a dialogue in Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and UK;
  • They connect the single country learning experience on a European level;
  • A social science team facilitates the social process for an effective sharing and mutual learning experience;
  • A management team coordinates the project taking into account the different perspectives of research institutes, NGO’s and business.

How can I help?

If you would like to contribute to the sustainable energy dialogue between science and society, contact us via the contact page (link). The R&Dialogue project is currently limited to the countries above, but people from all European countries are welcome to follow, use our results and participate in the public events.

What’s the problem?

Many scientists and policy makers agree that man-made climate change caused by greenhouse gases is a threat to society and needs to be prevented or at least mitigated. This has prompted the European Commission to adopt the “Energy Roadmap 2050”. The EU is committed to reducing European greenhouse gas emission to 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050.

To achieve this reduction, we need to build a wide range of sustainable energy solutions. However, progress in this direction is still too slow and the implementation of new technologies often meets resistance since its possible role and importance is not well understood. People and institutions often find it difficult to identify the choices that are available and feasible for developing a new energy system.

This is the problem R&Dialogue wants to find distinct solutions to. An interactive energy dialogue between science and society leads to an accelerated realisation of sustainable energy projects. This is key for a sustainable future.

How will R&Dialogue impact our future and will it make a difference?

This is what we are trying to achieve: a dialogue that enables mutual learning and develops a joint vision on decisions and actions for a low carbon society. Outcomes from the project will provide all stakeholders with a useful experience and information on how dialogue can help them achieve the desired transition to a low carbon society.

R&Dialogue will make a difference by offering a unique forum where social and communication issues that often obstruct dialogue will receive attention and consideration.

R&Dialogue aims at an equal participation of stakeholders, for all to express and share their specific point of view: respecting differences, acknowledging the value of every one, pooling resources for the common interest.

How does R&Dialogue link to the dialogues that have already been started?

It will build on national dialogues carried out in the past and will seek to team up with current initiatives.
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