The main goal with the FORSTERK project Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhoods in Norway (acronym: LiveinPlus) has been to communicate the Horizon 2020 project Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhoods (acronym: syn.ikia) to a Norwegian audience.
Syn.ikia H2020 is led by NTNU and involves 13 partners from seven European countries (Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Hungary and Austria). Its overall goal is to increase the proportion of sustainable neighbourhoods with surplus renewable energy in Europe. The project will deliver a blueprint masterplan for the development of sustainable plus energy neighbourhoods in different contexts, climates and markets in Europe. This will be done based on findings from four real-life demonstration projects in four climatic zones.
Syn.ikia is an international project with a communication strategy targeting a European public. Through LiveinPlus, we have added a Norwegian component to this strategy with activities adjusted to a Norwegian context. Experience from the ZEN Research Centre (FME ZEN) has shown that dissemination in Norwegian makes it much easier for the Norwegian building industry to follow research activities and to stimulate an increase of priorities towards RnD. By organizing events, providing the syn.ikia website in Norwegian and publishing news stories about syn.ikia’s results in various channels, our aim has been to inform Norwegian stakeholders about the knowledge developed in syn.ikia. By doing this, we have increased the speed of implementation of syn.ikia’s innovations in Norway and spurred a stronger interest in participating in EU-projects in the building industry. Indeed, an additional aim of the LiveinPlus-project is to build the foundation for a consortia for a new Horizon Europe application when syn.ikia is over.
The two primary objectives of LiveinPlus have been to:
1. Inform Norwegian actors about the knowledge, solutions and technologies developed in the syn.ikia H2020 project.
2. Contribute to an increase in the participation of municipalities, governmental agencies, building and energy companies in applications for EU funded projects.
These are broken down in the following sub-goals:
• Make the activities and results from syn.ikia more available to Norwegian companies by translating information to Norwegian.
• Contribute to Norwegian press releases, popular science articles, and blog posts towards the Norwegian community, based on results from syn.ikia.
• Inform about syn.ikia results and EU project possibilities through breakfast/lunch meetings and conference presentations.
• Organize networking events in Norway and Brussels to inform about syn.ikia results and other project possibilities in EU projects. These events will facilitate cooperation between EU companies and Norwegian partners.
In order to reach our objectives, we have followed up seven activities throughout the project period:
1. Translate the syn.ikia website into Norwegian
2. Translate and distribute syn.ikia's biannual newsletter (four in total)
3. Write blogposts, press releases and news stories in Norwegian
4. Organize two bigger events (one in Brussels and one in Norway)
5. Organize one breakfast meeting or lunch meeting per year
6. Study trips to syn.ikia's demonstration projects
7. Participate in specific conferences in Norway
While we did experience set-backs with the pandemic and sick leave absence (we couldn't travel or organize physical events for a while), most of these activities have been followed through as planned. We hope our communication work has made the knowledge developed in syn.ikia more accessible to a Norwegian audience and that it has spurred an interest in the building industry to take part in EU-projects in the future.
The LiveinPlus-project has made it possible to reach out to Norwegian interest groups in specific about the Horizon 2020 project syn.ikia. While syn.ikia has its communication strategy targeting a European public, LiveinPlus has enabled a Norwegian component to this strategy adjusted to the Norwegian context. By publishing information about syn.ikia in Norwegian and organizing presentations and events, a wider range of Norwegian actors in the building industry have been given access to syn.ikia’s knowledge and innovations. This has had a dual effect: that syn.ikia’s knowledge have benn picked up and used in the building industry in Norway and that Norwegian actors have been encouraged to participate in future EU-projects. One of FME ZEN’s partners have just become a partner in a Horizon Europe project and we hope many more will follow. An important strategy in LiveinPlus was to link the activities to FME ZEN, using the centre’s network and channels. We believe this has created stronger synergies between syn.ikia and FME ZEN, and made it easier for ZEN’s partners to see the value of participating in EU-projects. We will continue to communicate syn.ikia’s results in FME ZEN’s newsletter when relevant, organize common events and encourage the involvement from partners in events.
The LiveinPlus project aims at developing a comprehensive communication platform to facilitate a joint research agenda in terms of sustainable plus energy neighbourhoods (syn.ikia H2020 innovation project), adapted to various relevant target audiences in Norway.
The overall intention of our project is to reach out to the Norwegian actors, to facilitate access to syn.ikia's innovative solutions & results and to communicate to a wider audience in Norway (e.g. impact on everyday lives, better use of results and spill-over to policy-makers, industry and the scientific community).
The syn.ikia project aims to enable an integrated design process at the neighbourhood scale with the advancement & deployment of cutting-edge technologies, affordable resources, and cost-efficient solutions. Furthermore, non-technological elements, e.g. socio-economics, financing, spatial, regulatory and legal challenges, will be addressed. The syn.ikia innovations comprise a number of strategies, processes and technologies such as urban simulation tools, flexibility characterisation of the buildings & their components, digital cloud hub, digital twin, user engagement systems, policy development tools & new business models.
LiveinPlus will act as a channel tuned to syn.ikia's concept on the interplay between novel technologies at the neighbourhood scale, energy efficiency and flexibility, energy sharing among users, good architectural and spatial qualities, sustainable behaviour and citizen engagement. A key challenge will be to significantly increase the resilience of neighbourhoods in a holistic way, targeting the buildings & energy systems, as well as climate change.