Policy and Governance was established on 1 January 2009, although it represents in practice a continuation of the research programme ProSus, previously led by Professor William M. Lafferty.
ProSus was established in 1996 as a ‘strategic research programme’ designed to provide knowledge and information in support of a better realization of national targets for sustainable development. The programme was directly funded by the Research Council of Norway during the years 1995-2008. As of 2009, as a result of a dialogue with SINTEF Energy Research AS, the remaining activities of the programme were transferred to SEfAS. This was based on previous cooperation in several areas, most particularly the Transes Project in which a demand arose for greater levels of expertise in the field of social studies, but where resources were limited. The establishment of the new research team is designed to generate new opportunities, as already realised through the follow-up Transes Project termed LinkS.
ProSus’ scientific legacy is thus incorporated directly into the ongoing project development of the team. The legacy is most specifically represented by the involvement of William M. Lafferty as Senior Adviser to the team. The previous publications of the ProSus programme are also now available at ProSus Perspectives, an organisation devoted to the further dissemination of the programme’s research results.
By utilising the extensive experience gained from strategic research on sustainable development policies, the team will continue to apply its expertise in the field of energy and climate-policy issues within the SINTEF research community. As an integrated research team within SINTEF, we will further our multidisciplinary expertise in close cooperation with the most up-to-date technical expertise which provides a solid foundation for our arguments for societal changes. In addition, the group will also continue its collaborative efforts with the business sector, voluntary organisations and public administration agencies. Such broad-based cooperation is essential if we are to generate the type of robust solutions necessary to a more sustainable integration of the economic, social and environmental concerns of sustainable development.