Society RA5

The overall aims are to manage the innovation activities and handle dissemination, communication and general flow of information in the Centre. Additionally, the goals are to form the innovation strategies and technological roadmaps for the industry sectors and share them among partners to enhance cooperation and synergies.

Innovation management includes research on internal and external interaction, as well as on the barriers and enablers for innovation and realisation of HighEFF technologies and concepts.

Results 2020

Innovation, barriers and enablers

Through a close collaboration between NTNU Social Research and Nord University, we studied how researchers and companies collaborate in HighEFF to develop and implement radical energy efficiency innovations. We discovered that the interplay between collaboration dynamics in the research center and organisational factors can help explain why such innovations are (or are not) implemented, which led to a paper currently in review for the journal of cleaner production.

We provided research-based knowledge on how industry- and research partners manage to collaborate for the enhancement of knowledge and innovation. More precisely, we examined how companies coordinate in a research centre in early stages to achieve long term innovation benefits and which internal and external activities company representatives (boundary spanners) might engage in at various stages of a research centre. We also examined the role of proximity between companies and university partners in establishing successful collaboration in a research centre and looked into additional effects from participating in university industry collaboration that might be enhanced by companies. Moreover, we contributed with knowledge on how companies can manage the circular economy transition by getting involved in open innovation.

To summarise, our research provides important insight to companies and research partners, about how to manage outcomes from university-industry collaboration; and to policymakers, about how such engagement should be funded and structured in order to reach goals of knowledge and innovation for environmental reasons.

Novel Emerging Concepts (NEC)

New ideas and innovations are created through collaboration and research in HighEFF. Our internal funding scheme allow us to invest in ideas that are not planned for or that need more investigation before we know if they are worth bringing further. In 2020, 6 applications were received through our third internal novel emerging concept (NEC) call. The NECast and INTERCUR project received funding this year: the former focussing on improving heat recovery from casting processes in the ferroalloy industry and the latter concentrating on the development of evaluation tools for integrated energy systems in industrial clusters to achieve new business opportunities for surplus energy use.

Dissemination and Communication

Our communication goals for 2020 have been to increase knowledge and awareness about energy efficiency in industry, through presenting its impact on sustainability and value creation, with increased use of social media and Newsletter.

Focus on visibility of the overall project results and the work performed in HighEFF have been followed up in HighEFF’s communication strategy for 2020. Our strategy ensures widest-possible outreach, involvement and cross-sectorial interaction with relevant industry and academia. The dissemination strategy is built up to maximise the use of existing physical meeting points (seminars, centre workshops and RA meetings) and existing communication platforms and media channels, such as project partners' existing communication channels.

2019 Results

Innovation, barriers and enablers

The realization of energy efficient clusters might be one of key factors in order to reach the goals in HighEFF. Barriers for such inter-organizational interaction of industrial rhythms imposes dependencies and uncertainties for the companies involved. A study based on case studies in three industry clusters in Norway looked into how formal and informal aspects of inter-organizational collaborations can add resilience to socio-technical-economic systems for energy exchange that face uncertainties to the flow of operations and the viability of the systems.

The research on how energy efficiency is used in media, for policies directed to mitigate climate change and competitiveness, and to answer the question: "what do we talk about when we talk about energy efficiency?" was performed to give us an overall status and a hint on the future communication on energy efficiency in the industry. Energy efficiency is often framed generically without explicit or implicit assumption about reduction in consumption. Producing goods and services that are useful for society in a more energy-efficient way can be a valuable contributor to reducing carbon emissions and cost, and impro- ving competitiveness. However, this two-fold benefit is only viable to the extent that it is coupled with absolute reductions and/or de-carbonization of energy production and use. These considerations are rarely addressed in the media discourse, and sometimes are not even the intention of the participating actors.

Novel Emerging Concepts (NEC)

Novel Emerging Concepts (NEC) is the HighEFF funding scheme for projects related to the HighEFF research and innovation objectives within emerging, energy efficient and cross-sectorial technologies. NEC is available for all industry partners. The goal of NEC is to make room for new ideas and to increase the innovation potential in HighEFF.

In 2019 HighEFF granted funding for two new NEC- projects; HighEx and CETES. HighEx researches how we can use additive manufacturing to develop and test novel heat exchanger concepts. If successful, the impact will be of high importance for the world´s energy footprint, since heat exchangers are crucial industrial components utilized in countless thermal processes in both industry and everyday life. New design, improved efficiency and performance can be the result when utilizing the design-freedom from artificial manufacturing.

CETES is developing a tool that allow us to consider complex trade-offs between energy savings and investment costs for energy storage, which can help the decision-makers in the industry to transition towards renewable-based steam production and, at the same time decrease their energy costs.

Dissemination and Communication

HighEFF's communication strategy for 2019 followed up the 2018 strategy on how the Centre will increase the visibility and knowledge among the partners and society, increasing the positive reputation of the Centre and how to improve the internal engagement within the Centre, to achieve the FME goals. The communication action plan was set up to meet the Dissemination, Exploitation and Communication (DEC) goals for the period by setting deadlines for the different activities.

During the annual HighEFF cross-sector workshop held in Trondheim in October 2019, communication staff from HighEFF partners gathered together with invited speakers. This successful event was designed to pinpoint the knowledge gained during HighEFF and make the Centre and its results more visible throughout the partner organisations.

For more details see the Communication chapter in the PDF-version at the bottom of the page.

2018 Results

Innovation, barriers and enablers

In addition to following up other initiated activities, the main objective of 2018 was to conduct data collections. In order to cover the wide range of topics framed by the label "society", the following collections was conducted:

  1. Document studies (in connection to both interviews and case studies), based on available, public documents and mainly used as contextual data for preparation and further analysis.
  2. A media discourse analysis on "industrial energy efficiency", an in-depth analysis (both coded and analyzed) covering 310 newspaper articles.
  3. A total of 47 interviews, involving both university partners, industry representatives, and other relevant stakeholders.
  4. Site visits involving tours of local industry sites and on-site interviews.
  5. Two main case studies have been identified and has been followed closely throughout the year.
  6. Two workshops within the HighEFF consortium have been conducted each involving 2-3 groups (5-10 participants in each group) of both industry and university partners, and two externally organized industry workshops in connection with one of the case studies.
  7. Two HighEFF seminars have been conducted including presentations from university and industry partners as well as plural discussions. On the basis of these data collections, we have increased our knowledge of, and published articles about such topics as,
    a) how policies are legitimized and debated in the public, and who are the core actors in the public energy efficiency discourse,
    b) new and innovative takes on barriers and drivers of energy efficiency,
    c) the potential and challenges related to innovation in FME centers in general,
    d) how energy efficiency works in different industrial clusters,
    e) how contextual conditions affect business models for industrial clusters and for energy sharing in general, and
    f) variability and resilience in industrial symbiosis for energy exchange.

Novel Emerging Concepts (NEC)

The first call for NEC was launched in February 2019. In total 6 applications were received covering a broad part of the scientific challenges in HighEFF. At the end, the project Organizing shared resources and alternative business models was given the opportunity to present the project ambitions and initiate the work. The allocation of funding through NEC will also continue in 2019 with some minor adjustments of the call regarding objectives and guidelines for the funding.

Dissemination and Communication

In 2018, the website was revised to comprise all necessary sections for an efficient communication of project results and the Centre as a whole. A goal was to improve the website to be more attractive for the HighEFF Consortium and the general public, e.g. by giving information on forthcoming workshops, seminars, project content and partners, relevant conferences and news using blogs and newsletters, in addition to actively disseminate all open results from ongoing research.

Dedicated dissemination events arranged by HighEFF was the Annual Consortium meeting in May and The Cross-Sector Workshop in October.

The Dissemination and Communication plan was updated in accordance with planned activities in 2018. We had 11 blog articles, 4 newsletters and 23 videos. This resulted in higher digital visibility for HighEFF. For more details – see the Communication-chapter in this annual report.

2017 Results

Innovation, barriers and enablers:

A first survey of innovation potential and cooperation relations in HighEFF has been conducted. This has included an literature review, interviews of researchers and industry representatives, and resulted in input to centre innovation structures and roadmaps, further management of industry/research collaboration and new cooperation arenas especially between RAs 4/5/6. We have also conducted case studies that include, among other things, document studies, interviews and industrial visits, which resulted in an article on the sociotechnical aspect of energy sharing in heterogeneous constellations. A case study on regulatory frameworks (such as emission trading) for industrial clusters that share CO-gas was also conducted, the results of which appear in an article in addition to a pentagon analysis of organizational dependencies in industrial clusters.

Novel Emerging Concepts (NEC):

Novel emerging concepts produced through cooperation between HighEFF partners and research assignment, will be actively looked for and handled. To build upon the innovation task force in the Centre, HighEFF has allocated 1.5 MNOK/year for funding of NECs related to the research and innovation objectives within the Centre. Evaluation procedures for spin-offs and novel emerging concepts have been developed and agreed on. The procedures for evaluation of the Concepts and execution and follow up on Concepts that have been granted support is prepared. In short, the report describes 5 stages for handling the Concepts; (1) The Call, (2) The Evaluation, (3) Plan and Budget Approval, (4) Concept Execution, and, (5) Post Project. First announcement will be in Q1 /2018.

Dissemination and Communication:

A first outline of the Dissemination and Communication plan is finished, and will be actively used and updated every year. The content is based on close cooperation with SINTEF ER's communication staff and RA5. The HighEFF Website is established ( showing relevant news and upcoming events, in addition to HighEFF results. Dissemination standards and design, such as HighEFF logo, PP-template, deliverable template, are available. In total 13 blog articles and 4 newsletters (Highlights) were published during the first period of FME HighEFF. Our ambition is to increase these numbers even more in 2018.

Deliverables Society RA5 

  • A QUESTION OF POWER - The Politics of Kilowatt-Hours (pdf)
    by Torgeir Kolstø Haavik, Jens Olgard Dalseth Røyrvik, Catharina Lindheim

Ingrid Camilla Claussen

Research Manager
920 98 560
Ingrid Camilla Claussen
Research Manager
920 98 560
Thermal Energy