WIT Press

The UK Energy Research Centre Meeting Place: A Transferable Model For International Energy Research Collaboration And Networking?


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WIT Press


S. Keay-Bright


The Meeting Place was set up in October 2004 – under the auspices of the UK Energy Research Centre as part of a cross Research Council funded initiative – to provide the UK energy research community with a resource that would enable UK researchers of different disciplines to collaborate with other researchers and stakeholders based in the UK and overseas. This paper aims to inform the energy research community of what the Meeting Place is and does, and the lessons learnt so far. The paper explains the evolution of the Meeting Place model, the factors that have shaped its current form and discusses possible future directions. The possibility of transferring this model to other countries or sectors is also discussed. The paper draws on experience from running the Meeting Place as well as feedback from the energy community. The set up of the Meeting Place is also compared with other highprofile international residential research collaboration centres such as the Isaac Newton Centre and the Bellagio Institute. The Meeting Place model is able to meet the widely varying needs of the energy community through its activity management and development service. This model provides for a flexible approach in both the format and location of activities which is effective in terms of output as well as costs. The intellectual input of the Meeting Place team into the development process, the team’s expertise in managing and arranging activities, as well as the provision of financial and administrative support, helps deliver a professional and productive output that adds value and which members of the energy research community could not have achieved alone. While there are opportunities for further improvement and development, this model should be easily transferable to other countries or sectors. Keywords: UKERC Meeting Place, international energy research collaboration, stakeholder engagement, networking, dialogue, interdisciplinary.


UKERC Meeting Place, international energy research collaboration,stakeholder engagement, networking, dialogue, interdisciplinary.