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Article

A Decision Support System for Public Funding of Experimental Development in Energy Research

1
Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Breslauer Str. 48, 76139 Karlsruhe, Germany
2
Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie, Döppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(6), 1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11061357
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 26 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Energy)
New energy technologies may fail to make the transition to the market once research funding has ended due to a lack of private engagement to conclude their development. Extending public funding to cover such experimental developments could be one way to improve this transition. However, identifying promising research and development (R&D) proposals for this purpose is a difficult task for the following reasons: Close-to-market implementations regularly require substantial resources while public budgets are limited; the allocation of public funds needs to be fair, open, and documented; the evaluation is complex and subject to public sector regulations for public engagement in R&D funding. This calls for a rigorous evaluation process. This paper proposes an operational three-staged decision support system (DSS) to assist decision-makers in public funding institutions in the ex-ante evaluation of R&D proposals for large-scale close-to-market projects in energy research. The system was developed based on a review of literature and related approaches from practice combined with a series of workshops with practitioners from German public funding institutions. The results confirm that the decision-making process is a complex one that is not limited to simply scoring R&D proposals. Decision-makers also have to deal with various additional issues such as determining the state of technological development, verifying market failures or considering existing funding portfolios. The DSS that is suggested in this paper is unique in the sense that it goes beyond mere multi-criteria aggregation procedures and addresses these issues as well to help guide decision-makers in public institutions through the evaluation process. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy research funding; proposal evaluation; public research and development (R&D) funding; public funding; decision support in energy research; multi-criteria decision-making; policy support energy research funding; proposal evaluation; public research and development (R&D) funding; public funding; decision support in energy research; multi-criteria decision-making; policy support
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hirzel, S.; Hettesheimer, T.; Viebahn, P.; Fischedick, M. A Decision Support System for Public Funding of Experimental Development in Energy Research. Energies 2018, 11, 1357. https://doi.org/10.3390/en11061357

AMA Style

Hirzel S, Hettesheimer T, Viebahn P, Fischedick M. A Decision Support System for Public Funding of Experimental Development in Energy Research. Energies. 2018; 11(6):1357. https://doi.org/10.3390/en11061357

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hirzel, Simon; Hettesheimer, Tim; Viebahn, Peter; Fischedick, Manfred. 2018. "A Decision Support System for Public Funding of Experimental Development in Energy Research" Energies 11, no. 6: 1357. https://doi.org/10.3390/en11061357

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