The European research project IMPREX (IMproving PRedictions and management of hydrological EXtremes) has been funded under the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020. A consortium of 23 renowned partners from nine countries took up the challenge of developing methods and tools to improve predictions of hydro-meteorological extremes. The research focused on adapting climate information to the needs of six core sectors: flood risk assessments, hydropower, water transport, urban water management, agriculture and droughts.
adelphi has compiled this position paper based on the work of the IMPREX research project and inputs from IMPREX partners received during a project workshop on “Challenges and opportunities of/for applied science”. This paper presents lessons learned on successful science/policy, science/practice and science/science interfaces for increased impact of research and innovation. It further provides recommendations on research policy, program design and project organization for more fruitful European research.
Research policy recommendations directed at the European Commission include actively inviting and facilitating contributions from research to policy processes and ensuring coordination between policy processes and research programs.
Recommendations for research programme design suggest acknowledging that transferring research results into policy processes requires significant time and expertise. This paper highlights the importance of the right level of involvement of practitioners and facilitated implementation of research results as well as the need for funding replication studies and follow-up research.
The paper further elaborates on recommendations for organising research projects, including collaboration with intermediaries to translate research results into policy advice. Building up and sustaining networks with practitioners should be made a constituent task of project management. Plan cooperation and stakeholder engagement well in advance. Acknowledge the value of unexpected and “failed” research attempts.