KNAW and NWO decided to establish a Climate Research Task Force, consisting of 23 scientists from various backgrounds. The task force was asked to investigate how Dutch climate researchers in every discipline could join forces to pursue a joint agenda of integral climate research. The task force was also asked to explore how existing knowledge and expertise could be harnessed more effectively to tackle the climate crisis.
Based on the findings in the report, the Climate Research Task Force makes the following recommendations for the implementation of the KIN.
Climate change is too urgent to permit any delay. Start drawing up the concrete details of the plans for the KIN in this report as soon as possible and, after consulting stakeholders (e.g., Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Universities of the Netherlands, executive boards, Applied Research Organisations (TO2s), Public Knowledge Organisations (RKIs), appoint a quartermasters team to put the plans for the KIN into practice. Consider taking the following measures to accelerate the initial phase:
- organise a meeting to gather feedback from scientists, politicians and representatives of societal partners engaged with climate research;
- draft an implementation plan, which fleshes out the advice in this report and incorporates the input from the consultations;
- start preparations for the pilot phase, with workshops and initial programmes (as described in section 3.4) to gain experience with the envisaged new working methods;
- appoint a steering group to supervise the quartermaster phase; members of the Climate Research Task Force could be asked to play a role in this.
Implement the advisory report in its entirety
The KIN approach described in this report must be implemented coherently and in its entirety. To have an impact, the various tracks must be initiated and carried out simultaneously. Specifically this means that:
- the design of each of the three components of the KIN, the Programme, the Pact and the Centre, must receive attention during the implementation phase;
- workshops and programmes devoted to system transitions and covering all of the relevant aspects (from technology to society) should be organised during the pilot phase.
Facilitate and accelerate the knowledge transition
The KIN will be employing a new, integral method of (co-)creation, production, application and sharing of knowledge. That will also require a transition in the relevant part of the knowledge chain. Where possible, facilitate and accelerate that process with the KIN approach proposed in this report, and ensure that the incentives for researchers work effectively. This can be accomplished, for example, by organising workshops during the pilot/ start-up phase at which stakeholders and researchers jointly produce a concrete research programme.
Monitor national and international developments
Do not regard the KIN as a stand-alone competitive project, but treat it as a programme designed to supplement, coordinate and enhance existing initiatives, both national and international. The urgency of the climate crisis demands intensive collaboration, not competition.
Adopt a long-term perspective
This report proposes an approach tailored to the longer term. Like the international programme, system transitions and generating the knowledge needed to realise them take time. An initiative like this will have to continue for at least ten years.
Download the report [PDF].