Danish scheme reaches out to SSH researchers

Boosting the participation of Danish researchers from the socio-economic sciences and humanities (SSH) in the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is the goal of a new initiative set up by
the Danish Business Research Academy (DEA).

The initiative, called the ‘EU project for social science and humanities’, is particularly keen to reach out to researchers who have never participated in EU research programmes. So far the
network has attracted around 100 researchers from over 12 universities and research institutions. These have been put into a number of interdisciplinary working groups with a view to forming
the basis of consortia that could apply for EU funding.

The project coordinator, Nanna Rosenfeldt, is keen to emphasise the fact that SSH researchers should not restrict their search for EU funding to the dedicated ‘Socio-economic Sciences and
Humanities’ theme of FP7. ‘We looked at all the calls under the work programmes and a lot of them mention the socio-economic sciences, for example in health, energy and the environment,’ Ms
Rosenfeldt told CORDIS News. Many work programmes emphasise the importance of consumer behaviour, call for the development of policy instruments, or call for engagement with civil society, she
notes.

Other goals of the scheme are to boost links between SSH researchers and the business community, and to encourage the SSH community to engage in business-oriented research. A recent study by
the DEA revealed a growing awareness among businesses of the importance of SSH research.

‘They are well aware of [SSH research] and know that these researchers can contribute to their business,’ said Ms Rosenfeldt. In the course of the study, the business representatives
interviewed set out their research needs in some detail. Top of their list was research into creativity and innovation, followed by behaviour and communication via the internet. The ageing
society was also mentioned by businesses, along with the cultural understanding of new markets. Ultimately, the DEA hopes that future EU SSH work programmes will include more business-oriented
research.

Getting partners from other European countries involved in the project is the next goal of the project; the DEA is already in touch with the Danish National Contact Point with the goal of
reaching out to researchers outside of Denmark.

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