The performance of UK buildings and infrastructure is critical to our national economy and well-being and the EPSRC is investing heavily in research to improve resilience in the urban environment. This includes the Adaptation and Resilience in the Context of Change (ARCC) knowledge exchange network.
With Research Councils in the UK increasing the emphasis placed on achieving impact in the allocation of their funding, it is only sensible that ARCC itself can demonstrate its impact in building community cohesion, providing of relevant knowledge and enhancing accessibility and impact.
By engaging both researchers and stakeholders, ARCC has maximised and accelerated the use of outputs from across the academic community to inform the development of sustainable infrastructure and built environment.
Coordination of the network is managed by UKCIP, University of Oxford, and Director Roger Street says that ARCC is driven by the shared understanding of the value of research and its direct use in policy and practice.
“It is for this very reason that the network itself has learned from its lessons and has continued to evolve to better serve the research projects, policy and practice community and key stakeholders,” he said.
“Crucially, ARCC has built on achievements and lessons learnt from previous stakeholder-led programmes, including the Building Knowledge for a Changing Climate (BKCC) and Sustaining Knowledge for a Changing Climate (SKCC).
“This evolution has been driven by evolving stakeholder needs, and has been a key aspect of promoting the uptake of outputs arising from EPSRC-funded projects.
“Our experience over the journey of these three related programmes has demonstrated that end-users can be engaged over an extended period of time through facilitating networks”.
The ARCC network now has end-users that are more informed and therefore better able to contribute to current research, better able to understand the utility of research produced, and more willing and able to exploit research results. Through this extended experience, they become more capable and are likely to be involved in further development and dissemination of research results arising within their respective policy and practice communities.
ARCC continues to deliver on its objectives, including network cohesion with a website that has had over 7,600 page views in the first 6 weeks of 2016, a monthly e-news with approximately 660 engaged subscribers, an active twitter account plus plans to move further into the digital world with videos in the pipeline.
On-going successful impact initiatives include:
- informing adaptation policy (e.g the National Adaptation Programme) in the energy sector by synthesising key messages emerging from research projects focusing on resilient and sustainable energy systems
- developing future research leaders, with a dedicated Early Career Researchers skills development programme to encourage links with policymakers and practitioners as well as develop expertise in realising pathways to impact. This enhances the overall impact of research within the ARCC network.
- identifying new and innovative ways of reaching new audiences, including our current Feeling good in public spaces dialogue series focuses on the impacts of climate change on sensory experience in the built environment. Through this partnership approach, ARCC has facilitated new discussions and the consideration of solutions across communities.