2024-02-20 04:00 PM
On 5 February 2024, EASSH hosted a webinar to present two recently published reports on R&I for a fair green transition and R&I for a fair digital transition. These reports were an opportunity for EASSH to inform policymakers of emerging research trends.

The data analysis shows how only a few SSH disciplines access funding in the European Horizon 2020 calls from 2013 to 2020.

The reports were the result of a six-month study on understanding how Horizon 2020 has funded research in the green transition and in the digital transition (‘twin transition’) in relation to the labour market, labour relations, and employment.

The first report specifically considers existing research gaps on the human and social costs of the green transition, regulatory reform and required reforms in education, as well as technical and vocational training to equip youth for the future job market. The aim of the second report, on the digital transition, was to identify the future trends of research relevant to understand the impacts of digital transition on the job market.

Only a few SSH disciplines accessed funding

EASSH deployed a data analysis research team and a task force of SSH (social science and humanities) research experts in the digital transition and green transition. They presented existing relevant research in the SSH and made recommendations for future research investment. The aim of the data analysis was to identify what still needs to be funded in the next work programme which was not yet captured by previous calls.

The data analysis revealed how only a few SSH disciplines accessed funding as the calls have consistently focused on economic development rather than on the impact of these twin transitions on our society and culture.

One conclusion from the bibliometric analysis is that although there is relatively little work addressing specifically green transition policy actions and their specific effects on labour markets, there is a wide breadth of relevant SSH research. The results of which can expand the evidence base of policymakers dealing with the twin transition.

Key recommendations for Horizon Europe 2025–27

During the webinar, the panel presented some of the fundamental technical details of the reports and showcased the key recommendations. These include: broadening the study of the digital transition and green transition; including a range of disciplinary perspectives; and the need to balance methodological approaches when looking at the relationship between social transformation and the labour market. EASSH trusts that new calls for Horizon Europe 2025–27 can be informed by these findings.

“The design of Horizon work programmes remains a complex system of interlinked parties informing new and emerging research questions. I find it reassuring that the research community can be offered opportunities to provide feedback around the latest research trends”, stated EASSH Director, Gabi Lombardo.

Gabi Lombardo summarised the results of the analysis from the panel of experts as follows:

  • the need for more qualitative studies,
  • more combined quantitative and qualitative studies
  • consideration of education and human-centric solutions,
  • research that connects the local and global dimension.

Ongoing research and policy priorities

The closing remarks were entrusted to Simone Rosini, who highlighted the complexity of the system of co-creation and call design in the European Framework Programme. Rosini pointed out that reports like those delivered by EASSH are key for understanding the relationship between ongoing research and policy priorities.

The reports build an understanding of a) what research the framework programme has funded, b) what researchers publish, and c) what scholars develop in their daily work on given topics. The two reports by EASSH covered employment research in the green and digital transitions.

An active dialogue between researchers and policymakers is crucial to inspire investment in science and ensure that our society benefits from these science-based policies.

More information

The two reports by EASSH.

The panel was comprised of:

  • Jon Deer, Director of Research & Enterprise, City, University of London and EASSH Treasurer;
  • Sebastian Diemer Mørk, PhD Fellow, Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University;
  • Simone Rosini, European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion;
  • Gabi Lombardo, Director of EASSH (moderator).

Slides from the event are available here: