Enhancing the Responsible and Sustainable Expansion of the Science Shop Ecosystem in Europe

Centre for Participatory Research, Slovenia

The Centre for Participatory Research (CPR-IJS) is based within the Department of Environmental Sciences of the Jozef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia and is therefore initially focusing on addressing questions related to environmental issues in the local community.

 

Business model 

The CPR-IJS helps in translating societal problems into well-defined research questions. It offers research (scientific support) to non-profit organisations in the form of research conducted by students at the Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School, young researchers at the IJS and others in close collaboration with the community. The work is supervised by an experienced researcher. All project/research work within the science shop is pro bono (no cost to the civil society organisations).

In terms of funding, the Jozef Stefan Institute provides the basic operational infrastructure to support the running of the Science Shop: premises, utilities and the part time employment of one person (several hours/week); other sources are research grants, donations, commercial projects etc. 

 

Activity to date

The Science Shop was officially launched at an event held in November 2018. Read more about the launch in this article.

Since the Science Shop started, the CPR-IJS Science shop has facilitated a number of research activities for the benefit of the local community.

The first project undertaken by CPR-JSI relates to the placement of a high-voltage transmission line (from Beričevo to Divača) and ensuring that it is located at a safe distance from residential settlements, schools and kindergartens. Representatives of a number of civil initiatives approached the CPR-JSI as the result of a negative experience in how the public (local inhabitants) and civil society have been involved in the process of the spatial planning of the Beričevo-Divača transmission line; the project is currently at a standstill due to the pressure of the civil initiatives and the media. 

Four workshops/meetings have been organised so far; in the first two workshops, the problem was thoroughly analysed, while at the third meeting the idea of developing a decision analysis model has been initiated and discussed. It is expected that the work to develop a  decision analysis model will involve all interested parties, including decision-makers, with the purpose of finding a solution to the problem of the siting of the transmission line Beričevo-Divača.  

Additionally, in December 2018, an NGO “Društvo Prihodnost” (transl. Society of the Future associated with Greenpeace) approached CPR-IJS with a question about the carbon footprint of one-time use packaging containers/materials (PET bottles, PE shopping bags). Research is now underway and being undertaken by a PhD student under the supervision of a post-doc researcher.  The results are to be used to inform communication actions aimed at reducing the use of a single use packaging within the community as well as to promote re-use of more sustainable packaging.

 

Next steps

Future plans include the organisation of a series of workshops for the high-voltage transmission line project. Topics to be discussed include the analysis of the needs for transmission lines, associated planning processes, environmental impacts and related decision-making. The participants will include the civil initiatives, representatives of investor (ELES), representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia, as well as the JSI researchers and faculty and students of the Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School.

 

Contact

Dr Branko Kontić, Head Researcher;  T: 01/477 3791, e: branko.kontic@ijs.si

Dr Davor Kontić, Head Assistant, T: 01/477 3751, e: davor.kontic@ijs.si

Mag. Tine Bizjak, Early Stage Researcher, T: 01/477 3671, e: tine.bizjak@ijs.si

 

Website:

 http://www.environment.si/en/services/center-for-participatory-research