The Swiss Competence Centre for Energy Research (SCCER) is a national research programme contributing on different levels to the reinforcement of energy research in Switzerland. The “Energy Innovation Lab” as Competence Centre of the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St. Gallen is a partner institution in the Centre for Research in Energy, Society and Transition (SCCER CREST).
Vision of CREST
The transition of the Swiss energy system - envisioned in the Swiss government's Energy Strategy 2050 - requires not only new technological solutions, but also behavioural changes, adjustments to firm strategies, business models as well as policy and market designs. These targeted research fields by SCCER CREST e.g. will facilitate both the deployment of new technologies and necessary changes of individual behaviour in order to support firms and regions to adapt new conditions set by the energy transition on the one hand and to reduce the overall energy demand on the other hand.
SCCER CREST Community
The SCCER CREST brings together research groups from almost all major Swiss research institutions and fills important gaps in the research landscape. To name a few, from university side, the following partners are joining: University of St. Gallen, the Federal Institutes of Technology at Zurich and Lausanne, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, the Universities of Basel, Geneva, Lucerne, and Neuchâtel. Joint collaborations among each other as well as with partners from industry, public administration, NGOs, and policy consulting are foreseen.
The CREST project is divided in four lines of research resulting in the following working packages:
1. Energy, Innovation and Management
Addressing the regional and firm level of energy transition covering research in entrepreneurship, business model innovation, innovation dynamics, technology integration and the transition of regional energy systems.
2. Change of Behaviour
Addressing the behaviour of individuals to examine the decisions of energy consumers, of the determinants of energy consumption and of options for reducing energy demand.
3. Energy Policy, Markets and Regulation
Addressing the level of national policy and energy markets covering research in assessment of existing policies and market structures, recommendations for new policies and market designs and the exploration of pathways for the energy transition.
4. Energy Governance
Addressing legal and political challenges in the governance of the Energy Strategy aiming to provide improvement recommendations where current governance impedes the transformation towards sustainable energy systems.
Role of the Energy Innovation Lab
The team of Prof. Gassmann is particularly involved in the work package “Energy, Innovation and Management”. The key objective of our project task is to better understand how
1) firms can master the challenges associated with reframing their business
2) and devise promising business models for the reshaped energy sector.
Therefore, we will analyse firm strategies, organizational capabilities, networks and cooperation among firms and smart regional energy systems. The team aims to deliver conceptual frameworks and models, recommendations for how firms and regions can adjust to the new conditions and advice on how energy policy can encourage innovation and technological change in firms and on the regional level. Within this broader context, the Energy Innovation Lab focuses on issues pertaining to stakeholder management, organizational structures, and business model innovation.
In case you are interested to support this ongoing research project or you would like to compose a thesis in the respective research field, please get in touch with Barbara Bencsik.