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  4. Knowledge Production for Sustainable Bio-energy: An Analysis of UK Decision Processes and Priorities

Knowledge Production for Sustainable Bio-energy: An Analysis of UK Decision Processes and Priorities


Les Levidow, DPP, Open University
Theo Papaioannou, DPP, Open University
Michael Farrelly, DPP, Open University


ESRC funded project, 18 months, starts December 2010

Summary and aims

In the UK policy context, the transition to a low-carbon economy is being envisaged through technological solutions which enhance the commercial use of knowledge in a competitive global market place. For analysing the role of bio-energy, this research project has the following objectives:

  1. To identify the range of potential innovation pathways for bio-energy, as a basis to analyse variation, selection and retention of pathways as research priorities.
  2. To analyse how institutions are linked in selecting bio-energy research priorities.
  3. To develop a theoretical account of bio-energy research policy and its relation to shaping a low-carbon economy in the UK.
  4. To engage with stakeholders involved in shaping research priorities for bio-energy, e.g. as participants, as critical supporters, and as potential end-users.

The main research question is: How do discourses, practices and interests of techno-scientific knowledge figure in selecting national research priorities for sustainable bio-energy from a wider range of options? Possible explanations lie in different actors' models of valuable knowledge, competitiveness, and environmental sustainability. These models will be analysed by combining three related theoretical approaches: Cultural Political Economy, Science and Technology Studies, and Critical Discourse Analysis.


To access the full list of publications , please visit our ESRC Outputs, Impacts and Reports page.


Dr Les Levidow,
Dr Theo Papaioannou,

Contact us

To find out more about our work, or to discuss a potential project, please contact:

International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)1908 858502