Accompanying Research for the Transdisciplinary Discourse in the Kopernikus Project ENavi

Energiewende (©Coloures-Pic/Fotolia)

In the four Kopernikus projects of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) science, economy, and civil society are jointly looking for technological, economic, and societal solutions for restructuring the energy system. ISOE is accompanying and analyzing the transdisciplinary processes within the fourth Kopernikus project ENavi which is dealing with the system integration of the various areas of energy supply in the course of transforming the energy system.

Research approach

In the four Kopernikus projects, science, economy and civil society are planned to jointly develop technological, economic and societal solutions for restructuring the energy system. The project “Navigation system for the energy transition to document, analyze and simulate systemic interlinkages” (ENavi) is dealing with system integration and the connectivity of energy supply. The aim of the joint project that consists of 84 partners is to achieve a systemic approach which integrates technical-economic, environmental and societal aspects. This shall be achieved by developing a navigation instrument with which scientists can evaluate the effects and side effects of economic or political measures in advance. Because of the intended close connection between scientific analysis and political-societal evaluation, the project is designed to be transdisciplinary.

ISOE is participating in work package 12 (of 13 all in all) aiming to build structures for dialogue and interaction in order to integrate practical and empirical knowledge on the one hand and scientific knowledge on the other. This accompanying research is tasked to support the project with the formative evaluation of the transdisciplinary processes and the development of quality criteria.


The process of transforming the energy system should be designed as economic, environmentally friendly, reliable and socially acceptable. The four Kopernikus projects are investigating how this can be achieved. The projects represent the most extensive research initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to date addressing the energy transition. A holistic approach is needed in order to transform the current energy system into a mostly CO2-free system based on renewable energies. ENavi is therefore considering the energy transition as a transformation process for the society at large and is linking scientific analyses with political-societal demands. Here, technical system solutions as well as the development of possible new business models and professional services are taken into account.

Research and project partners of work package 12

  • Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam
  • DIALOGIK - Institute for Communication and Cooperation Research GmbH, Stuttgart
  • Reiner-Lemoine-Institut gGmbH, Berlin
  • Plattform Forschungswende, Berlin
  • INEP – Internationales Institut für Nachhaltiges Energiemanagement, Politik, Risiko und Soziale Innovationen, Oldenburg/Hannover (International Institute for Sustainable Energy Management, Politics, Risk and Social Innovations)


The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is sponsoring the project as part of the 3rd Framework Program „Research for Sustainable Developments – FONA3”


Dreyer, Marion/Matthias Bergmann/Oskar Marg/Steffi Ober/Piet Sellke (2021): Too big not to fail? Über Design und Ausführung von inter- und transdisziplinärer Forschung am Beispiel des Großprojekts ENavi. GAIA 30 (1), 29-34

Sellke, Piet/Matthias Bergmann/Marion Dreyer/Oskar Marg/Steffi Ober (2020): The Kopernikus Project ENavi: linking science, business, and civil society. In: Renn, Ortwin/Frank Ulmer/Anna Deckert (Hg.): The Role of Public Participation in Energy Transitions. London et al.: Academic Press, 123-137


2016/10 – 2019/09