What's going on in energy efficiency research? A platform to enhance the transparency of energy research funding in Germany
Public funding of energy research projects is a major pillar for developing new energy-efficient technologies and concepts. With European energy and climate targets driving such projects, it is becoming challenging to keep up with their ever-increasing number. Our contribution demonstrates how combining the expertise on energy efficiency and renewable energies, linguistic text processing and modern information technology can help to respond to this challenge and thereby render research funding more transparent and accessible to the public. We provide an overview of the German energy research funding information system 'EnArgus'. This web-based system makes it possible to intelligently review and cluster the vast number of publicly-funded energy research projects in Germany carried out since 1970. The core element of the system is an ontology-assisted search engine derived from more than 2,200 short articles, which were specifically prepared for this purpose. These texts cover energy technologies as well as the related basic terminology and concepts. To illustrate the system, we provide an overview of its structure, its main components and a summary of its evaluation as well as important lessons learned from the project. The results of the evaluation indicate that the system is well suited to help structure and access the growing number of publicly-funded energy research projects.