Enhancing Connectivity between Research and Policy Making in Sustainable Consumption (CORPUS)

Enhancing Connectivity between Research and Policy Making in Sustainable Consumption (CORPUS)

Source of funding

European Commission

Name of client/donor

European Commission

Overall project value

EUR 1,926,149


January 2010 – January 2013

Beneficiary countries


Number of staff


The tremendous increase in consumption over the last few decades has had both positive and negative effects. Greater consumption is a key driver for economic development and wealth. However, the boosting of production can have negative impacts on the environment. Negative externalities can also affect the social dimension of sustainable development, ranging from widening gaps in income distribution to health-impairing lifestyles.

Sustainable consumption policies are a good example of enhanced knowledge brokering in terms of both enlarging the evidence base of practical policy making, and offering — along with a significant body of research — a sufficiently complex application area for testing a broad range of methodologies and tools in knowledge brokerage.

The overall objective of the project was to experiment with and develop new integrative modalities of knowledge brokerage at the policy-science interface. This objective was broken down into the sub-goals of:

  • improving understanding of the knowledge interface between research and policy making and developing appropriate and transferable methodologies and tools for knowledge brokerage in SCP policies;
  • fostering evidence-based policy making in the field of SCP (on food, mobility and housing) at European and national level, and strengthening the policy orientation of relevant research communities through the development and implementation of online and offline knowledge brokerage mechanisms; and
  • stimulating community building across the research and policy-making communities in order to trigger a self-sustaining process of effective knowledge management in the field of SCP policies.

The core elements of the CORPUS project were the knowledge brokerage interaction exercises. In general, these comprised three face-to-face meetings between policy makers, researchers and consortium members in each of three thematic streams: food, mobility and housing. Each interaction exercise focused on a different angle of the policy cycle (facts, trends, policy instruments and scenarios). The CORPUS Web Platform served as a central information gateway and online interaction forum.

The approach to knowledge brokering in CORPUS relied on two major components: the CORPUS Web Platform as the central information gateway and online forum; and the series of offline interaction exercises involving researchers and policy makers.

The platform is a central reference point for high-quality information and networking among European professionals in the field of sustainable consumption. It provides a space for incubating and nurturing knowledge to be shared among researchers and policy makers through the private domain; general information and scientific results for dissemination in the public domain; and transparent, mutually comprehensible and effective interaction (dialogue) between scientists and policy makers.

The interaction exercises explored new modalities of knowledge brokerage through different forms of face-to-face dialogue. The aim was to enhance connectivity between the different research and policy-making communities by providing specifically tailored arenas for personal exchange, information provision and offline community building. Another objective was to test and further develop selected methodologies and tools for improving the efficacy of knowledge brokerage. The three series (on food, mobility and housing) were scheduled with a time lag in order to allow for double-loop learning.


Topic area experts contributed to the following publications:

Sustainable drive engineering

Support for energy-saving refurbishment

  • Information acquisition
  • Research
  • Event facilitation
  • Networking