COST Grant for Openmod activities

Dear Openmod Colleagues,

Unfortunately, our COST grant proposal regarding “Open Source Energy Models, Data and Evaluations” (OSEMODE) has not been selected for funding in this year.

Proposers criticized, that our:

  • proposal was too broad: we should rather focus on a smaller area of energy system modeling
  • solutions were too unspecific: we should describe more clearly, how we plan to solve the open-access problem / advance the state of the art
  • objectives: were not enough ambitions, insufficiently measurable (SMART)… and did not include potential innovations /applications
  • network: should include more companies… and the implementation plan should specify the management structure more clearly

You can find the evaluation report with further details here: COST_Panel_Evaluation.pdf (452.5 KB)

However, our proposal still received a fairly high score (mostly 4 out of max. 5 points). So if we address reviewer comments, we may have a good chance in the next round on 29th October 2020 .

As next step, I would thus suggest to collect and discuss potential “focus areas” (as well as any other suggestions) in this forum thread. If you would like to propose a focus area for the resubmission in October, please post your suggestion below until June 2020 .
Please also indicate, whether you would be able to take the lead for a proposal revision around these topics.

Following that, I will organize a vote to decide about the topic and a potential resubmission.

1 Like

Hi Christian,

Is the network opened for everyone to participate in? Or as it already been formed?


Hi Braulio,
sure, we are very much open for participation! :slight_smile:
As you will see in the COST_Panel_Evaluation.pdf, reviewers asked us, to focus more on a specific (sub)question or topic. So if you want to propose a topic that is more specific than “Open Source Energy Models, Data and Evaluations”, you can suggest the topic in this forum. We will then organize a vote, to see which topic is perceived as most relevant, and see who would be interested to join/ lead a re-submission with that focus. :slight_smile:

Really a pity about the COST application. I read the assessment carefully but had only commented on drafts of the original application so I am not familiar with what exactly was submitted.

In terms of the bigger picture:

  • the context is changing as the coronavirus crisis exposes weaknesses in conducting policy‑relevant science within a paradigm that is not sufficiently open, agile, and contributor‑friendly
  • the current COST terms‑of-reference (ToR) do not unfortunately readily extend to internet‑mediated collaboration but stress instead face‑to‑face interactions — maybe the ToR will change soon in our favor?

Responding specifically to the assessment, in my opinion:

  • a clearly credible application — well done!
  • my suggestions for greater focus (Q1 and partly Q7) given below
  • I didn’t understand the comment (Q2) describing open‑access libraries: perhaps we need to describe open source development in more detail?
  • specific examples showing the comparative added value (Q4) of this community would help
  • the relatively low percentage of allied companies (Q5) is mostly a reflection on such companies being slow to embrace open source development and open data — but that is slowly changing
  • the comments about deeper stakeholder engagement (Q6) are legitimate
  • the potential spin‑offs (Q7) in our case are more related to improved public policy than economic competitiveness and commercial innovation
  • some of our knowledge creation (Q8) will be in the form of soft knowledge and a willingness to assist, rather than explicit formal measures
  • more specific documentation of processes to disseminate knowledge (Q9) is required
  • various issues of community management (Q10) raised are somewhat out of touch with our paradigm and ethos, I feel

Some general comments, after reading between the lines somewhat:

  • a greater distinction between data and projects might be useful: by that I mean that data is a community resource (aka collective good) shared by all, whereas the modeling projects equally compete and cooperate (aka coopetition) and that a good level of model diversity is healthy
  • I feel that traditional project or consortium management strategies are being applied to our community, resulting in some mismatch in our case — perhaps we need to describe our ethos and sociology in more detail?

I suggest the following focus areas (as per @Christian.winzer’s request) to the degree that they fall within the terms‑of‑reference for the next round:

Data architectures and protocols

There are a number of initiatives within this community to improve data curation and the handling of distributed and diverse datasets. Including: OPSD, Open Energy Platform, openENTRANCE, databus, SPINE, and the Open Energy Ontology.

We should emphasize that we view energy sector data as a collective good (as indicated earlier) under constrained curation (being a common pool resource). In essence, as we all know, all projects need the same consistent superset of data describing the current systems.

Issues (some not necessarily fully resolvable) include: common semantics, domain‑general data models (for modeling frameworks), legal interoperability and compliance, technical interoperability, metadata and metadata standards, provenance tracking, managing impersistence, archiving, distributed data architectures, information exchange protocols, data curation and quality evaluation, soft‑standards for reporting, and client‑side tooling and support.

I intentionally omitted dataset version control because that seems to be a tough problem. Perhaps others think this issue is should be added back in?

Online infrastructure

Earlier @Christian.winzer and I had discussions as to how to write support for online infrastructure into the first application. As noted above, COST stresses face‑to‑face physical meetings and workplace exchanges. We should explore how best to include support for online infrastructure with in the grant application.

There is an urgent need for a versioned file server like Nextcloud. Other channels and services would be subject to community discussion and agreement.

Stakeholder engagement

The reviewers use stakeholder engagement so I will stay with that term, although it is often used to describe statutory obligations to consult (which we certainly don’t face). There are a number of projects within our community examining engagement outreach, citizen science, citizen‑generated data, and civil society partnership, including work at: Geneva University and Flensburg University, as well as the openmod bridge meetings and the recently launched opensay forum.

The three foci listed above (data, infrastructure, engagement) leverage off our strengths — which is essentially our community. The other foci in the original application should mostly stay including inter‑model comparison exercises — while noting (if I am not mistaken) that the Open Energiewende and SENTINEL projects are presently undertaking comparisons too?

I suggest we form a working group to pursue this next application. Apologies too if I omitted to namecheck any relevant projects.  HTH R

Hi Christian,

Thank you for organising this. The team at UCLouvain (Belgium) would like to suggest the following two areas:

1) Collaboration between models

Producing valuable output for decision makers require the integration of different models. A COST action is the perfect platform to talk to each others and decide strategies towards this integration.

2) Uncertainty quantification and propagation

The hundreds or thousands of parameters used in energy/market models require validation data and all have uncertainties. As a community, we therefore need to quantify these uncertainties (what is our knowledge on them, their distribution, and properties) and we need to propagate them through our models using effective techniques.

Francesco Contino, Gauthier Limpens, Véronique Dias, Hervé Jeanmart

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