Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation
Addressing societal challenges using transdisciplinary research
This report looks at how transdisciplinary research, which combines knowledge from
different scientific disciplines with that of public and private sector stakeholders
and citizens, can be used to address complex societal challenges. This includes developing
effective responses in acute crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as longer-term
solutions for sustainability development. In a series of 28 case studies, each of
which is briefly summarised in the report, it identifies the key obstacles to effectively
implementing transdisciplinary research. Many of these are embedded in the way that
research systems are structured and managed and they are amenable to policy intervention.
Examples of how various actors, including funding agencies and universities are adapting
to better accommodate the requirements of transdisciplinary research are included
in the report and related policy actions are ascribed for these actors.