Making Energy Research Funding Information Public

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In the EnArgus project, energy researchers, computer scientists and linguists cooperate to make information on 45 years of government funding for energy research in Germany available to the public. The www.enargus.de portal went online in April 2015.

To make government funding of energy research more transparent and to make it easier for the public to evaluate technology developments are two of the goals of Germany's 6th Federal Energy Research Program. As a major contribution to these goals, a project consortium led by Fraunhofer FIT developed a centralized energy research information system. For researchers, funding agencies, politicians and the general public, EnArgus provides a central access point to information about energy research in Germany. The system does not collect any new data, but connects to existing databases from several different sources, relating them on a semantic level.

To interrelate the existing data, EnArgus uses a proprietary ontology that is derived semi-automatically from over 2,000 edited wiki texts. The ontology-based semantic search makes it possible to search effectively in large project databases with currently over 18,000 project entries. The query results can be further refined using a faceted search for funding period, amount of grant, state of recipient and funding agency, and sorted by several different criteria. Results may also be converted to a diagram view or an interactive map just by clicking a button. Users may study the underlying terminology in a wiki and browse relationships between terms, e.g. synonyms, constituents, generic or subordinate terms.

Besides this interface for the public, EnArgus also offers extended views on the data for closed user groups in ministries, funding agencies and energy research institutes.