Offerman Consulting
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ePolicy platform includes tools for eParticipation and opinion mining

Author: Adrian Offerman

The people from the ePolicy project have launched a beta version of their platform. This will support policy-makers in their decision-making throughout the whole policy-making lifecycle. The project focuses on regional planning and promotes the assessment of economic, social and environmental impacts during the policy-making process at both the global and individual levels.

The ePolicy platform provides all sorts of support tools. These have been implemented as software modules using optimisation techniques, agent-based modelling and game theory. Furthermore, several techniques have been used to identify and understand the views of citizens in general. These have been implemented as traditional eParticipation tools, but the platform also provides more novel opinion-mining techniques which can be utilised to automatically extract opinions and sentiments from internet blogs and social media.

Opinion mining

The ePolicy already provides modules tailored to particular elements of regional sustainable energy policies. These are based on the case of the Emilia Romagna Regional Energy plan (Italy). The modules allow regional planners to create an energy plan that is in line with strategic EU and national objectives; consistent with financial and territorial constraints; participatory in that it includes opinion mining results; well-assessed from an environmental perspective and optimised with respect to one or more metrics. Furthermore, ePolicy will provide a portfolio of implementation instruments — i.e. fiscal incentives, tax exemption, investment grants — to push society and the energy market in the direction envisaged by the plan.

The ePolicy platform will be extended to other vertical domains.

ePolicy is an FP7 'Small or medium scale focused research project' (STREP), part of the Objective ICT 2011.5.6 'ICT solutions for Governance and Policy Modelling' work programme.