The Eco-Innovation Challenge

The Eco-Innovation Challenge



Socio-cultural factors

Among the socio-cultural factors, weak linkages and cooperation between research and

industry appears to be one of the most common (both in cases of EU leaders and followers;

see the scoreboard in chapter 3) barriers to eco-innovation, especially as regards translating

inventions onto the market, defining priorities, and knowledge exchange (information flows).

Lack of entrepreneurship in ‘green markets’ is said to be due to cultural risk aversion among

citizens, SMEs and potential investors. That said, awareness about environmental issues

is increasingly becoming a catalyst for the demand of green products and services, and

forming the basis for favourable governmental policies, in several Member States.

Natural capital

Lack of natural resources and materials has been driving solutions toward more efficient use,

as well as the search for more viable alternatives (like renewable energies, water recycling

schemes, etc.). These developments have been particularly important for isolated regions

(e.g. Malta). Growing uncertainties about future prices of natural resources are already

defining the innovative strategies of companies in technologically advanced EU countries.

This is especially becoming critical for smaller, resource poor and export-oriented countries

like The Netherlands and Belgium.

In summary, Figure 6.8 presents an indicative overview of eco-innovation determinants most

commonly mentioned in the EIO country profile analysis. For a more detailed breakdown of

specific barriers and drivers identified in the EU country briefs see Annex I.

> Future Work Plan: Barriers and Drivers

The work on the drivers and barriers in the countries and sectors will be extended by adding

additional dimensions and variables to the analysis mostly based on the micro-level data

sets of Eurobarometer (2011) and CIS 2008 (2010). The thematic reports will give a specific

attention to analysing the relevance and perceptions of eco-innovation determinants in the

selected sectors and areas.

In particular the following questions will be tackled:

● How do the determinants of eco-innovation differ depending on the size, the turnover

and the investment in eco-innovation of the company? (based on micro data from

Eurobarometer and CIS)

● What are key drivers and barriers of different types of eco-innovation? (based on

micro data from Eurobarometer and CIS)

● Which factors drive and hamper radical and incremental eco-innovations? (based on

micro data from Eurobarometer and CIS)

● What are the expected future drivers and barriers of eco-innovation in selected

sectors? (based on Delphi surveys and scenario approaches)

● Can the barriers and drivers help to explain the eco-innovation performance of

countries and sectors? Does the perception of barriers and drivers relate to the

structural profiles and long-term trends identified in the countries and sectors?

Annual Report 2010

Growing uncertainties

about future prices of

natural resources are

already defining the

innovative strategies

of some companies.


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