The emergence of sustainable innovations: key factors and regional support structures

Peter S. Hofman, Theo J.N.M. de Bruijn

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    The paper analyses the emergence of sustainable innovations in a selected number of firms and addresses key explanatory factors that contribute to emergence and diffusion of the innovations. The focus is particularly on regional support structures that facilitated the innovation processes, and on gaps between the needs identified within firms’s innovation processes and functions provided by support structures. Ten sustainable innovation processes are analysed to gain insight in the relationship between the nature of the innovation process, the type of needs for firms, and the type of functions provided in regional innovation systems. It is concluded that especially for SMEs demand articulation remains a major barrier as users are often only involved when the innovation is ready to enter the market, while regional support functions in this respect are deficient. Moreover, SMEs have major difficulty interpreting and anticipating sustainability policies and regulations at local and national levels, leading to innovations that face major regulatory barriers or are unable to cope with policy changes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2008
    Event15th Greening of Industry Network Conference, GIN 2008: Facilitating Sustainable Innovations - Leeuwarden, Netherlands
    Duration: 26 Jun 200828 Jun 2008
    Conference number: 15


    Conference15th Greening of Industry Network Conference, GIN 2008
    Abbreviated titleGIN


    • METIS-254774


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