To identify and examine the social and economic factors that determine whether or not cleaner technologies are developed and deployed. The intention is to assess the scope for clean technologies and identify the measures by which they may be promoted.
The research focuses on two key issues :
i) the process of decision-making in the firm, and how it is affected by the context within which it operates. The research examines how corporate responses to environmental issues (especially the uptake of cleaner technologies) vary according to regional and market context, regulatory frameworks, public pressures, the culture and competencies of the firm;
ii) the process of technological innovation. The research assesses the origins of cleaner technologies, including those arising from external R & D aimed at radically cleaner solutions and those arising from incremental innovations within industry. The study examines the potential problems in implementing radical innovations in clean technology, particularly in matching them to the circumstances of industry.
These issues are explored through a set of comparative case-studies of developments in selected industries in the UK, Ireland, Denmark and the Netherlands. To allow comparison, process industries (eg brewing, petrochemicals, food processing) represented in several regions are separately analyzed. The case studies include examples of both radical and incremental approaches to cleaner technology - comparing the role and potential of various different sources of innovation: contrasting solutions generated within the firm to those bought-in from equipment suppliers or arising from public R&D under cleaner technology programmes.
The project highlights the potential contribution of legislation and other government policy measures in promoting the development and adoption of cleaner technologies.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
3000 DR Rotterdam