Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Towards an integration of environmental and ecology-oriented technology policy: An assessment of the major barriers for environment-orientated innovation

In the case study interviews with participants in innovation projects and the workshops held in the framework of the ENVINNO study important obstacles to carrying out innovation projects successfully were identified. These barriers pertain to the individual actors (or companies) involved, to the project networks and to the environmental regulations as well as to the technology support programmes. The following overview is not country specific, but provides a general listing. Some of the issues listed here are valid only for some countries. This is true particularly with respect to the policy related problems reported, as the policy systems of some countries have already made provisions in their EP and ETP systems to avoid these flaws.

- Barriers existing in the participating companies individually:
-- Lack of environmental awareness, no organisational provision to cope with environmental problems

-- Considering environmental challenges only as a cost factor and not as a potential opportunity for opening up new business opportunities (i.e. the identification of possible win-win situations)

-- Lack of innovative milieu in companies
This lack was often characterised particularly by the following organisational features:
1) Hierarchical structure.
2) Internal bureaucracy.
3) Lack of a feedback-and-learning culture as a general attitude towards mistakes, shortcomings and failures.
4) A business culture of secrecy.
5) General risk aversion.
6) No promotion of visions for change and lack of organisational provision for documentation of such visions and diffusion within the company.

-- Lack of assessment procedures of risk and marketing possibilities

-- Unawareness of the stage in the product cycle of the company’s products and the chances and risks offered by innovation

- Barriers arising from factors outside individual companies
-- Lack of assistance in finding co-operation partners ("partner stock exchange").

-- Lack of special conditions for research consortia.

-- EP and ETP focus on single technologies and individual actors.

-- Lack of specific funds for SMEs for R&D and commercialisation of innovations.

-- Conventional financial institutions are often risk averse and usually conservative.

-- Bureaucratic procedures for the provision of funding are still a problem.

-- Networking on a formal basis with legally-binding contracts.

-- Difficulties overcoming bottlenecks during some phases of innovation.

-- Sound market research and analysis, in order to demonstrate a clear latent demand for an innovative environmental technology.

Reported by

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Evaluation - Policies