Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Towards an integration of environmental and ecology-oriented technology policy: New directions in policy formulation

The most significant results of the ENVINNO policy analysis can now be summarised:
- New directions concerning environmental policies:
-- EP (Environmental Policy) should establish clear environmental quality standards, improvements planned should have time horizons attached and transition rules should be specified, since this future orientation provides an essential stimulus for pioneers.

-- Environmental standards, in the form of both present and conceived future targets, need to be checked for consistency, especially where there is an interdependency of standards along product chains and in the dynamics of ecological systems.

-- EP should promote green markets to support the market stimuli for environment oriented innovation in companies; and such strategies should include a green public procurement policies.

- New directions concerning environment-oriented technology policies:
-- ETP (Technological Policy) has to be designed in accordance with the declared present and future aims of EP.

-- ETP has to specify the technological strategy to comply with (future) standards and has to take into account all the functions needed in an innovation process (from basic research to innovation diffusion).

-- ETP should define focal areas of technological innovation, allow enough time and allocate funds over the predetermined time horizons, thus reducing risk and uncertainty for innovation projects.

-- ETP should be seen as a feedback-process in which future environmental and technological problems and opportunities can be assessed and incorporated into the priority decisions.

-- Environmental policy networks including all relevant actors should be enabled to participate in this process (i.e. involving ¿Environmental Stakeholders).

-- ETP should establish institutional arrangements that permit active involvement of EP and ETP policy agents in the detection and promotion of environment-oriented innovation pioneers, through the use of ¿talent scouts¿ and policy advisers.

-- ETP should encourage the establishment and maintenance of environment-oriented innovation networks (for knowledge diffusion and management, and for finding innovation project partners).

-- Grants for innovation projects should be allocated on the basis of demonstrating knowledge of the product chains the planned innovation is planned to take place within and the likely impacts on other links in the chain.

-- Applications for grants should contain a commercial feasibility and costing and marketing analysis, as well as the planned organisational basis of the innovation project, in the pattern and responsibilities of the network partners involved.

-- ETP designers should be aware of the fact that EP standards and concomitant ETP programs usually imply the creation and/or modification of new product markets for the technology providers. The market conditions need to be clarified and the longer run stability of these ¿institutional¿ markets needs to be considered in order to provide incentives for pioneers.

-- ETP should promote experiments, particularly those that involve several related production activities (eco-business zones) and citizens groups.

- Concerning policy co-ordination:
-- Better policy co-ordination and transparency implies consideration of trade-offs between different policy goals and clear responsibilities between different tiers of government.

-- Policy co-ordination in future oriented activities such as innovation is difficult to always ascertain a priori, and so a policy co-ordination agent should help to pave the way for innovation projects running into difficulties because of policy contradictions.

-- Particularly for SMEs, ETP should provide assistance for prospective innovators in joining the necessary networks, as well as for widening and deepening general networks and supporting specific project networks.

-- Pioneers should get public awards to create more interest in innovation activities in companies.

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Evaluation - Policies