Specific challenge: The project will address the creation and support of networking and research activities for the international transfer of EU eco-innovation knowledge and best practices, with a focus on SME development and key sectors, which characterise the various specific relationships between the EU and developing/transition areas of the world.
- Which eco-innovations meet the challenges as described in the concepts of eco-innovation, green economy and sustainable development?
- how should they be transferred and implemented?
Work to do: We will collect case experiences, appropriate practices that can be recommended. Problems of transferability of eco-innovations should be discussed for different types of eco-innovations (e.g. incremental vs. radical) and for different regions (e.g. Africa vs. Asia), also funding of eco-innovations is important. Knowledge transfer and transferability should take into account bilateral/multilateral economic specialisation, different pressure intensities (e.g. carbon intensity), different technological capabilities, and also the ‘affordability’ of innovations in a given territory. A variety of relevant exchanges between the EU and developing/transition countries will be in focus. Knowledge transfer will be defined broadly to include technological, organisational, and governance knowledge, with a pivotal role for human resources. Networking and research activities will be mutually reinforcing, with stakeholder engagement on current cases, best practices and needs assessment informing the development of practical tools and a broad elaboration and mapping of collaboration models.
The major international channels to consider, assess and work on at an operational level are: green technology/knowledge transfer via trade of ‘environmental goods’ ('embodied' green knowledge); international transfer of 'disembodied' green knowledge, as in the case of green intellectual property rights and best practices; transfer of standards and regulations through 'policy imitation' across countries and the need to access foreign markets; and voluntary initiatives for greening the economy through bottom-of-the-pyramid export approaches, joint sectoral agreements, etc.
From an EU perspective, knowledge transfer can be a payoff of well-designed environmental policies within the EU level as well as something to be promoted by the EU at global level. EU regulatory settings can activate incremental and radical innovations, integrated and complementary innovation changes that need to be diffused within the EU and internationally through different channels. The extent of eco-innovation knowledge transfer is thus relevant in the overall assessment of policies and to understand the potential of new markets that the green economy can open. The policy design itself can also benefit from the outcome of green international knowledge transfer.
The project stresses the importance of placing international relations for eco-innovation and the green economy in a framework of cooperation and suitability to the social and cultural environment of the recipient countries. A key point of attention will thus be the understanding of “local contexts” in terms of institutions, norms, rules and regulations, networks as well as technology infrastructure.
Deliverables: Reports and maps on best practices, knowledge transfer and transferability of eco-innovations, report on “affordability” and financing of eco-innovations, creation of specific regional networks on best practices.