Field: Carbon footprint, Dissemination of information, Network
Global Technical function: Grant funding, Promoting sustainable practices
Technical Function Unit: Combining activities, Disseminating, Enhancing the cooperation, Networking, Providing support (advise/consultancy), Raising awareness, Recommendations, Sharing good practice
Geographic Area: Germany
Type of actors: Industry, Investors, Policy makers, Professional associations, SMEs, Universities

ECO-INNOVERA

ECO-INNOVERA is a European network of 25 partners addressing a wide range of eco-innovation topics from research to dissemination. Applying the concept of systemic eco-innovation, ECO-INNOVERA focuses on promoting sustainable practices in order to boost the implementation of eco-innovation in Europe.

The challenge

In light of global challenges such as climate change and demography, eco-innovations, i. e. “green” technologies, processes, products and services have an increasing impact on the global competitiveness of European industry. The implementation of eco-innovation continues to be a challenge, but it remains a challenge which it is important that it is further persisted. R&D is the first obstacle in the value chain as it has the key function of providing markets and society with new products and services.[1] In order to reach this ambitious goal, it is necessary to join the forces of various stakeholders, including industry (particularly SMEs), by combining activities with those of universitiesprofessional associations, as well as policy makers and investors. The goal being to boost the implementation of eco-innovation.

The network

ECO-INNOVERA is supported by 25 partners from 20 countries and regions all over Europe, including Turkey and Israel. It is coordinated by an agency based in Germany. [2] Its work follows the guideline that eco-innovations are innovations that benefit the environment, as well as the economy and society. ECO-INNOVERA focuses on supporting R&D by publishing calls and supporting eco-innovation projects as part of its network. As a result, ECO-INNOVERA covers all aspects of the value chain. In order to integrate these results from this project in a broader context, the network succeeded in gathering a significant number of relevant European projects, platforms and Consortia by actively networking. [3] Sharing good practicedisseminating information and enhancing the cooperation among partners are some of ECO-INNOVERAs key focuses.

The benefits

Being part of ECO-INNOVERA’s network means providing support for the development of a vibrant systemic eco-innovation process in Europe. A comprehensive library of best practice examples from Europe and beyond, helps raising awareness and addressing the challenges faced by those involved in researching  eco-innovation.[4] As a result, new projects drive the implementation of eco-innovation or help to develop recommendations regarding the framework of regulation and standards. Supporting system innovation for sustainability is the visionary goal which ECO-INNOVERA substantiates with its calls.[5] On the policy side, policy makers and research funders have the opportunity to achieve more complex innovations faster, and reduce the risk of the unintended consequences of policy interventions by ECO-INNOVERA’s analytical and disseminating work.[6]

Further deployment

Up until 2014, ECO-INNOVERA was formally grant-funded by the European Commission. Driven by the objective to support systemic eco-innovation and due to the important results achieved during the project’s lifetime, partners decided to continue with this project. To date, ECO-INNOVERA has made a valuable contribution to policy, research and innovation support in Europe and aims to further support the implementation of eco-innovation. Research and systemic innovation itself will help ECO-INNOVERA to stay competitive in Europe while decreasing the global carbon footprint. ECO-INNOVERA’s concept is implemented to full scale, qualifying it for an estimated level 6 on the generic maturity scale, GML.