Capacity building for ecodesign in Wales – an innovation systems approach? Simon O’Rafferty why ecodesign? SMEs “don’t do” ecodesign should governments intervene? can we learn from Innovation Systems?
Ecodesign Centre Wales funded by Welsh Assembly Government our role build capacity and capabilities in industry , public sector organisations and higher education so that effective ecodesign can happen in Wales big challenge / small team!
potential to drive innovation
enhance resource efficiency
clean process that is low-cost as % of overall investment
direct and indirect benefits (competitiveness and ‘public good’)
meeting expectations of global consumer class
potential to improve communications (branding, CSR, procurement etc)
potential to influence consumer behaviour (SCP context)
SMEs “don’t do” ecodesign
managerial, process and system barriers e.g.
lack of managerial and operational resources
lack of awareness, training, and motivation of employees
failure of managers to harness the strategic considerations
actors “can’t or won’t act” - i.e. uncertainty / poor appropriability
competing policy rationales (e.g. environment and innovation)
BUT they have a large cumulative environmental impact and are significant contributors to national economies
inspiring case examples but;
low long-term retention or diffusion of ecodesign activities
emphasis on managerial systems operational issues
• demonstration projects
• R&D financing
• ‘ brokering’ services
linear models of innovation?
based on linear models of innovation – rooted in neo-classical theory
no difference between capabilities, knowledge and information
“ policy is no longer only about correcting imperfect incentives for private agents but rather about facilitating the emergence of new opportunities by building innovation infrastructure ”
(Norgen, L. Hauknes, J. 2000)
policy and policy mechanisms should design institutional structures that stimulate and support sustainable innovation
lessons for to intervention
“ the network and interplay of public and private institutions in which production, distribution and use of new knowledge and technology take place”
interactive, non-linear and diffuse
design is an interactive process image source: engine group
practical actions for capacity building?
identification of focus areas for intervention – from a life cycle perspective (mapping exercise)
market analysis - key growth businesses
creation of platforms for the open sharing of knowledge and experiences
capacity building in existing business support infrastructure
embedding ecodesign in higher education (mainstream design degrees)
capacity building in the indigenous design sector
establishing commercial support partners (creating linkages within industry)
benefits of IS approach?
bridge trade-off between (urgent) environmental goals and aiming at building up a (long term) eco-innovative capacity
align competing policy rationales
enhance interventions by taking into account the richness and complexity of innovation processes
role for stakeholders and ‘enablers’ to advance sustainable innovation throughout the policy-making and implementation process