Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
19-AM-05: ST11.4 -Integration of Sustainability in Innovation Management
Time:
Wednesday, 19/Jun/2019:
8:30am - 10:00am

Session Chair: Claus Lang-Koetz, Pforzheim University
Session Chair: Enrico Benetto, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology
Location: Room PC 20

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Presentations

Sustainable Transition and Adaptation of Regions: The Role of Local Innovation Ecosystem

James Boyer1, Jude Ozor1, Patrick Rondé2

1Université Catholique de Lille; 2Université de Strasbourg

Context

This work is part of a regional research project entitled "Innovation ecosystems in the Hauts-de-France region". This project aims to explain how existing local ecosystems can contribute to the transformation of this region in order to provide a scientific base for public decision-makers.

Literature

Adaptation process is crucial for sustainable transition and transformation of regions. This process is complex and based mainly on innovation. Today, innovation-based growth policy favors ecosystem approach, emphasizing complex interactions, open innovation, collaboration in a network, co-evolution of actors and institutions, and knowledge exchange (Moore 1996, Russell and Smorodinskaya, 2018).

Innovation ecosystem is a complex adaptive and dynamic system characterized by interactions among interdependent and diverse agents that allow a combination of top-down and bottom-up approach to foster the development of new products and services (Ritala and Almpanopoulou 2017). Innovation ecosystem centers on adaptability, renewal and ecological perspectives (Torre and Zimmermann, 2015) and thus complements the traditional and more deterministic top-down innovation process found in innovation system (Freeman 1987, Lundvall 1992). Innovation ecosystem entails network of multidisciplinary actors and diversity of skills in the creation of value (Adner and Kapoor 2010).

Literature Gap

Empirical and theoretical studies failed to explain how existing clusters facilitate sustainable transition (Bergman, 2007). Clusters life cycle is related to the respective technological regime (Zucchella, 2006). During shocks such as technological and market changes, policy-makers and economic actors need new tools and framework to address transition and adaptation issue

Research Questions

Innovation ecosystem, as complex adaptive system, seems to be a relevant concept to address such issues. Therefore, our main research question is : in what way does innovation ecosystem play a role in the explanation of regional resilience, adaptation or transition in order to avoid regional lock-in ?

Methodology

We developed a methodological framework to study the local Innovation Ecosystems, with particular reference to “Innovation Parks” in Hauts-de-France. Firstly, we center our analysis on the structure and orchestration of “Innovation Parks”, their adaptive capabilities and the quality of interactions between the actors and the ecological dimension. Secondly, we discuss the role - and the economic impact - of these local innovation ecosystems on the territory. We adopted a comprehensive approach to study the transformation process of Hauts-de-France region for the period 2000-2017 and to identify key transition moments related to the development of the “Innovation Parks”.

Empirical Material

“Innovation Parks” are institutional and organizational arrangements that bring together and develop complex interactions between a diversity of actors (startups, innovative companies, incubators, research laboratories, academic organisations ...) and third-places (fablabs, coworking space, living labs) in a given physical environment (locality, sites, etc.) around one or more sectors or technological fields.

We conduct a search on published documents and materials, included scientific publications and report of research programs that have observed the evolution of the region, and then cross the results with interviews with resource persons. This documentary work enable us to characterize the process of transformation and adaptation of the region, its industrial past and its repositioning in relation to the development of “Innovation Parks”. We exploit information on web pages and official reports that provide information on the evolution of this region. We analyze three Regional Innovation Strategy documents during the period 2005-2020.

We interview the region representatives, regional stakeholders, companies and management team of five “Innovation Parks”.

We use also a database from the regional innovation agency (HDFID, Haut-de-France Innovation and Development) in order to evaluate through econometric model, correlation between development of innovation Parks and regional resilience, captured by the regional output evolution (2000-2018)

Results

Our previous results show that from 2004, “Innovation Parks” structure the innovation architecture of Hauts-de-France and have been key to its transformation, allowing for example, Lille European Metropolis to become a creative area, the second most attractive metropolis for companies (besides Paris), and the starting point of the “French Tech”. The attractiveness of these Innovation Parks influence the influx of firms and foreign investors into the region to benefit from the innovative business atmosphere. The “Innovation Parks” contributed to create or maintain more than 15,000 new jobs, thus contributing to the regional economic performance and growth. Today, the regional plan for smart specialization (S3) is built based on the competences of these “Innovation Parks”. Furthermore the complex relationship between companies facilitates development of innovation projects, often supported by “Competitive Pole” and accelerator agencies, and exploitation of new products and services. Fablabs, coworking spaces and incubators, on the other hand, reinforce exploration and experimentation of new ideas. These two functions provide the ambidextrous to “Innovation Parks”. Every year, about 200 innovation projects are incubated. Creation of startups helps the ecosystem to be regenerative as these startups are mostly linked to new technological regime.

Contribution to Scholarship

Nowadays, regions and industries are differently exposed to exogenous shocks. Our study shows that diversity, attractiveness , ambidextrous, regenerative capabilities , multiple interactions between formal and informal entities of a local innovation ecosystems are main elements of adaptive dynamic capability that induce coevolution and adaptation. The adaptive capability of innovation ecosystem affects the regional economic resilience and plays a key role in the transformation and sustainable transition of regions (Grandadam, Cohendet, Simon 2013; Sarazin et al., 2017).

Contribution to Practice

Finally, innovation-base policies and the collective strategies of economic actors should focus on promoting adaptive capabilities by developing innovation ecosystem in order to stimulate regional innovation potential for sustainable development

Fitness

Our work provides a new theoretical perspective based on empirical evidence linking ecosystem innovation and regional resilience. We show that Innovation ecosystem centers on adaptability and renewal and thus complements the traditional and more deterministic top-down innovation process found in “Innovation System” and “Clusters”

Bibliography

Adner, R., & Kapoor, R. (2010). Value creation in innovation ecosystems: How the structure of technological interdependence affects firm performance in new technology generations. Strategic management journal, 31(3), 306-333.

Bergman, E. M. (2007). ‘Cluster life cycles: an emerging synthesis,’ in C. Karlsson (ed.), Handbook of Research on Cluster Theory. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK, pp. 114–132.

Bramwell, A., Hepburn, N., Wolfe, D.A., (2012). Growing Innovation Ecosystems: University Industry Knowledge Transfer and Regional Economic Development in Canada. Final Report to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Toronto.

Freeman, C. (1987), Technology and Economic Preference: Lesson from Japan, Printer, London.

Grandadam, D., Cohendet, P., & Simon, L. (2013). Places, spaces and the dynamics of creativity: The video game industry in Montreal. Regional studies, 47 (10), 1701-1714.

Lundvall, B.-Å. (Ed.), 1992. National Systems of Innovation: Toward a Theory of Innovation and Interactive Learning. Pinter, London

Moore, James, F. (1996). The death of competition: leadership and strategy in the age of business ecosystems. New York: Harper Business.

Porter, T. B. (2006). Coevolution as a research framework for organizations and the natural environment. Organization & Environment, 19(4), 479-504.

Ritala, P., & Almpanopoulou, A. (2017). In defense of ‘eco’in innovation ecosystem. Technovation, 60, 39-42.

Russell, M. G., & Smorodinskaya, N. V. (2018). Leveraging complexity for ecosystemic innovation. Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

Sarazin, Benoit ; Simon, Laurent ; Cohendet, Patrick (2017). Les communautés d'innovation : de la liberté créatrice à l'innovation organisée, Éditions EMS.

Saxenian, A. (1996). Inside-out: regional networks and industrial adaptation in Silicon Valley and Route 128. Cityscape, 41-60.

Torre, A., & Zimmermann, JB (2015). Clusters to local industrial ecosystems. Journal of Industrial Economics , (4), 13-38.

Zucchella, A. (2006). Local cluster dynamics: trajectories of mature industrial districts between decline and multiple embeddedness. Journal of Institutional Economics, 2(1), 21-44.



Tackling the plastic packaging challenge in R&D management

Xuezi Ma, James Moultire

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Context

With a recent awakening of the severe damages plastic waste causes to the marine and land environment, the use of plastics in packaging is becoming an increasingly hot topic. Companies are experiencing an unprecedented level of the consumer pressure asking them to reduce or eliminate the unnecessary plastics.

Literature

The impact of plastic packaging has been studied along the supply chain. Beitzen-Heineke (2017) discussed the prospects of a new form of retail system: zero-packaging grocery stores that have renounced disposable plastic packaging for their entire product range. Battini (2016) reduced plastic usage in logistic packaging by changing the design of fibreboard boxes and reusable plastic containers. In addition, a small amount of research has been conducted to explore alternatives to oil-based plastics; promising materials such as polyhydroxy alkanoate (PHA), polylactic acid (PLA) and polyethylene furanoate (PEF) are frequently mentioned in these papers. Recycling of plastic packaging is also seen as a way to reduce harmful waste. However, companies do not have primary responsibility to ensure that this happens; plastic packaging recycling relies upon policies and practices in the local area (Mwanza, 2017; Ragossnig, 2017; Hopewell, 2009).

Literature Gap

In spite of considerable research has already been undertaken around sustainable packaging design and develop, there has been little attention devoted to discussing the enablers of and barriers to plastic reduction, especially in the research and development (R&D) management.

Research Questions

Against this backdrop, this study seeks to explore what are the enablers of and barriers to the reduction of plastics in R&D management in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector.

Methodology

Data was collected from five case companies through semi-structured interviews, onsite observations and document analysis. First we developed a grid that includes the enablers and barriers of plastic reduction in packaging captured from literature review and discussions with professionals in this field (Ma, 2018). The grid was used to assist the interviewee’s factoring mapping. Second, five case companies and interviewees were identified from a number of plastic packaging reduction projects. All interviews follow the same procedure and data of the enablers and barriers as well as the importance and sequence of these enablers and barriers were collected.

Empirical Material

The results of the interviews were divided into three parts: the transcripts, the interviewees’ explanations regarding their understanding for some factors on the grid and pictures of factors they placed in the grid. In addition, the researcher took pictures of each grid after the interview, and these were made into digital versions using Adobe Illustrator CC 2018.

Results

The results of the interviews were divided into three parts: the transcripts, the interviewees’ explanations regarding their understanding for some factors on the grid and pictures of factors they placed in the grid. In addition, the researcher took pictures of each grid after the interview, and these were made into digital versions using Adobe Illustrator CC 2018.

Contribution to Scholarship

This research bridge the knowledge gap for the R&D in FMCG companies. By analysing the transcripts, combined with the results on the gird, we found some common enablers and barriers. To tackle the plastics issue and improve the current situation, companies may need to take these enablers and barriers and their sequence into consideration in developing sustainable business strategies.

Contribution to Practice

This research bridge the knowledge gap for the R&D in FMCG companies. By analysing the transcripts, combined with the results on the gird, we found some common enablers and barriers. To tackle the plastics issue and improve the current situation, companies may need to take these enablers and barriers and their sequence into consideration in developing sustainable business strategies.

Fitness

This research discussed what are the enablers and barriers for companies to reduce plastic usage while developing their business strategies. This is aligned with the conference track 11.4- Integration of Sustainability in Innovation Management. This research provides a tool for R&D management to organize attractive ideas in plastic reduction.

Bibliography

Battini, D., Calzavara, M., Persona, A., & Sgarbossa, F. (2016). Sustainable packaging development for fresh food supply chains. Packaging Technology and Science, 29(1), 25-43.

Beitzen-Heineke, E. F., Balta-Ozkan, N., & Reefke, H. (2017). The prospects of zero-packaging grocery stores to improve the social and environmental impacts of the food supply chain. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, 1528-1541.

Hopewell, J., Dvorak, R., & Kosior, E. (2009). Plastics recycling: challenges and opportunities. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1526), 2115-2126.

Mwanza, B. G., & Mbohwa, C. (2017). Drivers to sustainable plastic solid waste recycling: a review. Procedia Manufacturing, 8, 649-656.

Ragossnig, A. M., & Schneider, D. R. (2017). What is the right level of recycling of plastic waste?.



The integration of sustainability aspects into innovation management: current state and future potential

Claus Lang-Koetz1, Sven Schimpf2

1Pforzheim University, Germany; 2Fraunhofer Group for Innovation Research

Context

Innovation management highly influences the sustainability of products and solutions and can change the sustainability impact of an organisation. In early innovation phases, sustainability aspects can be integrated with a relatively low effort. We have analysed how sustainability aspects are integrated in innovation activities in an industry survey in Germany.

Literature

Innovation processes and innovation management pursuing sustainable innovations require a special approach (Gaziulusoy 2015; Adams et al. 2016).

First concepts exist on how to deal with sustainability issues in the early phases in the innovation phase (Schimpf and Binzer 2012), e.g. by using assessment criteria and by connecting eco-design principles with a Stage Gate process (Lang-Koetz et al. 2008) or by using a special workshop concept in the idea generation phase (Stock et al. 2017). Hansen et al. propose a generic model termed for structuring innovations’ sustainability effects in order to minimize risks in the innovation process (Hansen et al. 2009). Based on continuous discussion with industry representatives, our key hypothesis leading to this study was that a relatively low share of the innovation management methods available in literature is integrated into industrial innovation processes.

Literature Gap

There is a lack of methodological support to consider sustainability aspects in the early phases of the innovation process (Charter and Clark 2007; Cancino et al. 2018). Literature only covers partial aspects (Adams et al. 2016). There is little empirical evidence how sustainability aspects are integrated in innovation management.

Research Questions

The following research questions are addressed in the context of the study presented:

• How far are sustainability aspects currently integrated into innovation management of industrial companies?

• What strategies, methods and processes are most suitable from an industry perspective?

Methodology

First, selected practitioners were approached with semi-structured, exploratory interviews. This included German companies considered to be at the front-end of either innovation management or sustainability management.

A questionnaire with 28 questions addressing the position of the company with respect to sustainability, innovation strategy, organizational aspects of innovation, innovation management methods and the perception about sustainability was developed as the basis for the survey. A request to participate was sent via email or social media to approx. 500 industry contacts in Germany. It was advertised to several thousand persons via newsletters of industry associations and interest groups in professional social networks.

Empirical Material

Ten companies were represented in the semi-structured interviews (conducted by telephone between May and August 2018). The results were used as a preliminary study to structure relevant topics in the field and to address in the questionnaire for the subsequent survey.

Among the participants of the survey, a number of 110 responses could be used for the in-depth analysis. They represent companies from more than 10 sectors. 55% of them have 1,000 or more employees and 27% are SMEs.

Overall, 55% of participants rated the sustainability engagement of their company “above average” in their industry sector and 56% have an environmental management system established. 54% of the companies pursue a pioneering strategy in innovation and 61% they have an established innovation process. 39% rate their R&D budget above industry average.

Results

The results of the study showed that a major part of participants has defined goals with respect to sustainability aspects within their innovation strategy. As assumed, a major focus within the triple-bottom line of sustainability among participants is on the economic perspective followed by the environmental and social perspective of sustainability.

The interdisciplinary integration between the disciplines of innovation and sustainability management still seems to have a major potential for improvement. Only within a minor share of participants, responsible persons for sustainability management are involved in the management of innovation.

Our analysis will present both, a descriptive analysis of survey results as well as a statistical analysis of correlations and potential interdependencies between the role and operational management of sustainability aspects in innovation management and the orientation and size of participating companies.

Concrete examples which innovation management methods are used in the industry to consider sustainability aspects will be shown along with practical challenges described by practitioners.

Contribution to Scholarship

The results add evidence from empirical data to the research questions addressed. They add to scholarship by evaluating the current state of implementation of the field of sustainable innovation which has been addressed by many researchers in the literature with a growing number of publications, lately. However, as stated above, this study is a first step in closing the lack of empirical data in this topic.

Contribution to Practice

The results of our study allow an improved evaluation of the maturity within companies related to the theoretical state of the art. This allows concentrating on areas with a high potential for improvement within industrial companies and thereby leveraging the effects of activities in R&D and innovation management.

Fitness

Our contribution to the conference theme is a more realistic picture of how the consideration of sustainability aspects looks like in practice. This is of value for both practitioners to understand the potential of theoretic approaches and for scientist to focus on practical challenges.

Bibliography

Adams, Richard; Jeanrenaud, Sally; Bessant, John; Denyer, David; Overy, Patrick (2016): Sustainability‐oriented Innovation: A Systematic Review. In: International Journal of Management Reviews 18 (2), S. 180–205. DOI: 10.1111/ijmr.12068.

Cancino, Christian A.; La Paz, Ariel I.; Ramaprasad, Arkalgud; Syn, Thant (2018): Technological innovation for sustainable growth: An ontological perspective. In: Journal of Cleaner Production 179, S. 31–41. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.01.059.

Charter, Martin; Clark, Tom (2007): Sustainable Innovation. Key conclusions from Sustainable Innovation Conferences 2003–2006 organised by The Centre for Sustainable Design. Hg. v. The Centre for Sustainable Design, University College for the Creative Arts. Surrey, UK.

Gaziulusoy, A. Idil (2015): A critical review of approaches available for design and innovation teams through the perspective of sustainability science and system innovation theories. In: Journal of Cleaner Production 107, S. 366–377. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.01.012.

Hansen, Erik G.; Grosse-Dunker, Friedrich; Reichwald, Ralf (2009): Sustainability Innovation Cube - A Framework to Evaluate Sustainability-Oriented Innovations. In: International Journal of Innovation Management 13 (4), S. 683–713. .

Lang-Koetz, C.; Beucker, S.; Heubach, D. (2008): Estimating Environmental Impact in the Early Stages of the Product Innovation Process. In: S. Schaltegger, M. Bennett, R. L. Burritt und C. Jasch (Hg.): Environmental Management Accounting for Cleaner Production. New York: Springer Science + Business Media B.V. (Eco-efficiency in industry and science, v. 24), S. 49–64.

Schimpf, Sven; Binzer, Judith (2012): Sustainable R&D: A conceptual approach for the allocation of sustainability methods and measures in the R&D process. In: Proceedings of the R&D Management Conference 2012. May 23-25, 2012, Grenoble, France.

Stock, Tim; Obenaus, Michael; Slaymaker, Amara; Seliger, Günther (2017): A Model for the Development of Sustainable Innovations for the Early Phase of the Innovation Process. In: Procedia Manufacturing 8, S. 215–222. DOI: 10.1016/j.promfg.2017.02.027.



 
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