Strategies to foster environmental innovation
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Further development of German environmental innovation policy

Improving the conditions for environmental innovations

The high priority given to environmental innovations in German policy is reflected in many strategies and programs, for example the German Resource Efficiency Program. Environmental innovations related to resource-saving and environmentally friendly production and consumption are also prominently featured among the six priority future tasks of the High-Tech Strategy.

Not only environmental policy makers, but also other policy departments (e.g. science, technology and innovation policy, energy policy, financial policy and regional development) implement corresponding policy measures.

The aim of the project was therefore to assess the existing approaches to supporting environmental innovations, evaluate their effectiveness and identify measures for the further development of the German environmental innovation policy.

The task of the project was to identify suitable policy measures for the promotion of environmental innovations in selected environmental policy fields of action and in cross-cutting areas.

Start-up research

In the field of start-up research, the importance of and instruments for promoting green start-ups were analyzed. As a possible instrument for the in-depth promotion of green start-ups, a concept for a sustainability start-up fund was developed. The study highlights the deficits and lack of fit of the current financing landscape for green start-ups and shows ways to improve it.

Sustainability Hubs

The concept of sustainability hubs was also explored in depth. They play an intermediary role in the innovation process and serve to accelerate the development, market launch and diffusion of environmentally friendly product and service innovations. The study argues for an intelligent specialization of Sustainability Hubs and provides a morphology with central characteristics for their design.

Diffusion of Environmental Innovations

Further, fundamental considerations were made for improving the promotion of diffusion of environmental innovations. The study on this topic provides an overview of instruments to prepare the market, to improve and reduce the costs of key environmental innovations, and to design the regulatory and economic framework. It further discusses options for stimulating demand through public procurement and strategies for testing in transition regions.

Innovation Policy for Organic Agriculture

A short study was also devoted to innovation policy around organic agriculture. Further detailed studies were prepared by Fraunhofer ISI.

Interim as well as final results of the project ‘Further development of German environmental innovation policy’ were discussed in expert meetings with experts from science, industry and associations as well as politics.

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