Innovation For Sustainability (I4S)
What is I4S?
The Innovation for Sustainability (I4S) is a research initiative that provides training and funding for 8 early-stage researchers and 2 experienced researchers to investigate sustainability-driven innovation in business. The project is grounded in collaboration and partnership between academia and industry. Eight academic institutions (all members of ABIS) and eight associated business partners, are engaged in this collaborative project (2013-2016) which has received a grant of Euros 2.5 million from the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowksa-Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) funding scheme.
Aims Of The I4S Network
To explore and examine why and how sustainability-driven innovation occurs, what managerial skills and organizational competences underscore this innovative practice and experimental performance, and what are the implications for future European policy actions in support of research and innovation in this field.The project examines sustainability-driven innovation as an emergent supra-disciplinary phenomenon using innovative research methods (collaboration with industry) to respond to the pressures for rapid progress in terms of research, practice and training researchers and experts in the field and disseminating their findings.
- ABIS (Coordinator)
- Copenhagen Business School
- University of Exeter Business School
- Manchester Business School
- Rotterdam School of Management
- Nyenrode Business Universiteit
- Vlerick/Leuven/Ghent Management School
- Leuphana Universitat Lüneburg
- University of Cape Town
The I4S cases report
The electronic version of I4S final report is available here:
I4S aimed at informing three target groups:
- Academics who focus on innovation for sustainability and who are willing to explore new methods to deliver doctoral training that embody interdisciplinary and holistic approaches.
- Practitioners who are committed to the development of new business models, products, process and services to achieve a more sustainable society.
- Policy Makers who are committed to the development of policy that enhance sustainable practices and to implement measures that integrate sustainability at all the levels of education.
I4S consortium has developed two Policy Briefs that illustrate in details how the research conducted within the network can valuably inform these three target groups. The documents are available on the I4S here:
Marie Curie Fellows
The ITN involves 8 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) based in the Academic members and 2 Experienced Researchers (ER) based in ABIS
“I am also reminded of what we all really know but sometimes forget. Opportunities are created by people and people respond to those opportunities. No-one owns that, no one is indispensable all we can really do is try, at best, to make things happen. So I am with you through the history of the network and in spirit urging you on not to cease looking for and creating opportunities. Go for them with my blessing - own a piece and contribute a piece for others. In this way we have a chance to make our group, our society and our planet better places”
In memory of Prof Nigel Roome - former Scientist in Charge of I4S
Scientist in Charge - Dr Sally Randles
Sally is a Senior Research Fellow at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR) at the Alliance Manchester Business School UK, where she leads the theme on Emerging Technologies: Dynamics, Governance and Responsible Innovation and is an Associate Fellow at the Centre for Organisations Research and Design (CORD) at Arizona State University, USA. Her current research lies in understanding how actors understand and embed understandings of ‘responsibility’ in research and innovation situations, contexts, organisations and governance processes.
Mario is the current Experienced Researcher (ER) of the ITN. During his PhD at the University of Exeter Business School, he focused on the discourses of innovation and development with a particular interest for emerging and developing countries. Today his primary research interest is sustainable and ecological transition and the critique of the Development Discourse and Growth. He is particular interested in the dynamic of innovation in emerging economies, appropriate technologies and grassroots and social innovations.
ESRs research projects
Institutionalization of Sustainable Building: Standards governance for innovative, institutional change
By Lara Hale - Copenhagen Business School. Supervisor Prof Andreas Rasche
This project aims to explore how sustainability-oriented standards and practices are diffused in the building industry, using an institutional theory perspective. The research will address the following research question: How are demonstrations strategically used support the institutionalization of sustainable building standards based on both quantitative and qualitative values? The research will then use the findings to theorize about how standards can be used strategically to shift sustainability toward institutionalization in the building field. With a stronger grasp of the inner working of sustainable building standards, the building field may be able to better formulate these standards as systems that simultaneously adhere to and nudge their relevant institutions.
The Outcomes of Biologically-Inspired Innovation in Multinational Corporations
Towards Normative Business Model (NBM) Innovation: Performativity, Persistence, Periodization,By Oliver Laasch - Manchester Business School. Supervisor Dr. Sally Randles
Objective Driven Enterprises in Ecosystems as drivers for Sustainable System ChangeBy Monique de Ritter - Nyenrode Business Universiteit. Supervisor Prof. Annemieke Roobeek
Systems Transformation for Sustainability
Understanding sustainability-driven innovation processes in collaborative multi-stakeholder platformsBy Katre Leino - Vlerick Business School. Supervisors Prof Gail Whiteman & Prof Xavier Baeten
Shared Values in Organizations: Investigating the leaders’ roles in the emergence of shared values for a sustainable performanceBy Felix Phillip - University of Cape Town, Graduate Business School. Supervisor prof Kosheek Sewchurran
Innovation Processes for Sustainability: An SME Perspective
Samuel's project looks at innovation for renewable and other environmental energy technologies contributing to the German energy transition. While innovations seems trivial on paper, their commercialization (without subventions) is often difficult.The research focuses on the case of established small and medium-sized technology enterprises operating in business-to-business markets. These firms have an important innovation potential that can enrich and fertilize major social, economic and technological shifts, such as the energy transition.The research at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg (DE) aims at understanding how firms can create and commercialize sustainability-oriented innovations, by analysing the underlying processes of innovation.