More than a volatile trend, sustainable manufacturing has shown to be an indelible demand of stakeholders. At the same time, digital revolution virtually exploded, effectively changing not only the way firms produce, exchange and absorb data, but, essentially, their whole production process. However, moving obsolete factories into sustainable smart manufacturing may demand, among other actions, considerable investments in capital goods, at the uninterrupted risk of becoming fastly outdated. In this sense, how may firms be at the technological vanguard of sustainable smart manufacturing through the management of ideas? In the search to offer additional theoretical bases for these questions, the present work proposes a framework for the building and maintenance of innovation-friendly business models, specifically designed to encourage the emergence, the exchange and the implementations of new ideas, supporting companies on the numerous challenges of the sustainable smart manufacturing era.