chapter  1.1
6 Pages

Education for Eco-innovation

WithJanis Birkeland

Many developed countries are currently debating how much to invest in research and development (R&D) funding in order to foster innovation in industry. This chapter argues that the innovation agenda must prioritise 'eco-innovation': that which addresses social and environmental needs while greatly reducing net resource and energy consumption. Innovations have increased the ecoefficiency of industry significantly. Education for innovation is still marginalised in relatively obscure ecodesign courses. Some recurring patterns emerge from the backcloth of the positions on R&D funding: innovation is assumed to occur within the constraints of a linear industrial system, with incentives geared toward inputs rather than outcomes, and little emphasis on education for a paradigm shift to eco-innovation. These thought patterns eco-innovation are explored and contrasted with more modern views: industrial growth versus 'natural capitalism'; supply-side versus demand-side incentives; stimulating commerce versus eco-innovation. In the demand-side model proposed, incentives would be designed to encourage eco-solutions that address the sustainability imperative.