Organized by Dr. Elisabeth Eppinger, Carsten Schwäbe, Prof. Dr. Carsten Dreher, Chair of Innovation Management, School of Business and Economics, Freie Universität Berlin
A number of theoretical concepts and policy programs aiming at fostering transitions towards new sustainable technologies already exists – either with a technology-specific or an un-specific perspective. However, industry, but governments as well, create barriers to the adoption and diffusion of these new technologies often because of conflicting interests such as continuing to exploit previous investments (industry) or to sustain work places (state), in particular in those regions depending on established industrial structures. Thus, accelerating transitions towards sustainable technologies includes the discussion about the phase-out of less sustainable practices in firms and in entire economies, too.
The energy transition (comprising the electricity, the mobility and the heating sector) is a good example for challenges of sustainability transitions – as well for exnovation process analyses. In Germany, for instance, even direct subsidies of less sustainable technology paths have existed, e.g. subsidizing the coal industry in the German energy sector. For the debate of the coal phase-out concepts on the transformation of regions where workers depend on this industry sector are still lacking. In consequence, the workshop encourages contributions from the broad field of energy sector issues.
Given that solutions to step out of unsustainable technology paths becomes ever more pressing, we want to focus this workshop on empirical evidence (qualitative and quantitative) and theoretical concepts on different types of challenges and barriers to the adoption and diffusion of sustainable technologies and how industry, society, and the state may remove these barriers. Accordingly, we invite contributions from different disciplines that address this issue at the micro-, meso- and macro-level, including but not limited to:
Concepts and analysis of adoption and diffusion processes of sustainable technologies:
•Transformation of regions and whole industry sectors
•Transformation of technological companies
•Dynamic governance of innovation processes and policy directionality in the context of sustainability transitions
•Demand-sided innovation policy for inducing sustainability transitions in markets
•Exnovation strategies, the role of big incumbent firms and policy instruments
•The significance of start-ups and SMEs for sustainability transitions