Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Adapting innovation systems indicators to assess eco-innovation

Spiers, J., Pearson, Peter J. G. and Foxon, T. 2008. Adapting innovation systems indicators to assess eco-innovation. Presented at: DIME International Conference “Innovation, sustainability and policy”, Bordeaux, France, 11-13 September 2008.

Download (241kB) | Preview


A large amount of work has analysed systems approaches to innovation and investigated associated methods of innovation measurement. However, relatively little of this literature has discussed the measurement of eco-innovation. Policies and measures to promote eco-innovation are hampered by a lack of relevant data and indicators. Hence, the research reported here aimed to assess whether innovation systems theory and indicators could be adapted to measuring eco-innovation. The paper is organised in two stages: analysis of current innovation systems theory and indicators; and, synthesis of a set of eco-innovation indicators, adapted from the literature on innovation systems indicators. In the first stage, four main strands of the wide range of innovation systems literature are analysed: Each of these strands of innovation systems literature proposes a conceptual model of innovation and a corresponding set of indicators or guidance for the measurement of innovative capacity. The models are examined and key elements which cut across these models are identified. These three elements are: The Firm; The Conditions; and The Linkages. These key elements are then used as a generic framework through which the adaptation of innovation indicators could be guided. Two further considerations were then added to the key elements based on the desirability of their measurement: The radical or incremental nature of innovation; and the overall innovative performance of an innovation system. In the second stage of the paper, indicators proposed in each of the four strands of innovation theory are examined, to identify those indicators suitably adaptable to the measurement of eco-innovation. Several such indicators are identified, covering each of the five key elements. In addition, several original indicators are created to complement those adapted from the four strands of the literature. These original indicators are proposed because of ongoing data collection activities which may facilitate their use. A final list of 24 indicators is presented. The creation of defensible eco-innovation indicators is found to be a complicated task and there are issues regarding the validity of some of the proposed indicators. The list of indicators proposed here is therefore presented as a “straw-man” through which the development of a fuller understanding of eco-innovation measurement can be pursued.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:32

Citation Data

Cited 17 times in Google Scholar. View in Google Scholar

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics