EU-InnovatE pursues two strategic goals:
- To explore, describe and explain the active roles of end users in shaping sustainable lifestyles and green economy in Europe, which reduce the burden on the natural environmental and ecosystems
- To develop and disseminate concepts and tools to enhance the active roles of end users to (co-) invent,
(co-) design, (co-) produce, and (co-) market novel sustainable products, services and systems, which shape sustainable lifestles and the transition to a green economy in Europe.
To achieve these ultimate goals EU-InnovatE will address five specific objectives that match the research and innovations dimensions listed by the Commission in the Call SSH.2013.2-1-1 on Obstacles and prospects for sustainable lifestyles and green economy in Europe”.
Summary of specific EU-InnovatE objectives:
- Understanding the complex relationships between natural resources, human needs, technology, and economics with a focus on consumers’ values and behaviour in Europe (past and presence)
- Assessment of the short- and long-term obstacles and opportunities associated with the transition to sustainable lifestyles and green economy in Europe (future)
- Investigation of new business models enhancing sustainable lifestyles and green economy in Europe
- Measurement of the prospects of sustainable lifestyles and the green economy in Europe
- Assessment of the political dimension of the evolution in sustainable lifestyles in Europe
These five specific objectives are achieved by involving the listed work packages as follows:
- The first main objective of the call is to understand the complex relationships between natural resources, human needs, technology, and economics with a focus on consumers’ values and behaviours.
To achieve this aim, WP1 will employ the MLP to summarise the main results of the historic research focussing on the changing roles of users during the twentieth century against the background of new technologies, competing ideologies, two world wars, the rise of the affluent society, and changing socio-demographic trends. While the historic analysis provides insights into the evolution of unsustainable lifestyles in Europe and the changing role of users to more or less passive consumers in the past, quantitative and qualitative studies on sustainability values and behaviours (including end user innovation and entrepreneurship) will provide an overview of the present situation in Europe.
- The second main objective of the call is to assess the short- and long-term obstacles and opportunities associated with the transition to sustainable lifestyles and green economy in Europe.
To reach this objective, WP2 will apply scenario analysis to assess the short- and long-term obstacles and opportunities associated with the transition to European sustainable lifestyles and green economy through end user sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship. Building upon the SPREAD scenarios, the outputs of WP1 and the inputs of a contact group of people, WP2 aims to forecast progress and pathways towards European sustainable lifestyles and green economy in ten years’ time and in 2050.
- The third main objective of the call is to investigate new business models enhancing sustainable lifestyles and green economy in Europe.
In pursuing this objective, EU-InnovatE presents two emerging business models, which focus on the active roles of users in achieving sustainable lifestyles. WP3 will explore company-driven open sustainability innovation integrating users, whereas WP4 investigates user sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship. Both work packages will conduct 16 case studies each in order to refine and develop theories on company-driven sustainability innovation integrating users and user sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship respectively. In addition, quantitative studies will test the refined and developed models. The case studies will investigate how sustainability-driven business model innovations can be brought to scale to create broader value for society and more positive impacts on the natural environment.
- The fourth main objective of the call is to measure the prospects of sustainable lifestyles and the green economy in Europe.
In order to achieve this aim, WP5 will measure the impact of trends on sustainable lifestyles up to 2050. Synthesising the outcomes of WP1-4, WP5 intends to conduct measurements on detailed scenarios, derived from the work in WP2, by applying simulation models in each of the four domains (food, living, mobility and energy). The measurement markers will connect agent/micro behaviour with macro measureable outcomes and feedback from the macro to micro, creating a dynamic picture of co-invention, co-design, co-production and co-marketing, which tackle social and ecological challenges.
- The last main objective of the call is to assess the political dimension of the evolution in sustainable lifestyles in Europe.
To attain this aim, WP6 will assess current policies and instruments at communal, regional, national and EU levels with regard to their influence on user sustainability integration, innovation and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, novel elements of a comprehensive EU policy will be suggested in order to support the integration of end users in company-driven sustainability innovation as well as end user sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship. The novel policy instruments will be tested ex ante by means of laboratory experiments.
Overall, EU-InnovatE addresses the central objective of the European Union’s “Europe 2020 Strategy”, which calls for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth throughout the European Union’s 27 member states and single market. It also responds to, and builds upon, other long-term visions for achieving sustainability in Europe, including – but not limited to: Horizon 2020, which will actively promote a closer alignment of research, industry and innovation to support the Europe 2020 goals; the “20 / 20 /20” climate and emissions targets; European Commission’s road map for a competitive low carbon economy in 2050; the SPREAD 2050 scenarios for sustainable lifestyles in Europe (2012); and the “Vision 2050” and “Changing Pace” reports from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2010, 2012), which identify nine transformative pathways to achieve planetary sustainability for 9 billion citizens by the middle of this century and recommend concrete public policy actions and leadership for achieving them. In doing so, it focuses above all on the demand side of sustainability in Europe and the active roles of users in advancing sustainability (not least in production and consumption systems). As proposed by the European Commission in its Work Programme, it will re-evaluate current growth models, find ways of accounting for major uncertainties and examine the ways in which new paradigms and new consumer behaviours are likely to develop. By extension, this proposal will explore the role and impacts of changes in consumption behaviour and consumer culture, frequently supported by modern technologies (internet, smart phones, 3D-printers), as a driver for sustainability innovations.