Supporting eco-innovations towards international markets
We aim to improve SMEs uptake of Environmentally Sustainable Innovations (ESIs) into their business. For that the regions need to work further on how to develop models such as the cooperative business support model, where the focus should be on possible measures for business development and how companies can evolve towards an Environmentally Driven Export Market (EDEM) while working together with the whole chain of support and in close interaction with the SMEs themselves. Herein lays a need to create an international network of contacts concerning how public and private bodies can work on these issues in order to improve policy delivery for an Environmentally Driven Business Development of SMEs. EDBD implies an instrumental meaning; the purpose is to develop the businesses by developing the environmental dimension in their use of technology, in their business dealings, and their markets, i.e. the environmental aspect is a tool to develop business. As such, EDBD does not only include Clean Technologies, but also product development in other fields of business that utilize an environmentally friendly approach. The gap that we intend to address is the mid-level / regional support for EDBD/EDPD with a learning approach that clearly focuses on the needs of SMEs and that involve a close interaction between the public actors, the private actors, academia and SMEs. Attention will be given to understanding the prerequisites for supporting ESIs in SMEs and developing an EDEM. The aim is to: develop, improve and adapt regional policies that support increased international commercialization of SMEs’ ESIs and environmentally friendly products (EFPs) – better support mechanism that help mature the region’s businesses will in turn lead to improved conditions for export of EFPs and lead to increased competitiveness. The above will be accomplished thru exchange of experiences and practices, benchmarking and analysis of challenges and needs.