Keywords: innovative environmental technologies, participatory methods, sustainable development, technology assessment
Participatory methods: a tool for the improvement of innovative environmental technologies
This paper discusses participatory methods as a tool with which to overcome some underlying barriers to the development of innovative environmental technologies. These methods may not only promote a better comprehension of society's needs and an improved understanding of user requirements, but also generate discussions and cooperation between relevant groups (industrial scientists, members of the scientific community, company managers, politicians, assessors, investors, etc.). Participatory approaches with transparent and clearly defined goals, a well-organised process and the integration of relevant policy fields can contribute to successful communication between actors in the interest of the development of innovative environmental technologies.