Keywords: eco-innovation, environmental innovation, sustainable innovation, sustainable development, sustainability, success factors, Sweden, green innovation
Success factors for eco-innovations and other innovations
The purpose of this study is to identify the factors which can contribute to the explanation of why eco-innovations have a poorer market development than other innovations. We based our study on 285 innovations that moved on to the finals in three Swedish innovation contests: the Environmental Technology Competition (ETC), the Venture Cup (VC) and the Innovation Cup (IC). We analysed four groups of factors related respectively to (1) the innovator, (2) the innovation, (3) the development process and (4) certain aspects of the surroundings with importance to development. One conclusion is that there are many factors in which eco-innovations differ from other innovations. The eco-group is older, mainly male, with lower technical or other education; they are more innovative and their network has a stronger connection to family. Eco-innovations are less geared towards industrial customers and currently have no major competition, according to the innovators. The development process for these innovations is different from that of other innovations; the time that has been invested in the process is much shorter and the access to risk capital and contacts with business angels are rare. The eco-innovators view the general surroundings more positively than others.