Innovation for Sustainability (I4S)
Marie Curie Initial Training Networks
The “I4S” Initial Training Network is designed to study sustainability-driven innovation (SDI) in support of the European Union’s strategic commitment to ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’. Preliminary research and prospective studies suggest that SDI involves management competences and organisational capabilities rarely found in traditional business-led, technology-driven innovation. It draws on new platforms of actors or a blend of social and business innovation. It can also lead to new business models that create and capture value, providing for performance in economic, environmental and social terms (including models drawn from nature which can be used as inspiration for innovation).
The “I4S” ITN will provide research training for 8 early-stage researchers (ESR) and 2 experienced researchers (ER). Its primary aim is to research how companies manage the transformation of business models and business processes related to SDI as a multi-actor process. These management practices will be studied by individual researchers embedded with associated partners (corporate or NGO) engaged in SDI.
The network training events will support the development of the cohort of early-stage researchers involved in the project as well as contributing to the pooling of knowledge so that more generic knowledge about the barriers and obstacles to innovation across sectors is established. The network training will also be supported by the PhD training of the host institution.
Against this backdrop, I4S sets out an innovative research training programme and research design to capture knowledge of how businesses contribute to, and participate in, SDI. This is in line with the current ambition of EU industrial and enterprise policy, which acknowledges that an understanding of these processes and practices is critical if European member states, industrial sectors and other stakeholders are to contribute meaningfully to the Commission’s current policy and objectives toward sustainable growth and long-term competitiveness.