3 March, Chester – The value-chain eco-innovation dialogue event was jointly organised by G!E and C-Tech Innovation on 3 March 3015, in the framework of the greenXpo project. The meeting brought together companies from the chemicals’ supply chain to share their experience related to value chain innovation / cooperation.
Participants have confirmed the assumptions derived from previous projects and studies (REMake and DEFRA study) that resource saving potentials along entire value chains are larger than the sum of individual company’s savings. While expressing support for cooperation across the value chain, they also pointed out a number of barriers hindering the collaborative approach to eco-innovation. Among the key factors identified were the lack of trust between companies of the same value chain, absence of adequate business models to support cooperation, and insufficient commitment at the strategic and management levels to joint innovation activities with other supply chain companies. Participants have also emphasized the need for adequate funding opportunities which could encourage integrated optimisation across the various interfaces of the value chains. Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network provided a few ideas about how public funding could facilitate cooperation, such making funding dependent on the presence of at least two members of the same value chain, one of which is the end user of innovation.
These assumptions will be once again tested during the second dialogue event for the building sector. The meeting is scheduled for 16 April in Graz, Austria, and will be organised together with the Styrian Energy Agency.