The challenges of energy efficiency innovations in the Nordic building sector

Greener Markets and Cleaner Technologies (GMCT)

image of The challenges of energy efficiency innovations in the Nordic building sector

The development and diffusion of environmental technologies, which is considered to be one way of achieving the dual goals of maintaining competitiveness in a dynamic and knowledge-based economy while integrating environmental consideration in this process, may be influenced by a number of sector-specific conditions. In light of this, case studies of energy efficiency innovations in the Nordic building sector were carried out as a part of two-year research project on Green Market and Cleaner Technologies - Leading Nordic Innovation and Technological Potential for Future Markets. The studies looked into the characteristics of the industry as well as other issues influencing the three key activities of an innovation system - access to knowledge, access to resources and market formation. This report highlights some features of the building industry as well as their products which tend to pose constraints to the three innovation activities in the sector. It elucidates several strategies deployed by innovating companies to overcome some of the constraints and points to specific areas for policy interventions needed to effectively enhance innovation activities in the sector.



Analytical Framework

There has been an increase in the general understanding of innovation processes with strong evidence to the dynamic nature of innovation. Dynamic models based on the systems perspective capture many of the challenges connected to the process of change and provide a framework from which to examine the role of institutions and the behaviour of various actors and their interactions (Edquist 1997). It thus allows for the identification of opportunities, and also barriers that need to be addressed. Furthermore, we have also better understanding with regards to the differences in the organization of innovation activities across industrial sectors (Malerba 2005). It is this general knowledge of innovation dynamics in national and sector systems which constitute the analytical basis for this paper. Of particular interest here is the sector level of innovation systems.


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