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ESRC Seminar Series 2015 - 2016: Green Innovation: Making it Work

ESRC Seminar and Sociology Seminar - Seminar One

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The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Group at Nottingham Business School and The Open University Business School, are running a series of six Economic Social Research (ESRC) seminars during 2015 and 2016 on the theme of Green Innovation: Making it Work.

  • From: Wednesday 22 April 2015, 10 am
  • To: Wednesday 22 April 2015, 4 pm
  • Location: Newton building, Main Entrance, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU
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Background to the series

The primary aim of this seminar series is to promote a deeper understanding of green innovation, with a focus on the factors that facilitate and constrain its practical application. In doing so, it will also seek to propagate knowledge about the institutional changes and infrastructures required for the effective dissemination and diffusion of green innovations in both developed and developing country contexts. We have adopted the shorthand term green innovation to signal its role as an open forum for the exchange between academics, practitioners and policy-makers. Presentations will draw on the latest thinking, while remaining accessible to non-specialists, and will examine different types of innovation (social, technological, organisational etc.) and domains of practice.

Seminar One:  Setting the scene

The aim of this seminar will be to provide an overview of the subject matter covered by green innovation, while also introducing key themes prior to more detailed consideration in later seminars. Particularly this will involve exploring the origins and scope of green innovation, comparing definitions and identifying contributing academic disciplines. There will also be a chance to identify and analyse some of the key issues surrounding the implementation and market adoption of green innovations and how they might be addressed in the remaining seminars. The first seminar will comprise keynote addresses / papers from guest speakers and a number of invited contributions from an open call (to follow). Currently we invite guest speakers addressing the following themes:

  • Scoping the role of green innovation in the wider sustainability agenda
  • Researching green innovation practice: multi-disciplinary perspectives
  • Identifying the key barriers, drivers and enablers for implementing green innovation
  • Setting an agenda for green innovation practice.

Guest speakers

  • Will McDowall (University College London)
  • Fred Steward (Policy Studies Institute)
  • Jacqui Glass (Loughborough University)
  • Franz Huber (University of Seeburg, Austria)
  • Michael Ehret (NTU) and John Nicholson (University of Hull)

Will McDowall is a Senior Research Associate at the Energy Institute of University College London. Until 2010, he was a Policy Advisor with the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), in Canada. He is the co-author, with Paul Ekins of Green Innovation: Industrial Policy for a low carbon future, published by the TUC in 2014. His research focuses on the application of 'innovation systems' approaches to understanding the development and deployment of new technologies. Fred Steward is Professor of Innovation and Sustainability at the Policy Studies Institute. Prior to this, he led innovation research at the business schools of Brunel and Aston universities. Seconded to NESTA in 2008, he has advised government departments in the UK, Europe and China on innovation and sustainability. His primary research interest is in 'transformative innovation' - pervasive, radical, system-wide social and technological change. Jacqui Glass is Professor of Architecture & Sustainable Construction at Loughborough University. She is currently leading a range of research projects on responsible sourcing and corporate sustainability, including ones in collaboration with leading companies in the construction industry. Franz Huber is Associate Professor of Innovation Management at the University of Seeburg in Austria. A geographer by background his current research focuses on green innovation and he has recently completed an ESRC funded research project exploring the role of institutions in facilitating knowledge transfer to support cleantech innovations.

Poster session

In order to build a network of researchers linked to the themes that form the basis of the seminar series, all those attending this first seminar are invited to bring a poster outlining specific projects they are researching in this field. There will be space at the seminar for posters to be displayed. Posters from early career researchers and doctoral students would be particularly welcome.

Proposed outputs

The seminar series web pages will feature abstracts from presented papers. Related publication opportunities include a Special Issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, devoted to Green Innovation and edited by Professors David Smith and Rob Ackrill and Dr Richard Blundel. The seminar organisers also have agreement in principle with an academic publisher for an edited book of readings under their ‘Innovation, Technology and Knowledge Management’ title.

Seminar programme and future seminars

Further details, including a detailed programme for the first seminar and its location together with dates and venues of future one day seminars in the series, will be available at the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Group website.

Further information

All those with an interest in green innovation are very welcome to attend. For further details of any aspects of this seminar or other forthcoming seminars in the series please email either David Smith; or Richard Blundel.



10 - 10.15 am Registration
10.15 - 10.30 am Welcome: Professor Baback Yazdani, Dean of Nottingham Business School
10.30 -11 am Introduction to the seminar series: Professor David Smith

11 - 11.30 amWill McDowall (University College London): Key Issues for Understanding Green Innovation
Will McDowall will provide an overview of the key issues surrounding green innovation, particularly with reference to public policy. The latter aspect will link to the recent TUC report: Green Innovation: industrial policy for a low carbon future that Will co-authored along with Professor Paul Ekins.

11.45-12.30 pmFred Steward (Policy Studies Institute: Transformative Innovation
Professor Fred Steward will explore the role of innovation in addressing climate change and environmental sustainability. He will focus particularly on the need for transformative innovation that is pervasive, radical and system-wide.

12.30 - 1.30 pm Lunch and Poster session

1.30 - 2 pmJacqui Glass (Loughborough University): Green innovation in the Construction industry
Professor Jacqueline Glass from Loughborough University will discuss green innovation in the context of the construction industry, explaining how the challenging features of this industry affect the implementation of innovative practices. In particular she will focus on sustainability from a supply chain perspective, and consider how the industry is (and isn't) tackling ethical and responsible sourcing of materials and products. You can read one of Jacqui's recent blogs on the subject at:

2 - 2.30 pmMichael Ehret (NTU) and John Nicholson (Hull University): The potential of Open business models for Green Innovation: A case study of Hull
Michael Ehret and John Nicholson will review the some of the new business models arising from moves to open innovation and the potential they offer for green innovation especially in relation to economic development. They will focus on the development of Hull as a Green Port

2.30 - 3 pmFranz Huber (Seeberg University): "Can motorsport drive us green?"
Franz Huber will report on an ESRC funded project, investigating knowledge linkages between UK motorsport and cleantech. The research aimed to develop a better understanding of the enablers of, and barriers to, successful knowledge transactions and to explore implications for sustainability transitions and innovation policy.

3 - 4 pm
Roundtable discussion

Location details


Newton building, Main Entrance


Nottingham Trent University
City Campus
Goldsmith Street

Travel Info:

Further travel information:For full information on travelling to the University, please visit our website.

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