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Promotion of Environmental Technology Export: Governmental Initiatives and Business Concepts
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This qualitative and quantitative study examines governmental initiatives and business concepts as approaches to promote the export of environmental technology. Here, environmental technology refers to technologies (products, services, organizational models, and large-scaled technical systems) whose development and use actually provide or intends to provide a better environmental performance than their relevant alternatives from a life cycle perspective. Using literature reviews, surveys and interviews, this thesis collects primary and secondary data from national government level, private Swedish environmental technology firms and Swedish municipality-owned firms.

Three main research questions guide this thesis. These questions address how different governments in selected countries promote the export of environmental technologies and how private Swedish environmental technology firms perceive the effectiveness of  governmental export promotion initiatives in realising export. In a complementary view, the thesis focuses on fundamental components of business concepts for export of environmental technologies by municipality-owned companies. These three units of analysis (i.e. – governmental initiatives, private companies and municipality-owned companies) are influenced by the characteristics of the environmental technology sector in Sweden.

The main results from the study suggest three conclusions. First, governmental initiatives intended to promote the export of environmental technology are largely similar to approaches that intend to promote the export of “conventional” technology. These initiatives can be categorised as: financial aid programs, information programs, education and training programs, and trade mobility related programs. When it comes to perceived effectiveness of governmental promotion initiatives by private firms, results indicate that firms that accessed more than one type of governmental promotion, particularly those including financial support, perceived governmental promotion as contributing to realising export. For municipality-owned companies exporting environmental technology, the thesis proposes seven fundamental components of a business concept as: market (including regulation), finance, resources, activities, partnership (private-public partnership), ownership and responsibility, and legitimacy. Among these factors, regulation, public-private partnership, and legitimacy are particular to environmental technologies.

These results suggest a dynamic balance between generic and tailored export promotion initiatives for environmental technology exporters, with much attention to program implementation as is given to program content formulation. The components proposed for municipality export opens up a potentially new research trajectory on environmentally conscious design that considers technological as well as non-technological changes based on large-scaled environmental technology systems for system-wide environmental improvements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. , 47 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1673
National Category
Environmental Sciences Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108730DOI: 10.3384/lic.diva-108730ISBN: 978-91-7519-268-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-108730DiVA: diva2:731712
Presentation
2014-09-12, A30, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-07-02 Created: 2014-07-02 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Promoting the export of environmental technologies: governmental initiatives in selected countries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Promoting the export of environmental technologies: governmental initiatives in selected countries
2013 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rapid international and widespread diffusion of environmental technologies remains an essential requirement within the framework of sustainable development. Export offers a desired means for technology diffusion due to its strategic flexibility compared to other means such as foreign direct investment and aid. However, the export of environmental technologies is stifled by market failures. Among other reasons and as a response to such market failures, several governments are formulating initiatives to promote the export of environmental technologies. Although diffusion promotion is highlighted as an important research focus, a systematic overview of governmental initiatives that aim to promote environmental technology export is not available in the literature. This gap in the literature makes it difficult to analyse program effectiveness, and identify best practices. Using documentation from export promotion and export credit agencies in eight selected countries across Asia, Europe, and North America, we discuss governmental initiatives that aim to promote the export of environmental technologies. Our synthesis reveals that governmental promotion can be categorised according to alternative promotional services and is applied across target country(ies), environmental technology type(s), firm size(s),  and firm involvement in export. In addition, using theories from market failure and diffusion studies, we discuss similarities and differences between country initiatives. Trends indicate a focus on support for small and medium sized environmental technology exporters but interesting differences emerge with the choice of target markets, technologies, and the specific export promotion services.

Keyword
Environmental technology; Export promotion; Market failure; Governmental initiatives
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108728 (URN)
Projects
Megatech
Funder
Vinnova
Available from: 2014-07-02 Created: 2014-07-02 Last updated: 2014-11-07Bibliographically approved
2. Governmental export promotion initiatives: awareness, participation, and perceived effectiveness among Swedish environmental technology firms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Governmental export promotion initiatives: awareness, participation, and perceived effectiveness among Swedish environmental technology firms
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 98, 222-228 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Some countries rely heavily on exports as an essential component of their economic competitiveness. With the current trends in economic globalization, promoting exports has become a common strategy to boost economic growth. Exports of environmental technologies represent a new window of opportunity for economic growth and a contribution to global sustainability. With this in mind, national governments have designed initiatives that aim to promote exports within this sector. To address their objectives, governments provide initiatives to promote foreign commerce with their environmental technology sector. This article assesses the awareness, participation, and perceived effectiveness of such governmental initiatives to promote exports among Swedish environmental technology firms. An Internet survey was sent to 693 Swedish environmental technology companies, previously identified and classified, with a 25% response rate. The responses show a relatively high export orientation although a majority of the respondents claimed they were unaware of governmental initiatives that fit their particular export needs. The companies that did find appropriate governmental initiatives showed a high level of participation in such initiatives, but only a few of these participants could relate their participation to actual exports. The findings suggest there is a need to design support instruments based on the particular characteristics of the environmental technology sector rather than to offer generic solutions for such export promotion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015
Keyword
Environmental technology, Technology diffusion, Market failures, Perceived effectiveness, Firm-level analysis
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102196 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.11.013 (DOI)000356194300023 ()
Projects
Megatech
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2013-12-03 Created: 2013-12-03 Last updated: 2017-12-06
3. Design of business concept with environmental technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design of business concept with environmental technology
2013 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, strategies for sustainable development are arguably among the most discussed issues among political, public and corporate actors. These discussions are spurred by major trends such as climate change, rapid urbanization, critical material and energy resource depletion. To facilitate sustainable development, deep structural and wide reaching changes seem needed in current technologies, infrastructure, businesses and institutions. In the academic discourse, different concepts, methods and tools, have been proposed and continue to be expounded within the framework of sustainable development. Notable among them include the concepts of ecodesign, and product and service systems design. These concepts have contributed to environmental improvements but have been challenged by critics to be expanded beyond products and services to include non-technological changes in order to deliver system wide environmental improvements.

Departing from this background, the goal of this article is twofold, first to offer an expanded view on environmental conscious design of products and services with large scaled sociotechnical systems and then to propose and discuss important components to consider when developing business concepts based on large scaled environmental technology systems. In doing this, we offer a new way of describing business concepts based on large scaled environmental technology systems which incorporates non-technological dimensions such as meeting formal and informal expectations. We propose a set of components to consider when developing business concepts based on large scaled environmental technology offering. These components are: market (including regulations), finance, resources, activities, partnership (especially public-private partnership), ownership and responsibility, and legitimacy. Among these factors, regulation, public-private partnership, and legitimacy were  found as particular for environmental technology diffusion.

Keyword
Environmental technology, Innovation management, Business model, Technology diffusion
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108729 (URN)
Projects
BMEX (Business models for market expansion of Swedish municipal environmental technologies)
Available from: 2014-07-02 Created: 2014-07-02 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved

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