Innovation matters. Business success increasingly depends upon sustainable innovation. Observing recent innovation best practices, the emergence of a new paradigm is traceable. Creating an innovative ecosystem has a multilayer effect: It contributes to regional digitalization, technological start-up emergence, open innovation promotion, and new policy enhancement retro-feeding the system. Public policy must create open innovation environments accordingly with the quintuple helix harmonizing the ecosystem to internalize emerging spillovers. The public sector should enhance the process, providing accurate legal framework, procurement of innovation, and shared risks in R&D. Opening the locks that confine the trunks of community, academic, industry, and government innovation will harness each dimension exploiting collective and collaborative potential of individuals towards a brighter sustainable future. In this sense, the aim of this study is to present how open innovation can enhance sustainable innovation ecosystems and boost the digital transition. For that, firstly, a diachronic perspective of the sustainable innovation ecosystem is traced, its connection to open innovation, and identification of the university linkages. Secondly, database exploration and econometric estimations are performed. Then, we will ascertain how far open innovation frameworks and in particular the knowledge flows unveiled by the university promote smart and responsible innovation cycles. Lastly, we will propose a policy package towards green governance, empowering the university in governance distributed ecosystem, embedded in the community, self-sustained with shared gains, and a meaningful sense of identity.
Abstract:In a scenario of increasing globalization, sustainable development has emerged as an attractive and strategic issue for both countries and individual organizations and their supply chains. Companies have faced different challenges in seeking to combine the best economic performance with increased social and environmental responsibility. Monitoring sustainability is essential for decision-making and management of activities that comprise an organization's system processes. Evaluation can be performed using indices or a set of indicators. In addition to increasing organizational effectiveness and improving competitiveness, customer service and profitability, it is also a crucial influence on the development of business sustainability. This paper proposes a sustainability index that provides companies with information about their level of economic, social and environmental sustainability, showing their performance at both individual and supply chain level. The importance of the indicators is assessed by using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology applied to a case study of a supply chain in the automotive industry. The various stages experienced during the construction of the index are also shown. The final results achieved are then presented and discussed in light of the objectives.
OPEN ACCESSSustainability 2015, 7 2114
Abstract:The growing search for alternative energy sources is not only due to the present shortage of non-renewable energy sources, but also due to their negative environmental impacts. Therefore, a lot of attention is drawn to the use of biomass as a renewable energy source. However, using biomass in its natural state has not proven to be an efficient technique, giving rise to a wide range of processing treatments that enhance the properties of biomass as an energy source. Torrefaction is a thermal process that enhances the properties of biomass through its thermal decomposition at temperatures between 200 and 300 • C. The torrefaction process is defined by several parameters, which also have impacts on the final quality of the torrefied biomass. The final quality is measured by considering parameters, such as humidity, heating value (HV), and grindability. Studies have focused on maximizing the torrefied biomass' quality using the best possible combination for the different parameters. The main objective of this article is to present new information regarding the conventional torrefaction process, as well as study the innovative techniques that have been in development for the improvement of the torrefied biomass qualities. With this study, conclusions were made regarding the importance of torrefaction in the energy field, after considering the economic status of this renewable resource. The importance of the torrefaction parameters on the final properties of torrefied biomass was also highly considered, as well as the importance of the reactor scales for the definition of ideal protocols.
Abstract:Recently the circular economy has increasingly received attention worldwide due to the recognition that the security of the supply of resources and environmental sustainability are crucial for the prosperity of all the countries and businesses. G20 countries are stimulating the development of frameworks that enhance the circular economy and generally more sustainable production and consumption modes. In this context, this paper aims to suggest an index to assess the sustainability and the circularity of manufacturing companies. With this tenet, a Sustainable Circular Index (SCI) is proposed based on a five-phase framework. This index could support managers in assessing their level of sustainability and circularity and in implementing some practices that could improve the performances of their companies regarding these two topics. This index represents an important benchmarking tool for manufacturing companies to assess their sustainable and circular behavior and represents a guideline for managers.
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