3/11 Conference: Cities & Regions as Catalysts for Smart & Sustainable Innovation

by: Mirjam Visser, 2014-10-06 08:59:52 UTC
Sustainability Aspects: Sharing knowledge about creating sustainable living surroundings

The Story

German high speed ICE

Already for the 19th time the Sustainable Innovation Conference! This time the theme is Cities & Regions as Catalysts for Smart $ Sustainable Innovation

The Green Economy is now a core part of the global environmental policy agenda with the role of innovation becoming increasingly important. Cities play a key role in the Green Economy but are often ‘hot beds’ of environmental & social problems as a result of dense populations. However, cities are well placed to act as catalysts for the development of new sustainable solutions to transport, water, food, energy, waste & lifestyle problems. Model implementation of innovative solutions are starting to surface in a number of leading smart, sustainable cities e.g. Stockholm, New York, San Francisco & Copenhagen with significant investment from industry leaders e.g. IBM, Cisco, ABB & Siemens.

In addition, a number of city & regional labs, incubators & clusters aimed at stimulating eco-entrepreneurship & innovation have been set up. To accelerate these activities it will be necessary to design systems, structures & networks to enable good ideas to move more swiftly from the lab to realisation & adoption in the market. In a number of cities there is a growing trend towards grassroots innovation that includes increasing experimentation with open innovation & crowdsourcing (ideas & funding). Key to this is the sharing of ideas, knowledge & intellectual property often through social networking & ICT platforms.

Grassroots innovation is also emerging in cities from the Maker & Fixer movements. Makers are engaged in the technological extension of DIY & include individuals from engineering, arts & crafts who are coming together in Makerspaces or more informal Hackspaces. 3D printing is becoming a central technology amongst Makers with the environmental implications starting to be better understood. The Fixer Economy has existed for centuries but recently new business models are being set up e.g. ifixit.com from the US are providing repair kits & manuals, spare parts & educational online videos for consumer electronic products. In addition, business opportunities for ‘product life extension’ are being highlighted ranging from strategic remanufacturing models based on service contracts to material innovations that enable re-use. However, the Fixer Community that repairs & hacks discarded products & clothing, often operates more socially through, for example, Repair Cafés.

19th International Conference
3rd-4th November 2014
Copenhagen, Denmark

Theme: Cities & Regions as Catalysts for Smart & Sustainable Innovation

Sustainable Innovation 2014 will provide a platform to discuss the opportunities & challenges related to the role of cities & regions in catalysing, facilitating & stimulating sustainable innovation, products, services, technologies & new business models.

Product: Centre for Sustainable Development
Designer: Centre for Sustainable Development
Manufacturer: na
Category: Knowledge sharing
Websites: cfsd.org.uk/events/sustainable-innovation-2014/


German high speed ICE
German high speed ICE
by Siemens

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