Reality Test: Users, Innovation and Sustainability

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Reality Test: Users, Innovation and Sustainability

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Titel: Reality Test: Users, Innovation and Sustainability
European Policymakers’ View on Sustainable User Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Forfatter: Roed Nielsen, Kristian; Steensen Nielsen, Kristian; Reisch, Lucia A.
Resume: Good ideas and innovations are hard to spot and often come from the most unlikely of circumstances – once successful their value seems almost self-evident, but in the early stages a new idea or innovation remains largely anonymous and in dangerous waters. The growth of the Danish windmill industry was for example in the early stage hard to foresee. The utilization of wind power as a source of energy was not a novel concept in the 1970s when Riisager (a carpenter by trade) and others began to experiment with different turbine designs, nor was it a lucrative endeavor as it for many years remained, from a market perspective, unprofitable. Despite this, a small group of enthusiastic (and idealistic) individuals managed to dramatically improve existing designs, increasing the kW production of turbines from 15-30 kW in 1974-1979 to 180-450 kW by 1989. The success of the Danish wind turbine case was possible because multiple and diverse but interlinked actors tested varying designs in different locations, drawing both on their localized learningby- doing knowledge but also on the successes and failures of others. Step-by-step what had been a discarded idea for power production became the foundation of a large scale sustainable industry. The Danish windmill story has arguably become an oft-repeated story, but nonetheless it illustrates a key point: knowledge relevant for innovation is widely dispersed and is therefore typically outside the realm of any one individual, firm or organization.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/9306
Dato: 2016-05-31
Note: Field report prepared for the EU-InnovatE project (Deliverable A6.2). Project acronym: EU-InnovatE. Project full title: Sustainable Lifestyles 2.0: End User Integration, Innovation and Entre preneurship. Grant agreement no: 613194

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