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Eco-Innovation Diversity in a Circular Economy: Towards Circular Innovation Studies

de Silva, A; Domenech Aparisi, T; Lammi, M; Vanhuyse, F; Mendoca, S; (2021) Eco-Innovation Diversity in a Circular Economy: Towards Circular Innovation Studies. Sustainability , 13 , Article 10974. 10.3390/su131910974. Green open access

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Abstract

Transition to a Circular Economy (CE) is about structural change and is predicated on the introduction of transformative eco-innovation (EI). Research on the CE–EI nexus has recently attracted attention both from an analytical and regulatory perspective. However, in-depth research exploring EI dynamics within the CE is still marginal, especially concerning the trends and dynamics of the pro-CE innovation policy and strategy. This paper addresses this gap by taking advantage of the burgeoning research on CE of the last 20 years and offers a new working synthesis. By implementing a “(systematic) review of (systematic) reviews”, this paper provides a new comprehensive framework for understanding pro-circular innovation strategies and, as a complement, argues the need to advance “circular innovation studies” as an agenda in its own right. Innovations related to recycling and recovery CE strategies along with business-model innovations and systemic/transformative innovations are found to be a major current trend in the research, connecting supply and demand side innovations and also driving other forms of innovation linked to design, product manufacturing, logistics and reverse logistics and end-of-life management and recovery. Additionally, of note is that the conceptual understanding of EI dynamics within a CE is still mainly implicit (rather than explicitly discussed) limiting the possibilities to advance knowledge in the area of innovation for CE: this is why we propose a “circular innovation studies” agenda.

Type: Article
Title: Eco-Innovation Diversity in a Circular Economy: Towards Circular Innovation Studies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/su131910974
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su131910974
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).
Keywords: circular economy; innovation; systematic review
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135802
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