Eco-Innovation Exchange Workshops : DASTI Bi-Lateral Network Projects

  • McAloone, Tim C. (Project Manager)
  • Bey, Niki (Project Participant)
  • Mougaard, Krestine (Project Participant)
  • Restrepo-Giraldo, John Dairo (Project Participant)
  • Leifer, Larry (Project Participant)
  • Steinert, Martin (Project Participant)
  • Toye, George (Project Participant)
  • Faludi, Jeremy (Project Participant)
  • Junqua, Jean-Claude (Contact Person)
  • Nahikian, Angela (Contact Person)
  • Owens, Kevin (Contact Person)
  • Faltum, Jes (Contact Person)
  • Skals, Peter (Contact Person)
  • Andreassen, Karen (Contact Person)

    Project Details


    This proposal aimed to strengthen the research collaboration between the Center for Design Research at Stanford University (hereafter referred to as “CDR”) and the Department of Management Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (hereafter referred to as “DTU”) in the field of sustainable product and service innovation, by adopting a collaborative, action-research approach to methodology implementation in international industrial companies. We ran a short workshop series, consisting of three intensive industry workshops, each with its own time for preparation and subsequent reflection/analysis. For the first two workshops (held in USA), we partnered up with two research-active, USA-based companies, Panasonic and Steelcase, who acted as the industrial participants for the workshops. Both CDR and DTU have a history of research collaboration with both of these companies and had therefore well-established connections inside both organisations. Previous collaborations include interviews, in-depth studies, student projects and workshop orchestration within a strategic area for the respective companies. The third workshop was be held in Denmark, where we invited three Danish companies to join the discussions and exercises, to-gether with Panasonic and Steelcase.

    This project focused on two main research phenomena, sustainability and innovation, and aimed to begin to uncover the connections between the two in an industrial setting. It was our working hypothesis that sustainability demands for a globally active, industrial organisation can lead to innovative solutions in terms of business development opportunities. Also, it was our hypothesis that an organisation striving towards innovation will increasingly need to live up to the key requirements of sustainability. In the context of product development, sustainability has been an area of focus for some time now. The past two decades have seen many efforts from academia and industry alike, towards the consideration of sustainability during product development. The result is that there are now hundreds of guidelines, tools, calculators and consultants available to aid the process of design optimisation for sustainability. However, the project team's and other researchers’ studies show that companies’ uptake of these many tools is sparse. In terms of innovation, there are a plethora of theories and schools of thought regarding industrial innovation. These theories can be roughly classified in three main areas of technology-driven innovation (new things make new markets), user-driven innovation (seen from a traditional lead-user viewpoint) or idea-driven innovation (with focus on the creativity of the individual entrepreneur). In this project we made the first attempts at establishing a focus on sustainability-driven innovation. Our scientific research base was on the above-mentioned fields.
    Effective start/end date01/03/201131/12/2011

    Collaborative partners

    • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
    • Coloplast Danmark AS (Project partner)
    • Panasonic R&D (Project partner)
    • Stanford University (Project partner)
    • Steelcase Inc. (Project partner)
    • Velux (Project partner)
    • Lego Group (Project partner)


    • Forskningsrådene - Andre


    • Eco-innovation
    • Ecodesign
    • Service innovation


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