On January 19-20, the OECD and the European Commission implemented the Conference on «The Future of Eco-Innovation: The Role of Business Models in Green Transformation», bringing attention to the Project on Green Growth and Eco-Innovation.

The aim of the Project is to collect, assess and utilize experiences and lessons learned concerning the development of eco-innovations, among OECD country members, towards developing a common Strategy for Green Growth. The OECD has recognized 95 innovations as cutting-edge and systemic, from a total of 490 innovations, in 37 countries. All innovations underwent assessment to explore their overall environmental, social and economic benefits.
During the Conference special attention was given to innovative business models that consider Green Growth as an essential element towards optimizing business value and customer interaction. All eco-innovations were integrated in special categories, some of which are:
•    Improving efficiency via the smart use of information technology (ICT)
•    Transitioning from production of products to provision of services
•    Creating “industrial ecosystems” in which many different industries “cohabitate” using each other’s waste as valuable raw materials.

Greece had a strong representation, as 5 Greek innovations were recognized as cutting-edge, and 2 were presented during the Conference. The first innovation was developed by Intelen Company and it concerns the usage of smart energy meters for the development of Social Energy Networks that drastically achieve a behavioral change in the usage of reduction of energy. The second innovation (www.humoolea.com) originates from Prof. A. Vlissidis of the National Technical University (NTUA) and it concerns the production of a high quality organohumic fertilizer, from co-composting liquid and solid wastes that are generated from the production of olive oil in the oil mills.

Dr. Panagiotis Panagiotakopoulos, country representative for Greece in the above project, participated as a panelist in the event, where he spoke on the role of national policies and Governments in promoting eco-innovation. He highlighted the need to support innovation via alternative routes that go beyond the provision of subsidies, a method which is considered by many as preventing rather than encouraging innovation. He also stated the need for the rapid promotion of systemic thinking and education, as a fundamental prerequisite of eco-innovation, something which was also acknowledged by other speakers during the Conference.

Photos from the conference on Close the Loop’s Facebook page.