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Eco-innovation in NICs: Conditions for export success with an application to biofuels in transport

: Köhler, J.; Walz, R.; Marscheider-Weidemann, F.


The journal of environment & development 23 (2014), Nr.1, S.133-159
ISSN: 1070-4965
ISSN: 1552-5465
Fraunhofer ISI ()

This article looks at sustainable development and globalization from the perspective of the eco-innovation literature for the case of biofuels in transport. It assesses the potential for newly industrialized countries (NICs) to develop technology and hence export markets in biofuel equipment. An analysis of innovation indicators suggests those countries that have strong capacities in eco-innovation in general. The analysis considers demand and regulatory factors in addition to technological capabilities in biofuels and complementary sectors. A very large global market in biofuels for transport could develop. The case of biofuels in Brazil shows that demand-oriented innovation policy coordinated with supply-oriented research and development policies can be successful in NICs for developing markets in new technologies for sustainability. Brazil, China, Malaysia, Mexico, and South Africa, as well as Indonesia, Thailand, and possibly India, have the favorable combination of high biofuel production potential and the requisite technological capability to develop internationally competitive second-generation biofuel production technologies.