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Using lead market factors to assess the potential for a sustainability transition

: Walz, R.; Köhler, J.


Environmental innovation and societal transitions 10 (2014), S.20-41
ISSN: 2210-4224
Fraunhofer ISI ()

This paper considers how the lead market concept can contribute towards analysing system transformation as described by the multi-level perspective (MLP). Lead market arguments for the export potential of eco-innovations can provide an argument for policy support for environmental niches. International policy diffusion and learning across countries on the level of niche-regime interaction can improve the legitimacy of supporting policies. We propose how eco-innovation can be framed within an integrated MLP-lead market approach. Eco-innovations address two classes of regimes (infrastructure and eco-efficiency), which are likely to follow different transition pathways. The use of indicators for lead market factors for empirically analysing the opportunities for system transformation in the MLP framework is assessed. Indicators for the lead market factors can be attributed to the MLP. However, some of the indicators are more general in nature and do only indirectly point towards system transformation towards eco-innovations.