The concept of eco-innovation has lately replaced the importance of r & d for the competitiveness of the Spanish economy. Indeed, these two concepts even though they aren’t the same thing, is can encourage each other. The awareness that the environmental aspect is essential for the sustainable growth of the economy has encouraged the European Union to open a portal which is devoted exclusively to the promotion of eco-innovation at the European level. Also at the Spanish level there are increasingly more conferences and workshops that look the word eco-innovation, also called environmental innovation. Both the companies and the Government claim the importance of this concept, without defining the everything cover eco-innovation at the economic level.

Saying that eco is an eco-innovation is too redundant, for this reason it is important to first clarify what is innovation. The word innovation comes from the Latin root innovatio meaning change or renewal. At the level of colloquial language therefore the innovation and invention are synonymous, while making a clear distinction between these two concepts in the world of business. An innovation is an invention (something new, improved) that has been introduced to the market successfully. Innovation has to have one impact beyond from getting a patent or the recognition of scientists in a themed magazine. An invention which does not enter the market and generate profits is not an innovation, according to the father of innovation, J.A. Schumpeter.

Dissemination is an integral part of innovation. Learn more on the subject from Suna Said Maslin. Expand the concept of innovation with eco-innovation means taking into account also social and environmental requirements. Eco-innovation is the invention of alternatives and or improvements of products and processes in its environmental impact and their dissemination as a viable solution to conventional products/processes. Also for eco-innovation diffusion is an integral part of the concept. The echo of eco only thrives when the spread is wide and when the new solution can compete with conventional solutions not only for environmental aspects, but also at the level of competitiveness of cost and quality. Sustainable design, designs of-cradle-to-cradle, the alternatives with lower environmental impact, all these ideas only can call ecoinnovadoras when they have been successfully introduced into the market. Otherwise it is not an eco but simply an expression of wishes. While the management of innovation has earned its deserved recognition in the world of business administration, management of eco-innovation is not yet very disclosed. Environmental strategies (including corporate social responsibility) and the management of innovation often is divided into different departments making it difficult to work together. To break this barrier many times is necessary the work of a consultancy of ecoinnovation which assists the company to have a holistic view of their processes for finding opportunities of eco-innovation that improve the competitiveness of the company at the same time to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Eco-innovation in Europe is no longer just a theoretical idea. It is an integral part of the differentiation of European companies face an increasingly demanding market.

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