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Eco-Innovation Diversity in a Circular Economy: Towards Circular Innovation Studies

Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research, NOVA School of Science and Technology, NOVA University Lisbon, 2825-149 Caparica, Portugal
Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK
Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London, Gower St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Head of the Societal Transitions Unit and Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute, 115 23 Stockholm, Sweden
Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL), Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), 1649-026 Lisbon, Portugal
Research Unit on Complexity and Economics (UECE), ISEG—Lisbon School of Economics and Management, 1249-078 Lisbon, Portugal
SPRU—Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carlos Martin-Rios
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10974;
Received: 17 August 2021 / Revised: 20 September 2021 / Accepted: 27 September 2021 / Published: 2 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy and Eco-Innovation: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead)
Transition to a Circular Economy (CE) is about structural change and is predicated on the introduction of transformative eco-innovation (EI). Research on the CE–EI nexus has recently attracted attention both from an analytical and regulatory perspective. However, in-depth research exploring EI dynamics within the CE is still marginal, especially concerning the trends and dynamics of the pro-CE innovation policy and strategy. This paper addresses this gap by taking advantage of the burgeoning research on CE of the last 20 years and offers a new working synthesis. By implementing a “(systematic) review of (systematic) reviews”, this paper provides a new comprehensive framework for understanding pro-circular innovation strategies and, as a complement, argues the need to advance “circular innovation studies” as an agenda in its own right. Innovations related to recycling and recovery CE strategies along with business-model innovations and systemic/transformative innovations are found to be a major current trend in the research, connecting supply and demand side innovations and also driving other forms of innovation linked to design, product manufacturing, logistics and reverse logistics and end-of-life management and recovery. Additionally, of note is that the conceptual understanding of EI dynamics within a CE is still mainly implicit (rather than explicitly discussed) limiting the possibilities to advance knowledge in the area of innovation for CE: this is why we propose a “circular innovation studies” agenda. View Full-Text
Keywords: circular economy; innovation; systematic review circular economy; innovation; systematic review
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Jesus, A.; Lammi, M.; Domenech, T.; Vanhuyse, F.; Mendonça, S. Eco-Innovation Diversity in a Circular Economy: Towards Circular Innovation Studies. Sustainability 2021, 13, 10974.

AMA Style

de Jesus A, Lammi M, Domenech T, Vanhuyse F, Mendonça S. Eco-Innovation Diversity in a Circular Economy: Towards Circular Innovation Studies. Sustainability. 2021; 13(19):10974.

Chicago/Turabian Style

de Jesus, Ana, Minna Lammi, Teresa Domenech, Fedra Vanhuyse, and Sandro Mendonça. 2021. "Eco-Innovation Diversity in a Circular Economy: Towards Circular Innovation Studies" Sustainability 13, no. 19: 10974.

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