The Institute is looking for small and medium enterprises to contribute case studies for a research project that is investigating the processes that drive innovative SME business activity in response to the new green economy.
The Australian Business Foundation has commissioned this research recognizing SMEs will be critical contributors to Australia’s transition to a greener and more productive economy as they generate 46% of economic output and 42% of employment in Australia.
Whilst companies are facing challenges and uncertainties due to climate change, resource constraints and other sustainability drivers, SMEs have great potential to take advantage of opportunities presented by the green economy. These include dynamic and emerging markets, new skills in the workforce and new ways to obtain and use information and knowledge that can enhance the competitiveness and profitability of SMEs.
The Green Chrysalis research project will be based on interviews and collaborative knowledge-sharing between case study businesses, ISF and the Australian Business Foundation. The research aims to answer questions about the nature of the green economy in Australia and how SMEs can transform themselves to capitalize on the green economy. The innovation process, the way decisions to innovate are made, and the way companies seek knowledge to provide new products and services will be examined. In particular the research will look at opportunities for universities and other knowledge providers to support business innovation.
The potential benefits of a transition to a lower carbon future have been overlooked in the current debate over Australia’s response to human induced climate change that has focused instead on cost impacts to businesses and households. However, SMEs have opportunities to get a nimble ‘first-mover’ advantage in areas of the green economy through, for example, innovations in product to services substitution. This key innovation pathway to more sustainable outcomes has seen the growth of life cycle (cradle to cradle) product thinking, product leasing and take back, car share organizations and demand responsive transport.
For more information on how to involve your business as a project case study contact: Joanne.Chong@uts.edu.au