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Sustainable Innovation



#70245 / #6

Seit WS 2018/19

Fakultät VII

MAR 2-5

Institut für Technologie und Management

37335100 FG S-Professur Innovationsökonomie

Blind, Knut

Essoun, Brigitte

POS-Nummer PORD-Nummer Modultitel
2345210 35019 Sustainable Innovation

Learning Outcomes

Innovation has been proven to be a central driver of economic growth and development. Similarly, the transition to more sustainable patterns of production and consumption is dependent on far reaching processes of innovation and technological change. This course will provide an introduction to key theoretical approaches, which link innovation to the theory and practice of sustainable development. On this basis, it will address emerging paradigms for sustainable innovation policy and management and other current topics in the business practice of sustainable innovation. The first part of the course provides an introduction to key concepts and debates related to sustainable development and innovation and highlights important inter-linkages between the two areas. It provides an overview of how this debate has evolved over time and introduces the emerging paradigm of “Innovation for Sustainability”. The second part of the course provides a more detailed look at the debate on sustainability, innovation and the role of policy and governance in enabling a transition to sustainable consumption and production. It presents related theoretical concepts from economics, sociology and political science and current approaches in the practice of sustainable innovation policy. Finally, it introduces important contemporary debates in this context, such as the relationship between sustainable innovation and international competitiveness and the role of inequality and social inclusion in the debate on sustainable innovation. The third part of the course provides an introduction to key topics and trends in the business practice of innovation. It addresses topics in sustainable innovation management and sustainable entrepreneurship as well as key trends in the field of sustainable innovation, such as frugal innovation, innovation at the base of the pyramid (BOP), the development of a sharing economy. Students will become acquainted the main concepts and debates regarding sustainable development and innovation and their inter-linkages. They will understand key societal debates on the topic and how to relate these to the field of business and management. Moreover, they will be introduced to emerging trends in the field of sustainable innovation and how these are translated into business models and practices.


1. Sustainable Development and Innovation: Overview and Conceptual Foundations 1.1. Innovation Theory 1.2. Innovation for Sustainability 2. The Societal Perspective: Policy, Governance and Sustainable Innovation 2.1. Environmental Innovation and Technological Change 2.2. Sustainable Innovation Policy 3. The Business Perspective: Current Topics and Trends in the Business Practice of Sustainable Innovation 3.1. Sustainable Innovation Processes and Innovative Products 3.2. Sustainable Business Model Innovation 3.3. Inclusive Innovation / Social Innovation 3.4. Social Entrepreneurship 3.5. Innovation in Low-Income Markets 3.6. Finance and Sustainable Innovation 3.7. Sharing Economy 3.8. The Role of Sustainability Standards and Certification for Sustainable Innovation

Module Components


All Courses are mandatory.

Course Name Type Number Cycle Language SWS VZ
Sustainable Innovation VL 73 510 L 5298 WS English 2
Sustainable Innovation UE 73 510 L 5299 WS English 2

Workload and Credit Points

Sustainable Innovation (VL):

Workload description Multiplier Hours Total
Class attendance 15.0 2.0h 30.0h
Exam preparation 1.0 30.0h 30.0h
Preparation and revision 15.0 2.0h 30.0h
90.0h(~3 LP)

Sustainable Innovation (UE):

Workload description Multiplier Hours Total
Class attendance 15.0 2.0h 30.0h
Exam preparation 1.0 30.0h 30.0h
Preparation and revision 15.0 2.0h 30.0h
90.0h(~3 LP)
The Workload of the module sums up to 180.0 Hours. Therefore the module contains 6 Credits.

Description of Teaching and Learning Methods

The theoretical and empirical findings of the lecture are supplemented by a tutorial, where the students have to solve micro- and macroeconomic case studies. Practitioners from policy and business are invited to discuss practical experiences and approaches within the field of sustainable innovation.

Requirements for participation and examination

Desirable prerequisites for participation in the courses:

Basic skills have to be in accordance to all Business and Economics courses and, if necessary, have to be certificated.

Mandatory requirements for the module test application:

No information

Module completion



Type of exam

Portfolio examination

Type of portfolio examination

100 points in total



Test elements

Name Points Categorie Duration/Extent
Exercise - essay 40 written 10
Lecture - written test 20 written 20
Lecture - written test 40 written 60

Grading scale

Test description (Module completion)

The portfolio examination consists of the following elements, adding up to a maximum of 100 credits. The grading follows the joint conversion key of the School of Economics and Management (decision of the school's council dated May 28, 2014 - FKR VII-4/8-28.05.2014).

Duration of the Module

The following number of semesters is estimated for taking and completing the module:
1 Semester.

This module may be commenced in the following semesters:

Maximum Number of Participants

The maximum capacity of students is 60.

Registration Procedures

The registration for the lecture and the tutorial takes place by visiting the first lecture in term. For further information, please visit our website.

Recommended reading, Lecture notes

Lecture notes

Availability:  unavailable

Electronical lecture notes

Availability:  available
Additional information:


Recommended literature
The latest version of the schedule is available on our website. References and lecture notes will be available on


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