Intellectual Property Models for Accelerating Sustainability Transitions

In 2015, countries globally adopted the Sustainable Development Goals to protect the planet, end poverty and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Effective transitions to sustainability require innovations with complex diffusion and adoption processes. The accompanied evolutionary technology development processes involve complex and intertwined IP related issues. The choice of the ‘right’ IP model however depend on a range of yet insufficiently understood contextual factors. Further, the role of IP for effective transitions to sustainability remains insufficiently understood. The project IPACST addresses the above gaps and contributes to the integration of the two fields - IP and sustainability - through frameworks that conceptualize (i) which, (ii) how and under (iii) what conditions IP models accelerate sustainable transitions, in connection with sustainable business models for high impact areas including clean energy and circular economy.


Funding support 


The project is jointly funded by the Belmont Forum and NORFACE through the Economics and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Global Challenge Research Funds (GCRF) as well as the EU Horizon 2020 programme and other national agencies and ministries.


Project Lead: Dr Pratheeba Vimalnath


Relevant publications / conference presentations


Eppinger, E., N. Bocken, C. Dreher, A. Gurtoo, R. H. Chea, S. Karpakal, V. Prifti, F. Tietze, and P. Vimalnath. The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Sustainable Business Models: Mapping IP Strategies in Circular Economy Business Models. 4th International Conference on New Business Models, Berlin. 1-3 July 2019.


Vimalnath, P., F. Tietze, E. Eppinger and J. Sternkopf. Open, semi open or closed? Towards an intellectual property strategy framework. 19th European Academy of Management (EURAM) Conference, Lisbon (Portugal). 26-28 June 2019.


Tietze, F., J. Sternkopf, E. Eppinger and P. Vimalnath. 2017. IP Strategies and Sustainable Technologies: When Do Open IP Strategies Increase Sustainable Impact?, DRUID17, New York, USA, June 12-14, 2017.


Tietze, F., J. Sternkopf, E. Eppinger and P. Vimalnath. 2017. IP strategies for sustainability - When does Open IP Increase Sustainable Impact?. 1st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society (TEMSCON 2017), California, USA. June 8-10, 2017.


Sternkopf, J., Tietze, F., Eppinger, E., & Vimalnath, P. Open IP strategies for enabling sustainability transitions. CTM Working Paper series, No. 10, 2016.

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