Partners from the Intellectual Property Models for Accelerating Sustainability Transitions (IPACST) project will edit a special issue of Sustainability on ‘Intellectual Property Strategies and Sustainable Business Models for Sustainability Transitions’. A call for the submission of manuscripts by 31 March 2020 is now open.
Increasing global climate, resource and biodiversity challenges coupled with growing social issues raise the need to accelerate sustainability transitions. Sustainability transitions rely on complex, cumulative and open innovation processes typically stretching over long periods of time. These involve multiple organizations across innovation ecosystems, value networks or industries often involving more developed and emerging countries. Accordingly, a shift to sustainable manufacturing and consumption is only possible as a concerted effort.
With new knowledge typically being at the core of sustainable technologies and related business models, the adequate usage of intellectual property (IP) is an imperative for unlocking innovation and accelerating diffusion processes, thereby facilitating sustainability transitions on a global scale.
The role of IP in effective sustainability transitions however remains insufficiently understood. Its role needs critical examination on different levels in the light of emerging sustainable, circular and sharing business models. Moreover, comparing legal IP frameworks between more developed and emerging economies can provide valuable learnings on how IP can be used to support sustainability transitions.