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ECN publication
The role of context in the development of radical innovations: The case of Blue Energy in the Netherlands
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 5-9-2007
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-E--07-054 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
67 Download PDF  

Research has shown that innovations do not develop in vacuum and that a successful innovation does not necessarily guarantee success in another setting. The study aims to provide insight into the role of context in the development of radical innovations and is as thesis subject, part of the Create Acceptance project at ECN. Literature on technological development has been consulted to understand what can be considered as context in all phases of development: from research and development to the final implementation. This knowledge has been applied to a specific case called Blue Energy. Blue Energy is a renewable energy potential, based on ‘Salinity Power’ that obtains clean energy from mixing water streams with different salt concentrations. In the last seven years, two challenging projects have been initiated on this principle in the Netherlands following a different development. The focus in this research is on situations that have stimulated or constrained the developments to identify specific contextual factors. This re-sulted in several crucial elements useful for stakeholders in the Blue Energy development as well as for managers in similar projects, to broaden their understanding of technological devel-opment and thus make project management more accountable.

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