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Defining eco-innovations: characteristics, typologies and socioeconomic approaches

The Financial Constraints of Eco-Innovation Companies

Edgardo Sica

‘Eco-Innovations’ (EIs) are a type of innovations that may contribute to reduce the environmental burden and to deal with specific problematic areas, such as greenhouse effects, loss of biodiversity, sustainable use of natural resources and so on. However, despite their relevance, EIs still represent a vague and unclear concept. The present chapter firstly clarifies the true meaning of EIs, by defining their characteristics and typologies. Then, it explores and contextualises roles and functions of EIs for sustainability in the framework of two contrasting approaches, namely the more traditional neoclassical literature on innovations and the new evolutionary studies on the techno-paradigm shifts.