Scientific and Business Networks as a Stimulator of Eco-Innovations Diffusion in Small and Micro-Enterprises
The underlying objective of the paper is to indicate the nature of multi-actorial scientific and business networks, which support knowledge transfer, designing and implementing eco-innovations: product and process ones. The authors have introduced the taxonomy of these eco-innovations based, among others, on the literature review and the valid Oslo Manual¸ which constitutes a methodological repository in the domain of statistical research of innovations. Levels of pro-environmental awareness of micro- and small economic entities have been defined in it, justifying that the size of this sector and the greatest value added in the economy, therefore its significant impact on the natural environment is not correlated with the quantity and quality of eco-innovations implementations. They have summarised and conducted a qualitative evaluation of heterogeneous determinants that influence the decisions of these enterprises in the scope of eco-innovations implementation, but also stimulating their sustainable development. In the context of the evaluated previous pro-environmental awareness and willingness to implement eco-innovations by micro- and small enterprises, the cognitive focus concerned the evaluation of knowledge transfer and determining the “strength” and role of multi-actorial organisational networks, which stimulate the diffusion and growth of the value of planned and implemented eco-innovations. Based on the case-study of an international network of eco-innovative services, the authors attempt to justify the selection of three groups of partners that create the value of eco-innovations for the sector of micro- and small enterprises: scientific and research units with facilities, intermediary organisations between research entities and business, as well as the distinguished economic entities.