IPACST: The Role of Intellectual Property to Accelerate Sustainability Transitions

Transformations to sustainability rely on innovation with complex diffusion and adoption processes. The role of intellectual property (IP) and IP rights (IPR) in sustainability transitions remains insufficiently understood. IPR can delay transitions by blocking new technologies, but if used effectively can encourage private investments, knowledge sharing and collaborative learning.

The project transforms our understanding of how IP models accelerate sustainability transitions. It contributes through the integration of both fields through frameworks that conceptualize (i) which, (ii) how and (iii) under what conditions IP models accelerate sustainable transitions, in connection with sustainable business models.

We build an interdisciplinary research community that furthers our understanding of dynamic sustainable development. An IP model and sustainable business model typology and conceptual frameworks will be developed based on case studies in clean energy and circular economy in developing and developed countries. With a Delphi study and simulations, the frameworks will be tested for further contexts. To create impact in industries at different levels, we develop and promote tools for selecting suitable IP and business models, best-practice cases and guidelines, and awareness and training kits for key stakeholders such as policy makers, funding organizations, businesses and start-up incubators, education institutions and technology transfer offices.

Research team

Prof. C. Dreher, Freie University Berlin
Dr. A. Gurtoo, Indian Institute of Science
Prof. N. Bocken, Lund University
Dr. F. Tietze, University of Cambridge
Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Eppinger, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (HTW) Berlin