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Environment - Understanding the environment and the impacts of green technologies
“To clarify the concept of eco-innovation and develop ways to measure its contribution to sustainable economic growth.”

The problem

The eco-industry includes a wide range of technologies and services promoting an environmentally friendly way of life. It is a growing part of the efforts to develop a sustainable economy, but little work has been done on analysing the ‘eco-innovation’ that drives the sector forward. No official statistics are collected on eco-innovation, the costs and benefits of different types, and the eco-innovativeness of EU industry. It is important to develop ways to fill this data-gap to bring eco-innovation into mainstream policy-making activities.

MEI  Examining the eco-innovators


MEI will take the first steps towards developing indicators and statistics needed to quantify the increasingly important area of research and technological development known as eco-innovation

The project will:

  • Clarify the concept of eco-innovation
  • Identify the main challenges for developing indicators and statistics on eco-innovation.
  • Define further research needed to meet the identified challenges
  • Make recommendations for indicators of eco-innovation to facilitate collection and analysis of valid statistical data

Contribution to policy development:

  • MEI will formulate concrete proposals for gathering valid data on eco-innovation to assist in the development and assessment of policies to support it.
  • It will identify the data requirements to answer a range of specific questions policy-makers may ask about eco-innovation.
  • It will generate results that will assist the wider data-collecting activities of various European bodies, such as Eurostat, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Project deliverables

  • A formal clarification of the concept of eco-innovation – March 2007
  • Research paper on the data needs for valid recording and analysis of eco-innovation – July 2007
  • Series of workshops on data needs, analysis and modelling in eco-innovation – February 2007-November 2007
  • Series of reports on specific aspects of eco-innovation – May 2007-November 2007
  • Final report and plan for using and disseminating findings – December 2007


  • Project website carrying all results and recommendations – finalised by December 2007
  • Direct contact with statistical bodies (such as Eurostat, EEA and JRC), policy-makers, EU technology platforms and the business community – ongoing
  • Publication of academic research paper and final report – by December 2007
  • Publication of newspaper or magazine article(s) for the general public – by December 2007

Technical information

Project acronym: MEI
Project’s official full title: Measuring Eco-Innovation
Research priority: Assessment of environmental technologies for support of policy decisions, in particular concerning effective but low-cost technologies in the context of fulfilling environmental legislation
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 044513
Start date: 1/2/2007
Kick off meeting: February 2007
Completion date: 31/03/2008
European Commission scientific officer: Michele Galatola,

Name: Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology
Abbreviated name: UM-MERIT
Address: Keizer Karelplein 19, 6211 TC Maastricht
Country: Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)43 388 4400
Fax: +31 (0)43 388 4499


Name: Zentrum für Europaeische Wirtschaftsforschung
Abbreviated name: ZEW
Country: Germany

Name: Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Abbreviated name: DTU
Country: Denmark     

Name: Imperial College London
Abbreviated name: ICL
Country: United Kingdom      

Name: Fundación LEIA 
Abbreviated name: LEIA
Country: Spain