Title: Sustainable development through innovative design: lessons from the KCP method experimented with an automotive firm

Authors: Maria Elmquist, Blanche Segrestin

Addresses: Center for Business Innovation, Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, 412 96 Goteborg, Sweden. ' Centre de Gestion Scientifique, MINES Paritech, 60, Boulevard Saint Michel, 75272 Paris, Cedex 06, France

Abstract: All automotive firms are struggling to develop cars that are both environmentally friendly and profitable. As the field becomes more competitive, manufacturers need to find creative solutions and innovative ways to address environmental issues and provide enhanced value for customers. Eco-innovation involves the challenge of complementing classical Research and Development (R&D) processes with innovative design strategies: it cannot be limited to reducing a vehicle|s environmental footprint; it must also revisit the value and performances encompassed in the offering. This change in |design regime| calls for new managerial techniques. This paper is based on a collaborative research study with a European car manufacturer, examining the application of the Concept-Knowledge (C-K) design theory to explore how cars could be both environmental and economical. The case improves the understanding of the challenges of eco-innovation and provides an example of how the automotive industry can foster innovative capabilities in established R&D processes.

Keywords: eco-innovation; research and development; R&D; design regimes; innovative design; sustainability; knowledge; concept; proposal; KCP; automotive innovation; automobile industry; sustainable development; innovative capability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2009.026399

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2009 Vol.9 No.2, pp.229 - 244

Published online: 09 Jun 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article