Eco- Innovation refers to the innovative products and processes that reduce environmental impacts. This idea is beneficial to the environment because as I mentioned before, it reduces waste and lessons environmental impacts to the environment.
Greece has largely implemented climate change and sustainability policies due to its island nature. Eco- innovation has acted as a significant importance to Greece in maintaining its healthy ecosystem. Greece focuses on and implements policies that promote renewable energies and energy efficiency measures that encourage more eco- innovation. Greece benefits from its natural capital, consisting of solar, wind, and tidal. Greece has also grown in their green and alternative tourism industry, as well as innovation in agriculture and in the food industry.
At the end of 2019, Greece installed photovoltaics that covered 7.1% of their electricity consumption. Despite these eco innovation efforts, the uptake of renewable energy has stagnated in more recent years. In terms of Eco- innovation performance, Greece typically ranks on the low end based on the other European Union countries. In 2018 Greece scored a 78 in terms of eco- innovation and in comparison, the average for a European Union country is a 100 score.
The Operational Programme on Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation under the new National Strategic Reference Framework (2004- 2020) allocated 28.8 million on the promotion of these eco- innovation projects for environmental protection and resource efficiency in the areas of waste management, water management, soil contamination, and air pollution. It’s apparent that Greece understands the importance of the promotion of eco- innovation and the good it could do for their country. This new allocation of funds for the promotion of eco- innovation should hopefully benefit the country and and allow them to move up their ranking for their eco-innovation performance in comparison to the other European Union countries.
Greece has also ranked low for their technological performance. They claim this is because of their low patent applications. Most greek startup apply for an international or European Union patent because of the higher chance to get funding from them. This shows Greece as very low for their technological performance.
Policy framework to support innovation is expected to improve significantly. This is a move in the right directly for Greece. They’ve very aware about their low ratings and poor efforts regarding eco- innovation so having new policies put in place and new action plans could be very helpful. The eco- innovation is supposed to improve through this new action plan for the Implementation of the National Strategy for Research. This action plan is geared to promote specific activities that are related to eco – innovation.
Eco- innovation could be a great thing for Greece, it just seems like they need to work a bit more on promoting it and implementing it throughout mainland and the islands