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Eco-Innovation Systems and Problem Sequences: The Contrasting Cases of US and Brazilian Biofuels


  • Sally Gee
  • Andrew McMeekin


This paper discusses the re-emergence of biofuel innovation systems in the USA and Brazil. We develop a view of eco-innovation systems as emerging and evolving to solve ecological problems. We then consider the role of the State as a core actor in the mobilization of innovation systems and discuss how specific institutional arrangements, political contexts and technological competencies influence how problems are framed. We argue that the way ecological problems are framed and articulated has a significant impact on the direction and momentum of system evolution. Finally, we draw attention to the dynamic and evolving characteristics of eco-innovation systems that result from recurrent re-specifications of the problem in focus, as partial solutions emerge and as the political and economic dimensions are reframed.

Suggested Citation

  • Sally Gee & Andrew McMeekin, 2011. "Eco-Innovation Systems and Problem Sequences: The Contrasting Cases of US and Brazilian Biofuels," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 301-315.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:18:y:2011:i:3:p:301-315
    DOI: 10.1080/13662716.2011.561029

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moreira, Jose Roberto, 2006. "Brazil's experience with bioenergy: bioenergy and agriculture promises and challenges," 2020 vision briefs 14(8), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Edmar Fagundes de Almeida & Jose Vitor Bomtempo & Carla Maria De Souza e Silva, 2007. "The Performance of Brazilian Biofuels: An Economic, Environmental and Social Analysis," OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers 2007/5, OECD Publishing.
    3. repec:fpr:2020br:14(8 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Hansen, Teis & Coenen, Lars, 2015. "Unpacking investment decisions in biorefineries," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/34, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    2. repec:oup:cjrecs:v:10:y:2017:i:1:p:151-171. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ekman, Anna & Wallberg, Ola & Joelsson, Elisabeth & Börjesson, Pål, 2013. "Possibilities for sustainable biorefineries based on agricultural residues – A case study of potential straw-based ethanol production in Sweden," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 299-308.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:95:y:2013:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0939-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:rensus:v:77:y:2017:i:c:p:525-535 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Solomon, Barry D. & Krishna, Karthik, 2011. "The coming sustainable energy transition: History, strategies, and outlook," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7422-7431.


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