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” NWO Session Sustainable Business Models “

In October 2014 the first five consortia within the NWO ‘Sustainable Business Models’ program started, called DBM I. In 2018, they were followed by three additional consortia, called DBM II. The overall aim of this unique program is to accelerate sustainable entrepreneurship in the Netherlands. All projects have a run time of four years. Below for each of the sub-programs a brief description is provided based on the title of the program, the program leader, the partners in the consortium and finally the goal. For this session no paper-proposals can be submitted.

Tracks in this theme are:


1. Transition to sustainable business models: leadership and the measurement of shared value creation (Track 13)

Goal: This interdisciplinary consortium combines knowledge from several disciplines together to offer solutions within three sectors: health care, food security and energy/bio-diversity.
Track chair: Prof. dr. Rob van Tulder (Erasmus University Rotterdam). Consortium: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Hanzehogeschool Groningen, Technical University Delft, University of Amsterdam, University Utrecht, TNO Hoofddorp (labour), Stichting Phusis and Ministry of Economic Affairs

2. Sustainable innovations and their societal impact (Track 14)

Goal: This consortium examines the societal impact of sustainable innovations, specifically the impact on shoppers, companies, non-governmental organisations and media. The intended results are reliable measuring instruments for societal impact and practical instructions for managers.
Prof. Dr. Bas Hillebrand (Radboud University Nijmegen). Consortium: Radboud University Nijmegen, Nyenrode University, TIAS (School for Business and Society) and Tendris.

3. Innovation systems and management (Track 15)
The consortium examines which factors influence companies to transition towards a sustainable business model. How do companies collaborate with different stakeholders to make sustainable business models a success?

Track chair: Prof. M.P. Marko Hekkert (University Utrecht).
Consortium: University Utrecht, University van Amsterdam, Hogeschool Zeeland, University College Roosevelt en Provincie Zeeland, Ministry van Economic Affairs and IUCN NL, Dutch branch of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

This track is suspended.

4. ‘Access over ownership – business model development in the shared mobility market’ (Track 16)

Goal:  The variety of new business models that are based on access over ownership in the mobility market is growing and gaining popularity with users. They range from free floating bike-sharing schemes or different types of car-sharing to combinations of leasing and sharing or Mobility-as-a-Service platforms. Equally wide is the range of actors and their goals, varying from large incumbents trying to build closed ecosystems, platform startups going for quick market dominance to community oriented organisations adapting to changing regulatory developments in their local market. This practice-oriented session will explore these different business models, that are all based on access over ownership in the mobility market, taking cases from bike- and car-sharing.
Track Chair: Prof. dr. Koen Frenken (University Utrecht).
Consortium:  Utrecht University, MyWheels (with support of Dialogic, Rathenau Instituut)

5. Sustainable business models in practice: circular designed supply chain (Track 17)

Goal: The project examines the impact of circular purchasing on the needed knowledge, skills and attitudes of purchasing managers. The consortium wants to find out to what extent intrapreneurship is necessary for purchase managers to proactively contribute to the implementation of circular value chain management.
Track Chair: Prof. dr. ir. Bart Vos (University van Tilburg).
Consortium: University of Tilburg, Open University and NEVI (Institute for purchasing and supply management). Goal:


Three consortia were financed in the second round of the ‘Sustainable Business Models’ program (DBM II). In the three new projects, all of which started in 2018, the focus is on the development of sustainable revenue- and distribution models, circular eco-systems and business eco-systems in the infrastructure sector.

1.  Action Repertoire for Distributed Business Models in Inclusive Business Value Chains (Track 18)
Goal: The project focusses on creating ways of moving towards the creation of sustainable revenue and distribution models within the domain of Inclusive Innovations. The research focusses on ten cases that look at involving low-income groups in developing countries with businesses in the Dutch economy.
Track Chair: Prof. dr. ir. Petra de Weerd-Nederhof (University Twente). Consortium: University Twente and The Next Organization (TNXTO).

2. Transitioning Towards a Circular Economy: The Role of Circular Start-up Hubs (Track 19)

Goal: The team examines if, and to what extent, circular start-ups develop ecosystems for their new products and services.
Track Chair: Julian Kirchherr, Dphil (University Utrecht).
Consortium: University Utrecht, ING Bank and Amsterdam Economic Board (Business Connector – Circular Economy). Goal: The team examines if, and to what extent, circular start-ups develop eco-systems for their new products and services.

3. Transitions towards more sustainable business models in a complex stakeholder field (Track 20)

Goal: This research project focusses on the successful transition of business eco-systems in the infrastructure sector in relation to their stakeholders.
Track Chair: Prof. dr. Hans van Kranenburg (Radboud University).
Consortium: Radboud University, Alliander and TNO. Goal: This research project focusses on the successful transition of business eco-systems in the infrastructure sector concerning their stakeholders.

During the conference NBM@Nijmegen 2020 each of the sub-programs in DBM I and DBM II will give a presentation about their actual research and its outcomes. It is not possible to submit an (individual) contribution to any of the presentations in this NWO-Track. Contributions are based on ‘invitation only’.