Green innovation: Systems perspective and mission-oriented policies (GRINGO)

Green innovation refers to innovations that contribute to implementing the so-called ‘green agenda’, ‘green transition’, or the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ambition within the Nordic Thematic Group for Green, Innovative and Resilient Regions 2021-2024 is to investigate how Green Innovation plays out in the Nordic countries and to identify the policy learnings for future innovation policy development at national and sub-national levels. This work is conducted in two phases: GRINGO I and GRINGO II projects. 


To uncover the bottlenecks preventing industries or sectors to undergo green transitions, the project investigates the link between agency and innovation. By applying a systems approach, the project uncovers the role of different agents and actors play in driving transition processes, and the way in which policies and framework conditions impact green transition changes in sectors/businesses across the Nordic Region.  

The first step consisted of desk research to unwrap key concepts, their application, and their theoretical and policy traditions.  This work resulted in a ’Discussion Paper’ accessible here: 

Discussion paper on “The Systems Perspectives on Green Innovation”

This discussion paper deals with the theoretical foundations and empirical approaches for studying green innovation. This discussion paper is meant as an open invitation to discuss methodological approaches and the implications of the green transition for innovation policy.

The second step of the project consists on investigating green innovation empirically in two sectors: wood construction and non-conventional proteins. 

The case study report on wood construction is accessible here:

Innovation Dynamics in Wood Construction in Sweden and Finland

The rapid developments in wood-construction and the huge expectation built around the potential of ‘greening’ the construction sector by replacing concrete and steel with wood provide our empirical ground to study the drivers of innovation. This publication provides the results of a case study on the construction sector transformation process triggered by the emergence of wood-based construction in Sweden and Finland, particularly of multi-storey buildings.

Next steps of the project include: 

  • Final report: including desk and empirical research phases and analysis of results 
  • Policy Brief and policy recommendations 


Building on GRINGO I, this project focuses on innovation policy integration from supra-national, national and sub-national levels. Emphasis is placed on mission-oriented approaches, which are increasingly gaining attention as a means to provide directionality to innovation policy in alignment with broader policy frameworks to achieve the SDGs and the Green Transition. The project will investigate the potential of mission-oriented innovation policy (MOIP) approaches to offer novel and impactful policy tools. Furthermore, the project analyse how missions can be operationalised within Regional Innovation Systems (RIS).