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Driving the circular economy through public environmental and energy R&D: Evidence from SMEs in the European Union

Updated on 18.11.2022

EU and Member State governments are improving R&D for energy and the environment to advance a circular economy (CE), and engaging SMEs. The paper found that the knowledge generated by this R&D affects SMEs' implementation of CE activities positively but SMEs' investment in CE activities negatively: more public R&D can substitute for SMEs’ funding CE activities.

Author: Pablo Garrido-Prada, Helena Lenihan, Justin Doran, Christian Rammer, Mauricio Perez-Alaniz
Year of publication: 2020

More information

This study investigates the gap in evidence for the impact of public energy and environment R&D investments on SMEs’ CE activities. The study analyses the impact of public environmental and energy R&D on CE implementation and investment by SMEs. It draws from a multi-level database of 10 618 SMEs across 28 EU Member States for the period 2013–2015 from the Flash Eurobarometer 441 survey as well as country-level data from other EU sources. The study employed a mixed-level probit regression.

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

Participation in publicly funded environmental and energy R&D projects can cause SMEs to uptake CE activities, therefore these stakeholders are mobilised to be involved in Circular Systemic Solutions. More public R&D can substitute for SMEs financial efforts when implementing CE activities, incentivising cities and regions to participate with SMEs to catalyse CSS.



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