The inter- and transdisciplinary research project will run for three years, starting on 1 February 2019. At the core of the project is a real world laboratory in the city of Heidelberg, which will allow the field test of the solutions developed.
A real world laboratory stands for a new form of cooperation between science and society in which innovations are collaboratively designed and tested for a certain period of time. The experience and knowledge gained will be incorporated into research. In addition to the real world laboratory, qualitative interviews, workshops and further methods will be used to determine which business model innovations are ecologically worthwhile and feasible.
In this context, the identification of relevant internal and external success factors as well as obstacles are of importance. In addition, the environmental impact of different packaging options and associated business model innovations will be investigated.
Four product categories provide a basis for answering the central research questions:
Concrete, representative products will be selected in each of these product categories in order to be able to analyse the field of impact of packaging changes on them. For the sake of not remaining merely on the level of unrelated individual measures, but to take a holistic view of companies and their scope for action, the development of concrete packaging measures will be embedded in a business model innovation process.
Based on the experience gained in the real world laboratory, the researchers together with those involved in the projects develop strategies for municipalities and companies to reduce plastic waste. This should facilitate the actual implementation of packaging solutions and disseminate existing trends. The central results will be circulated in the form of checklist for companies and guidelines for municipalities.