What are transformative innovations? Starting in autumn 2016, a grant will be available for leading-edge technologies and advanced system solutions in urban environments. We explain the term transformative innovations below. svenska Share Contact Listen The grant aims to develop urban planning to include technologies and advanced system solutions that deliver high environmental performance and positive social and economic impacts. One such technology consists of transformative innovations, meaning technologies and methods with 80 per cent better environmental impact than a conventional solution. In its assignment to the authorities, the Swedish Government states that “transformative technologies” stand at the forefront of this development. Improvements resulting from technology use A transformative approach means one of the following: An 80 per cent (or greater) reduction of negative environmental impacts through reduced emissions of climate-changing gases A factor of five times (or more) resource-efficient use of energy, raw materials or water with the same benefits of the system or technology The same order of magnitude of environmental and other sustainability aspects, but at 20 per cent (or less) of the costs of investment, operation or maintenance. Examples of impacts when using transformative innovations The above improvements in results can be achieved in different ways. Here are some specific examples: Individual technologies can have very high resource efficiency, such as the new Swedish recirculating shower system. With this system, 5-10 litres of water give the same shower effect as the usual amount of 75 litres per shower, an improvement factor significantly higher than a factor of five. Improvements can also be made through smaller improvements in system chains with many system phases, such as the biogas chain, the food chain or the production and installation chains available for building materials. For example, an improvement of 25 per cent at each phase in a system chain with five steps results in an improvement of nearly 80 per cent. If products are exchanged for services, such as transportation for travel-free meetings, significant sustainability gains can be achieved. Transformative resource efficiency is often achieved by using green technology, eco-innovation and life-cycle analyses so effectively so that the entire system consumes fewer resources. An example of transformative resource efficiency is when the energy used in a passive house becomes so little that a conventional heating system is rendered unnecessary. A circular economy means that products and resources are not only recovered, but are also reused as much as possible. In such cases, transformative innovations contribute to positive outcomes. Urban population density and large resource flows enable performance improvement. Energy, waste and water are areas where the use of transformative innovations can contribute to increased sustainability. Environmental improvements important during assessments There is, however, no absolute requirement for the grant applications to extend through to transformative innovations. Significant environmental improvements and other positive sustainability impacts are also desirable, even if they do not quite meet the 80 per cent target or the corresponding objectives. High innovation and sustainability impacts are prioritised in the evaluation of the applications.