Cooperation and Innovation in Green Industries: International Environmental Networks in Emerging Markets

Mauro Guillén, Dr. Felix Zandman Professor of International Management, and Isabella Alcañiz, Assistant Professor at the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland

Abstract: To what extent do environmental stakeholders cooperate with each other? Does collaboration breed innovation? Is there collaboration across environmental issue-areas? This study will (1) map the network of international collaboration in critical environmental issue-areas and (2) reveal the precise ways in which the interactions of four key stakeholders–Businesses, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), National Governments, and International Agencies (IOs)- affect competition and innovation in the field. Specifically, we seek to test our theory on collaborative networks in emerging markets, which purports that actors with a stake in science-based policy/activity overcome dips in funding by activating ties with professional peers in other countries. Over time, these ties forge networks through which actors can pool resources and share research. We will analyze data from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the world’s largest funder of environmental projects. Part of the World Bank Group, it offers research and investment grants to developing countries to finance projects in seven key environmental areas: Biodiversity, Mitigation and Adaption to Climate Change, Chemicals, International Waters, Land Degradation, Sustainable Forest Management, and Ozone Layer Depletion.

Our project includes putting together a database that contains all GEF 2,929 funded projects, which disbursed over half a billion dollars to 182 participating countries over a period of 20 years (1992-2012). To our knowledge, this database and our study would constitute the first to span seven environmental issue-areas and to map international funding linking green businesses, CBOs, local governments, and IOs in the developing world.