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Call : Contribute to The Search for “Factor 4 Innovation”

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Help us identify radical innovations in the pursuit of the ecological transition

Call : Contribute to The Search for “Factor 4 Innovation”

Within the framework of the Transitions² program, Fing, Iddri and Ouishare, with the support of Ademe and Bpifrance, set out in the search for "Factor 4 Innovation": radical innovation whose "value proposition" integrates an ecological impact that is profound ("Factor 4", "zero emissions/waste etc.", "net positive energy" etc.), broad (scalable) and lasting (robust to "rebound effects").

> Read more on the "Factor 4 Innovation" challenge

Does your project roughly match this description? Do you know of projects that do? Let us know (before November 15)! Based on your contributions, we will draw out the characteristics, success factors and needs of "Factor 4 Innovations"; shed light on the most outstanding examples; and outline possible strategies to support them.


What Projects Are We Looking For?

We are addressing this call to entrepreneurs and social innovators, as well as the networks and organizations that support them. Together, we wish to identify, 20 remarkable projects from all over the world, that illustrate the potential, the specific characteristics and the needs of "Factor 4 innovations".

The projects, ventures and initiatives we are looking for may be in development or operational, they may be successful or unsuccessful – as long as they have been properly documented and their initiators can be contacted.

Our investigations will mainly concentrate on four main areas:

  1. Mobility
  2. Regional economies (for example: urban farming, local sharing economies, "The Internet of Energy", circular economies, etc.)
  3. Lifestyles (sharing, low-tech, frugal, etc.)
  4. “Political” innovations (how can we facilitate decisive arbitration between conflicting goals, and the making of collective decisions that will have a significant environmental impact - and then carry them out!)

However, we also welcome any proposal that fits the definition of a Factor 4 Innovation, even if it focuses on a different environmental challenge (biodiversity, water scarcity, pollution) or comes from another domain.

How Do We Define Factor 4 Innovation?

Factor 4 Innovation...

...is an innovation, first and foremost: it meets a need or solves a problem; it brings something new to its recipients; it differentiates its initiator from its competitors;

... is a radical or disruptive innovation, at least in terms of its ambition: the changes it intends to bring about are broad and irreversible; it has the potential to lead to further innovations;

...does not necessarily require advanced technologies (can be low-tech); can be an innovative product, service, organization, process, etc.

...has at its core the pursuit of explicit and credible environmental objectives – it is ambitious ( "Factor 4") in depth and scope – and is serious about measuring whether those objectives are being met;

... pays attention to its impacts on other domains and industries, as well to possible "rebound effects" that could reduce their environmental benefits.

Why You Should Respond to this Call

We believe (and maybe you do as well!):

  • That innovation has a part to play in the ecological transition - but that we are probably dealing with a particular kind of innovation, which does not fall into existing categories;
  • ... Therefore, that we lack the tools needed to evaluate (or even identify) Factor 4 innovations; as a consequence, we are collectively unable to support them well.

Based on an analysis of projects contributed through this call, we will progressively define the perimeter of Factor 4 Innovation, common characteristics as well as typologies of relevant projects, specific success factors and needs...

All the deliverables of the "Factor 4 Innovation", including project monographs, challenge will be published under a Creative Commons (CC-By) License.

How to Contribute?

Please write to us now or, even better, fill in the form below (before November 15th, 2016 (external link) :


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