Upcoming course in Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights

The course Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights (ENT9800) will be offered for PhD candidates and postdocs at the beginning of this year. The course is facilitated by Associate Professor Elin Kubberød and Professor Truls Erikson.

The course aims to bring the dynamics of innovation and how these can be formulated and implemented: from science-based technology to the marketplace. Organized in the form of seminars, ENT9800 offers the participants an opportunity to discuss commercial aspects of each research field through a series of classroom discussions. The course consists of five seminars organized from 25 February to 29 April 2020. The seminar Developing and protecting Intellectual property will take place at Inven2, a Norwegian company in the field of research commercialization.

PhD candidate Alice Frantz Schneider took the course in 2017:

“This course provided an ideal environment for me to think strategically when connecting my research project with possibilities for commercialization. In addition, it gave me the opportunity to meet experts in the field of innovation and to learn about some of the possibilities of commercialization in Norway. I highly recommend it for students that consider taking their research ideas to the marketplace”, she says.

More information about the course program can be obtained through this link.
Students can register until 31 January by contacting Professor Truls at trulser@ifi.uio.no.

Publication in the Journal Sustainability

Postdoctoral fellow Mark Taylor from the Department of Private Law and Associate professor Maja van der Velden from DIGENT have recently published in the Journal Sustainability. Entitled “Resistance to Regulation: Failing Sustainability in Product Lifecycles”, the paper is an outcome of the project Sustainable Market Actors and Responsible Trade (SMART Project), coordinated by the Law Faculty of the University of Oslo and financed by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

The paper investigates if regulating for sustainability in consumer products is effective under existing legal frameworks. It focuses on the mobile phone life cycle to identify hotspots of unsustainability.

International policy and law have long sought to ensure that states regulate the negative impacts of production processes on people and the planet. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 targets sustainable production and consumption; international conventions, such as the Basel Convention, or the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the International Labour Organisation Conventions, all seek to regulate toxic or labour-related impacts associated with industrial production. However, there is ample evidence that such impacts continue. At a time of increasing pressure to develop sustainable systems of production and consumption, we asked whether the existing legal frameworks are appropriate to the task of regulating for sustainability in consumer products. Drawing on research conducted into sustainability in the mobile phone lifecycle, this paper examines the regulatory ecology of hotspots of unsustainability in the product lifecycle of electronics. This paper finds that the interaction of regulatory disjunctures, business models, design of technology, and marginalisation combine to ensure that our systems of production and consumption are predisposed to resist regulation aimed at sustainability.

The paper is open access and is available through this link.


Research stay at Tsinghua University, China

PhD candidate Alice Frantz Schneider from DIGENT has been awarded the Kristine Bonnevie scholarship to conduct a research stay in Beijing, China. Alice was accepted as a visiting PhD candidate at the School of Environment of Tsinghua University and was based in the team of Urban Mining and Circular Economy from July to September 2019.

Alice at Tsinghua University

Alice’s PhD research focuses on e-waste management systems, and China is one of the countries of study. The stay at Tsinghua University allowed her to collect relevant data, in addition to providing invaluable experience of networking with researchers in the e-waste management field.

Tsinghua University’s Campus

The Kristine Bonnevie scholarship is provided by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences for a research period abroad from one to six months. PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and researchers can apply for the grant. More information about the scholarship, and on how to apply, is available here.

Call for papers: 2020 EGOS colloquium on Sustainability Transitions

Birthe Soppe from DIGENT, Taran Thune, and Jochen Markard are convening a track on “Sustainability Transitions: Bridging Systems and Organizational Perspectives to Tackle Grand Challenges” on the forthcoming EGOS colloquium in Hamburg in July 2020.



Introduction to the theme

We live in a world facing a variety of grand challenges connected to environmental and societal sustainability, including food, water, and energy security, climate change, natural disasters, poverty, and inequality. How societies and organizations deal with such challenges and commit to developing more sustainable futures, while discontinuing unsustainable businesses and practices is a key concern and research topic (Ferraro et al., 2015; Geels et al., 2017; George et al., 2016; Markard et al., 2012).

This sub-theme will bring together scholars who study grand sustainability challenges and transformations from different perspectives, including systems and organizations. We are particularly interested in contributions that explore new approaches, perspectives, and methods.

Read more on egosnet.org


Deadline for submission of short papers: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 (23:59 Central European Time – CET)

We are looking forward to receiving your contributions!

Participation at the PLATE 2019 Conference

Associate professor Maja van der Velden and PhD candidate Ines Junge, both from DIGENT, presented research at the 3rd Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE) Conference held in September in Berlin, Germany.

PLATE is organized every two years and brings actors from different sectors to discuss the product lifetimes from a sustainability context. This year’s conference included several workshops and poster sessions, and more than 100 oral presentations.

Maja presented the paper “Sustainable product lifecycles: a systemic approach to the regulation of e-waste” in the session Legal Framework for Product Longevity. The paper was written together with Postdoc Mark Taylor from the Department of Private Law, and Associate professor Martin Oteng-Ababio from the University of Ghana. The authors proposed a polycentric perspective to regulation by bringing the case of cable burning in the scrap metal yard of Agbogbloshie, Ghana.Presentation_PLATE_20092019

Ines presented the paper entitled “Modularity as one principle in sustainable technology design – a design case study on ICT” in the session Design for Sustainable Products. The author explored desirable characteristics and nowadays insufficiencies within modular ICT. Through the design case review spanning over the recent decade’s marketed and conceptualized technology, she argued how modularity can contribute to Sustainable Technology and Interaction Design (StaID), a combination of fields, supposedly treated as a matter of critical design practice in future research.

Both papers were based on research in the “Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade” – SMART project, a Horizon2020-financed project coordinated by the UiO.

Participation on the PhD day 2019

PhD candidate Ines Junge from DIGENT participated in the poster session during PhD day 2019 last week. The event is organized for PhD candidates by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Science Library every year.

In the poster “Borrowed(4)Use Mobile”, Ines combines Sustainable Technology and Interaction Design to discuss paths of transition to a circular economy. She uses the case of the single-use camera to link design/invention with the end-of-life phase and to propose a circular mobile phone design. The poster abstract is available here.

Ines and her poster during the PhD day


Launch of short animation on the mobile phone life cycle

The Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (SMART) project launched today a short animation on the mobile phone life cycle, to be distributed widely. The animation points out some of the challenges throughout the mobile phones’ life cycle, and brings awareness to the importance of caring and repairing the phones we already own.

Some of the social and environmental footprints from mobile phones (Images from the animation)

The SMART project is funded by the European Union through the Horizon 2020 program and is coordinated by the Law Faculty of the University of Oslo. With a strong interdisciplinary nature, this project involves more than 50 researchers from different fields and countries, all with the same goal in mind: sustainability.

In order to achieve a greater policy coherence for development, this wide project works with different topics, divided into work packages. Associate professor Maja van der Velden from DIGENT is the project leader of the work package on the lifecycle of mobile phones, and DIGENT PhD candidates Alice Frantz Schneider and Ines Junge are among the participants.

Repair=Care (by SMART)

The animation is accompanied by a social media campaign that can be accessed here.