Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Innovation

In two projects, we intend to unveil existing entrepreneurship and innovation in relation to the cruise berth and the development of the hospitality industry on Gotland. The objective is to improve the understanding of the prerequisites for sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation.

Additionally, we will examine how large and new SMEs can coexist to create diverse opportunities for visitors and ensure a diversified and economically/socially sustainable hospitality industry among local principals and also assure continued local support and economic benefits for the region.

Projects on "Sustainable Entrepreneurship"

Durable entrepreneurship in relation to the new Gotland cruise berth

To begin with, we will examine the various expectations of different stakeholders on entrepreneurship and innovation in the context of the new cruise berth. What is the understanding of the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation in the region, at Uppsala University, by incubators, entrepreneurs and innovators? What are their expectations and how consistent are they?

The working hypothesis is that at present there is a discrepancy between the various stakeholders' understanding of the situation – that the region believes that entrepreneurs and innovators will provide many of the necessary functions for the project, both in terms of transport, visiting destinations, food and shopping, but that they will not begin to inform of this until a later stage in the project, in order not to reveal to the incubators and entrepreneurs the region's need for them. If this hypothesis is correct, there is a risk that incubator businesses and entrepreneurs will not have time to develop the businesses required before the landing pier is completed and tourists start to arrive.

In a second phase, we will examine how entrepreneurship and innovation will develop once the cruise berth has been completed, and how the cruise berth will contribute to the development of the hospitality industry in Gotland over time – from today and onwards. Which companies will be established and developed, and what innovations will be implemented? How will the region’s and the university’s investments into innovation and entrepreneurship as well as incubator programmes relate to this? How sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation evolve and change over time will take centre-stage in this study. In the third phase, the project will aim at knowledge transfer and cooperation between the different players in order to contribute to sustainable entrepreneurship.

The project departs from the “Triple Helix Model” (Etzkovitz), which focuses on the triadic relationship of university-industry-government in order to determine the favourable factors for innovation and entrepreneurship. The focus will be on knowledge infrastructure and supporting structures, especially incubator functions. An important question is whether or not such efforts can contribute to sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation. It is our intention to use this model as a base and develop it towards a level of entrepreneurship that is not (financially) viable, but continues over time and more importantly in an environmentally, socially and politically sustainable manner.

Researcher in charge: Ulrika Persson-Fischier

Sustainable Innovation, Integration of Public Transport

This project in cooperation with the region will study how public transport between the berth, Visby and the remaining region will be addressed. It focuses on different scenarios for transportation from the cruise berth to the visiting destinations and back. What solutions are available? How will they be implemented? The scenarios will be compared and evaluated based on energy efficiency, environmental impact, visitor perspectives and financial aspects.

North of the pier, today the situation is already heavily burdened by traffic to Visby port, particularly to/from the Gotland ferries. Cruise passengers with an intent to visit Visby will need to cross this only means of access to the port and the ferries. From an energy and environmental perspective, it is desirable that some kind of electrically-powered transport means can be implemented to both reduce the impact and not increase emissions in an already heavily congested area. From a traffic viewpoint, it would be desirable with some sort of multilevel solution to not aggravate an already strained situation.