The Inventor’s Perspective on Conditions for Radical Innovations in Freight Transportation: Case Studies from France and Germany

Par Stephan Müller, Corinne Blanquart
Radical innovations are an important driver to achieve sustainability in transportation. Against this background, in the article, we investigate how current innovation conditions influence radical innovation activities in reality. Based on literature related to the Multi-Level Perspective and the National Innovative Capacity, we conducted interviews with the inventors of radical innovations for freight transportation in France and Germany to elaborate national specificities and commonalities. Our main findings are: first, the innovation conditions are ambiguous for radical innovations: on the one hand essential input factors for radical innovations are given. On the other hand, we identified many mechanisms that protect the status quo. Second, the innovation determinants for innovation conditions, the mechanisms of positive and hindering influences, are similar in France and Germany. However, nation-specific determinants are at the micro level: the management skills of the inventors and the business culture.
JEL Codes: O31, O33
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