Campus Managers’ Role in Innovation Implementation for Sustainability on Dutch University Campuses

M. Du Preez*, M.H. Arkesteijn*, A.C. den Heijer, M. Rymarzak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Internationally, the ambition to achieve a sustainable built environment is becoming urgent. On the university campus, this vision, combined with unparalleled access to innovative technologies for sustainable development enables/urges universities to implement more innovative solutions more often. As a prime test location, the university campus is uniquely able to serve as a context for living labs, implementing and testing innovative technologies in a real-world environment. However, implementation of innovation on campus requires a clear vision, intentional action and transdisciplinary collaboration, while innovations themselves pose several challenges to the business-as-usual way of work. To explore the role of campus real estate managers in innovation implementation decisions on the university campus, a literature review and a qualitative study among campus managers of 13 Dutch universities were conducted. The research explored the innovation project types, risks, drivers and barriers and the real estate management responsibilities and decision criteria in innovation implementation projects. As one of the outputs of this research, a comprehensive categorization framework was developed. It clarifies campus managers’ decision-making dimensions for innovative sustainability project implementation on campus and highlights the sustainability objectives unique to universities. If implemented across universities, it could further strengthen the networked economy by identifying opportunities for cross-campus implementation of innovative projects for sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16251
Number of pages12
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • innovation
  • campus
  • categorization framework
  • innovation implementation
  • decision support tool
  • sustainability
  • living labs


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