Dr Anne Velenturf

Postgraduate Research Student


Further information


Anne joined CES in 2012. She is researching the role of social networks in promoting eco-innovation. Please read more about her PhD in the section 'Research interests'. Prior to her PhD Anne worked as agro-ecological consultant, mainly on the evaluation of policies for knowledge development and transfer for integrated crop protection in the Netherlands; please find the report here  http://www.clm.nl/uploads/pdf/767-EDG_deelrapport_Kennisontwikkeling_gewasbescherming-web.pdf. She holds an MSc degree in applied ecology and conservation with a dissertation about innovation in local environmental governance; please find the report here http://edepot.wur.nl/243005. Furthermore she holds a Bachelor degree in Wildlife Management, an applied study centred on management for sustainable development including nature conservation. Anne is highly motivated to contribute to, and support practitioners in, sustainable development.

Research Interests

Anne studies the role of social networks in promoting eco-innovation. Her research is mostly based in the Humber region in the northeast of England. The Humber region is a dynamic region where fully developed and emerging industries co-exist. The region aspires to take a leading position in renewable energy, targeting offshore wind, energy from biomass, bio-ethanol production, and tidal and wave energy. Many of the aspired changes will encompass innovation.

Renewable energy fits in the trend towards more sustainable industries. Energy from non-renewable sources is becoming increasingly scarce as well as a host of other natural resources. Increasing resource efficiency is one key strategy for sustainable development in industrial regions. Therefore this study focuses on material synergies in which the by-product, i.e. waste, from the one industry becomes a resource for another industry – a practise also known as industrial symbiosis.

Innovation is crucial for sustainable development in the Humber region. Companies usually will involve several partners in the identification, development and implementation of innovations, such as other companies, research institutes, consultancies and governmental organisations. Hence innovation can be seen as a collaborative and complex process that develops through social networks.

Anne strives to deliver useful research outcomes to practitioners as well as to academia. In academia she aims to contribute mainly to industrial ecology. Approaching industrial symbiosis (IS) as innovation, she aims to complement and challenge the current understanding as it is published by industrial ecologists on three points: 1) The role of spatial proximity and trust in social processes leading to IS; 2) Whether networks can simultaneously facilitate innovation and institutionalise IS and associated collaborative culture; and 3) The role of policies in promoting IS.

Anne’s study encompasses a qualitative investigation of innovation processes that have led to material synergies in the Humber region, which have delivered economic as well as environmental benefits. This study intends to be a mutual learning process, involving academics and stakeholders in the Humber region, in order to contribute to a practical understanding of the role of social networks in promoting eco-innovation, and understanding how eco-innovations become successful. A thinking tool for the management of innovation partners is strived for and would be shared with stakeholders in the Humber region. Any questions and suggestions regarding this study including potential cases of innovation processes are welcomed; please mail to Anne Velenturf a.velenturf@surrey.ac.uk.

Research Collaborations

Anne’s PhD is part of the Evolution and Resilience of Industrial Ecosystems project; please read more about the ERIE project here http://erie.surrey.ac.uk/.


International Society for Industrial Ecology, www.is4ie.org.

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