Department of Management

Sustainable value propositions of a new technology for targeted nitrogen regulation

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  • Kenneth Nygaard, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Stefan Schaper
  • Brian H. Jacobsen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Birgitte Hansen, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Denmark

Nitrogen (N) provides the agriculture industry with a wicked problem: it is an essential nutrient for efficient crop production, but N losses from agricultural production can harm both the stability of the environment and the health of humans. To limit this, targeted N regulation at the ID15 (1500 ha) level is slowly becoming a reality for farmers and authorities in Denmark. This paper explores the formulation of value propositions connected to developed technologies and concepts for retention mapping at the field level for more detailed targeted regulation. We explore all this through a comprehensive longitudinal ethnographic case study over a period of three years. We use the value proposition canvas to make sense of the viewpoints of the involved stakeholder groups. Our empirical setting is a large-scale research project in Denmark, a country that has high environmental goals regarding nitrogen loading. The publicly funded project involved a multitude of stakeholders, ranging from industry consultants, regulators, farmers and researchers from several disciplines. Important for our study is the fact that much of Denmark's regulation is based on a consensus-driven approach. Thus, it provides a compelling setting for exploring the creation of value propositions through multisector stakeholder engagement. Our findings indicate that, while there is a general movement towards targeted N regulation due to an advancement of knowledge, the practical side of its implementation is less straightforward. Here, stakeholder-formulated value propositions can facilitate this process, not only being connected to the measurement technology, but also relying on a link to a regulatory transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130496
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Research funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark project "MapField – Field-scale mapping for targeted N-regulation and management" (8850-00025B)

    Research areas

  • Aquatic pollution, Governance model, Groundwater nitrogen retention, Nitrogen fertilizer, Stakeholder engagement, Triple helix, Value propositions

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