Including Sustainability Criteria in the Front End of Innovation in Technology Ventures

Paola Andrea de Antonio Boada, Julian Fernando Ordoñez Durán, Fabio Leonardo Gómez Ávila, João Carlos Espindola Ferreira

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review


This study evaluates the presence of sustainability parameters in the product development process, especially in the early stages of innovation, using the Sustainability Technology Readiness Level (STRL) tool. STRL assesses the initial planning of products or product and service systems (PSS) and suggests possibilities for incorporating sustainable features in the short, medium, and long term based on responses from startups (EBTs). The research was conducted in two ecosystems at different maturity levels: Florianópolis (Brazil), a more mature stage, and Santander (Colombia), which is growing, considering their cultural and social differences. To validate the STRL tool, four out of the eighteen winning startups from the MuEBTe SANTANDER public funding project in Colombia were selected. Characteristics of the two researched ecosystems, their actors, strengths, approaches, and expansion possibilities were identified and compared. The innovation lies in establishing a sustainable baseline when applying the tool by acquiring the front-end characteristic matrix. It was observed that sustainability as a variable has relevance and independence from product design in product planning, allowing for the selection of short, medium, and long-term actions throughout the product’s lifecycle. It was concluded that considering sustainability involves context and vision, resulting in significant choices of materials, processes, and production methods that add value and appreciation for the customer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14330
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • front end of innovation
  • innovation ecosystems
  • product development process
  • startups
  • sustainability


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