Business models for industrial ecosystems: a modular approach

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82 Citations (Scopus)


Businesses that are based on industrial ecosystem thinking, such as biofuel businesses, face the need of establishing new business models for the industry to exist and develop. Since industrial ecosystems are complex, nearly decomposable systems, modularity can be used as an approach that can help manage the complexity. In the proposed modularisation approach various businesses act as modules that serve certain functions in the industrial ecosystem. The reason for this is the fact that the development of complex systems from rather stable sub-systems, such as individual businesses, has proved to be reliable and persistent. The article illustrates how the application of such a modular approach affects the business model of a business based on industrial ecosystem thinking. The business model of a biogas producer is discussed as an empirical example of how such a business model also acquires modularity.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)246–254
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • modularity
  • business model
  • Biofuel

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