Focusing on Excellence: Green Technology in Emerging Markets

Using integrated technology management to generate energy from waste

What can be done to make mega-cities more resilient? And how can their carbon footprints be reduced in the long term? One answer to these questions is the use of latest technology for integrated waste-to-energy systems. Steinbeis Transfer Institute Steinbeis Global Institute Tübingen (SGIT), is working in partnership with Export-Akademie Baden-Württemberg to set up centers of excellence for green technology in emerging countries, not only to promote technology transfer into these countries but also to help with the management of green projects. The centers of excellence are also looking at other forms of green technology used in water treatment, healthcare, staff training, farming, green products, and services, including corresponding production processes. Generating energy from waste in combination with the Green IMLead® management concept is just one example of the impact the Steinbeis experts have in supporting successful technology transfer projects.

Finding intelligent ways to combine and manage technologies makes it possible to sort waste efficiently. This also enables up to 99% of waste from municipal, industrial, and agricultural sources to be reused. Collecting, sorting, and preparing waste for processing not only involves separating garbage into organic (food, energy crops, manure, etc.) and inorganic waste (metal, glass, impurities, etc.). Inorganic elements can be recycled or upcycled, and biomass can be fermented to create biogas, thus making it possible to produce biomethane or use biogas for heating and power generation. One further step is to refine fermented biomass to create bio-fertilizer containing zero residues of plastic, pharmaceuticals, or other hazardous materials. To establish reliable concepts of circular recycling in countries like India, South Africa, and Uganda, it’s important to involve local authorities, since they will be responsible for collecting garbage and energy supplies. To manage resources on the waste input side of the equation (solid and organic wastes; waste water) and the output side (recycled and processed materials, thermal power, energy sources, biomethane), existing technology has to be adapted to local conditions, and specialists and managers must be recruited and educated.

The elements of integrated waste management


The Steinbeis Transfer Institute Steinbeis Global Institute Tübingen is currently working with Export- Akademie Baden-Württemberg to set up centers of excellence for green technologies. Their focus lies in setting up centers in selected regions, and one such unit has already been set up in Hyderabad at the Steinbeis Centre for Technology Transfer India. Staff at the center work on green technology consulting projects and they also run training and education programs. Further partnerships are in place in a variety of countries, including Namibia, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Green IMLead® – bringing management together with technology

The Steinbeis experts in Tübingen are using a management concept to provide a methodical framework for managing integrated waste technology: Green IMLead®, which stands for integrated management and leadership. The idea is to pool different approaches to technology and management with a focus on managers and project leaders responsible for spearheading specific green projects. Managers are equipped with “green” leadership skills for managing individuals such as staff, suppliers, and customers. They also bear responsibility for managing external (market and business environment) and internal information (data gathered from processes, product data, data derived from infrastructures). These days, managing information has strong overlaps with digital solutions, artificial intelligence, and Industry 4.0 solutions (connected factories). “Innovations with a bearing on emerging technologies and business models are an important prerequisite for dealing with current and future market requirements,” says Steinbeis expert Professor Dr. Bertram Lohmüller. Suitable production and business processes are required to manage integrated waste management systems, but they tend to be overhauled in faster and faster development cycles. As a result, it’s important for managers to be agile and possess the right change management expertise. Ultimately, all of these activities need to be financed and all fields need to be connected and integrated into one another. This should also be reflected in the know-how offered by managers and scientists in adopting integrated action and thought.

The Green IMLead® concept for integrated technology management and leadership


Success lies in leadership, information management, and innovation management

To set up centers of excellence, the project team investigated the various factors that dictate successful technology transfer when generating energy from waste. They found that the most important key success factors are leadership, information management, and innovation management. Other identified success factors were social and regional integration and training given to staff, who should be in a position to manage complex technological processes. This is the reasons why the centers of excellence for green technology will in future focus on frugal innovation and the implementation on trainings and advanced educational programs.


Prof. Dr. Bertram Lohmüller (author)
Steinbeis Entrepreneur
Steinbeis Transfer Institute Steinbeis Global Institute Tübingen (Tübingen)

Prof. Dr. Rolf Pfeiffer (author)
Steinbeis Entrepreneur
Steinbeis Transfer Institute Steinbeis Global Institute Tübingen (Tübingen)