PhD Candidate: Climate Policy and Business Model Innovation for CO2 Capture in Industry

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 27 Apr 2020

The Department of Environmental Science and the Institute for Management Research at Radboud University in Nijmegen (Netherlands) are seeking a PhD candidate for a research project on policy instruments and business model innovations for industrial CO2 capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).

In this PhD project you will work on a practical solution for one of the key challenges in addressing climate change: how to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions in energy-intensive industry in a couple of decades' time. Industry accounts for nearly a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it is notoriously difficult to reduce those emissions. One of the mitigation options is the capture and transport of CO2, and its storage in geological formations or in long-lived products. CCUS is one of the few mitigation options that can enable low-carbon steel production at relatively short notice. However, CCUS and other mitigation options require societal support and governmental policy aligned with feasible business model innovations.

The PhD position is part of the EU-funded (Horizon 2020) C4U project with partners from eight European countries. The C4U project focuses on advancing novel CO2 capture technologies in steel plants, and realising CCUS in a societally responsible way within an industrial cluster in the Ghent area in Belgium.

The PhD position is one of three at Radboud University. The other two PhD candidates (who have already been selected) will be taking a life cycle assessment perspective for use in industrial climate policy, and will be assessing societal readiness and using system dynamics and group model building techniques. The available PhD position focuses on climate policy instruments and business model innovation for CCUS in steel plants, and comprises the following tasks:

  • Identifying which policy framework and instruments for implementing CCUS are needed and how they should be developed taking into account current and expected business model innovations. This includes taking stock of current CCUS and industrial climate policy instruments, comparative policy analysis in similar countries, identifying and analysing stakeholders' interests, and co-creating and communicating policy recommendations with governmental and non-governmental actors.
  • Exploring which potential new business models could be feasible for CCUS as a relatively new technology, and which approaches could be used to develop these business models to implement CCUS in steel mills in an industrial cluster. This includes identifying key barriers and enablers together with stakeholders, desk research and literature study on CCUS challenges, radical innovation and market creation, identifying business model innovation approaches and scenarios, and shortlisting business model innovations.
  • Writing scientific articles with the goal of finalising a PhD thesis.

The Radboud C4U research team is rooted in two faculties: the Faculty of Science and the Nijmegen School of Management. Together with the supervisors and the two other PhD candidates, you will form an interdisciplinary team working together on a common goal of improving climate policy for industry, each PhD candidate using their own perspective and methods.


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