The conference hosted the presentation and discussion of European and American research investigating the relationship between regulation and innovation, placing particular emphasis on conceptual detail and international case studies. Contributions were grouped around the results from two policy initiatives reported here:

a) Innovation Impacts of Environmental Policy Measures, an associated project of interdisciplinary team members from 10 German research institutes and 11 task groups: Between 1996 and 1998 the project focused primarily on case studies, aided by model analyses and a large-scale survey of the industry.

b) Similarly, a project network of the European Commission (EC)used case study methodology to investigate the innovative impact of regulation in the fields of chemical industry, recycling and used cars disposal.

The conference was part of the EC´s official calendar of events under German EU presidency.