Demand and user-driven innovation
In addition to considering scientific and technological development as an important source of innovation, broad-based innovation policy also takes into account the growing role of other knowledge-based innovations and the related demand and user-orientation in the broadening innovation activity in the society.
Demand driven innovation policy to boost the innovation-friendliness
Open markets and effective competition are general prerequisites of innovation. Growing demand provides a key stimulus to the development of new products, services and solutions. In innovation-friendly markets, market actors are knowledgeable, responsible and demanding, but also eager to experiment. Demand driven innovation policy aims at improving the innovation-friendliness of the market. The demand for innovations can be influenced with tools such as regulation, public procurement and standardisation.
User-driven innovation policy to raise market actors´ awareness
User-driven innovation makes use of information on customers, user communities and customer companies. It engages users as active participants in innovation activity. The key aspect of user-driven innovation is information on user needs, whether these needs are already identified, still hidden or potentially emerging. Information and communication technology in particular, offers various new opportunities and means of acquiring information on users and engaging them in innovation. The aim of user-driven innovation policy is to raise market actors’ awareness of new innovation tools. It also seeks to create a social infrastructure supporting user-driven innovation while removing obstacles to and boosting incentives for innovation activity.
As part of the implementation of Finland's national innovation strategy, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy has outlined an action plan and policy framework laying down the key elements of a demand and user-driven innovation policy. The action plan running through the years 2010 - 2013 covers the action points that promote policy implementation in the private and public sectors. The Ministry is implementing the action plan in cooperation with several other ministries and a broad range of stakeholders, such as Tekes, VTT, the National Consumer Research Centre and Forum Virium Helsinki.
Framework and Action Plan (pdf) (4.1 MB)
Together with the Danish FORA Institute, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy has carried out a study concerning the changes in the nature of innovation and how the governments are responding to them.