New research project - Statistical Indicator Development for User Innovation and Innovation Transfers in Finland (InFi)

Innovation is now at the heart of debates over achieving progress in economic growth and prosperity. Governments increasingly see innovation as a key to solving major societal challenges like climate change, the ageing of society, and renewal of public sector services. At the same time, a major paradigm shift is taking place in how innovation is done. There is an urgent need for businesses and policymakers in Finland to understand and measure the emerging “user innovation” paradigm, and policy impacts in order to be at the forefront of nations in benefitting from the new opportunities it offers.

The purpose of the InFi-research project proposed here is to measure the amount and cost and significance of innovation activities carried out by citizens of Finland to create and modify the consumer products that they use in their everyday lives.

The project will explore user innovation and develop indicators in broad context regarding:

• Products and services
• Communities of users and innovators
• Public sector services
• Diffusion of user innovations
• Sources of innovation related knowledge and information
• User innovation related entrepreneurship

International members of InFi research team:

Eric von Hippel is T Wilson Professor of Innovation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, and Professor of Engineering Systems, MIT. His research focuses on the economics and management of user innovation. Von Hippel is regarded as the leading academic researcher in that field today.

Fred Gault is Professorial Fellow at the UN University MERIT, Netherlands,
and OECD Innovation Strategy Task Force member. For over two decades Dr. Gault managed science, technology and innovation indicator statistics at Statistics Canada. He is an internationally-known expert in that field.

Jeroen de Jong is Assistant Professor, RSM Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He is also a specialist in charge of innovation indicators and statistics at EIM Business and Policy Research in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands. EIM produces official statistical research for the Netherlands government.

Infi-research project, funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation TEKES and University of Vaasa, is carried out during 2010-2013 (9/2010-4/2013). The material of project’s kick-off seminar ‘Measuring User Innovation’ can be found from the following website address:


For further information, please contact Jari Kuusisto, jari.kuusisto(a)sci.fi