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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | MSc Degree Programme in Creative Sustainability | 2012
Thesis number: 13006
User driven open innovation policy in theory and practice: A case study
Author: Kaufmann, Daniel
Title: User driven open innovation policy in theory and practice: A case study
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: MSc Degree Programme in Creative Sustainability
Index terms: innovaatiot; innovations; kestävä kehitys; sustainable development; tietämyksenhallinta; knowledge management; hyvinvointi; welfare; voimaantuminen; empowerment; luovuus; creativity
Pages: 112
Key terms: open innovation; user driven innovation; innovation policy; living labs; PPPs; empowerment; open data; wellbeing; sustainability; Creative Sustainability
This research was conducted in the context of an EU Seventh Framework Programme project Fireball, in which the author took part. The project is coordinated in Finland by Aalto University's Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research (CKIR). The purpose of this study is to examine why the user driven open innovation approach is adapted to Finnish innovation policy and how can the approach be carried out in practice, looking at what works and what does not. Furthermore, the study aims to evaluate the success of user driven open innovation and the conditions needed for it.

This research was done by using a qualitative single case study methodology. The focal case organization of the study was Forum Virium Helsinki. The main method of data collection used in the study was 6 in depth, thematic interviews. In addition, news articles and articles from the digital archive of the case company were used to construct a coherent view of the case organization and its activities.

User driven open innovation was adapted to Finnish innovation policy due to the shift in the scope of innovation policy, rooting from the changing operation environment of organizations and intensified global societal, environmental and economic challenges. The empowered user was seen as a source of new opportunities. The study found that there are no clear ways of carrying out user driven open innovation in practice. The most promising method proposed by the literature (living labs) was found to be over positive and lack practical feasibility. The existing innovation culture and practices of organizations inhibit collaborative innovation and a private sector led user driven open innovation ecosystem did not materialize. Instead, by ideating and discovering development projects from inside the city concern, successful user driven open innovation partnerships between the public, private and the civic sector were created. Opening data and interfaces of the public sector, tapping into existing user communities, finding ownership of projects in early stages and actively orchestrating collaboration were found to be some of the key success factors, turning pilots into actual services. Positive examples hindered the main challenges, such as mindsets, measuring problems and juridical issues. Still, changes in the regulatory environment, innovation culture and attitudes in general are required in order to fully benefit from user driven open innovation and make it more feasible for organizations and individuals
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