General / Working Paper

CIRCLE discussion paper: “Towards a Holistic User Innovation Policy”

In November 2020 a CIRCLE discussion paper written with Lars Bengtsson was published. It was entitled “Towards a Holistic User Innovation Policy”. (User innovations are Innovations performed by individuals in households that expect to benefit from pursuing innovations via their own use of them.) This paper aims to synthesize previous user innovation policy proposals into an adapted systems of innovation framework, on which a holistic user innovation policy for the household sector can be based. In a review of 22 publications with policy proposals on user innovation, we find that the publications lack an integrating innovation policy framework. Most of them limit their policy proposals to a few policy activities, i.e., the innovation policy proposals are partial and mono-causal. Based on a systems of innovation framework, we propose a holistic innovation policy framework adapted to user innovation in the household sector. It is centered on ten key activities and policy instruments related to them. Our proposals effectively provide policy development support to policy researchers, policymakers, and politicians stressing the multi-causal and non-linear features of the user innovation process. The paper can be downloaded here.