User innovators and their influence on innovation activities of firms in Finland

Jari Kuusisto, Mervi Niemi & Fred Gault

#2014-003

Statistics Finland added questions to the Finnish Community Innovation Survey (CIS) for 2010 on the importance of user innovation. For firms engaged in innovation activity during the three year period, 2008-2010, 30 per cent reported that user modified products were of high or medium importance to them. For user developed products the figure was 13 per cent. These firms, compared with those that did not rank user innovation as highly, had a higher propensity to produce new to the market product innovations and they were more active in producing product innovations by themselves, by collaborating with others, by adapting and adopting products from other firms, and by using products from other firms. The results for user modified and user developed products were found to be consistent with responses to a standard CIS question on whether the product innovation of the firm was done by adapting products developed by others, but the results were not sufficient to say that responses to this question were a consequence, principally, of user innovation. The wider implications of the findings are discussed along with the need for confirmation of the findings in other countries. Both Portugal and Switzerland have incorporated the Finnish CIS 2010 questions into their CIS 2012 and have added additional questions which may show that existing CIS data provide information on the presence of user innovation.

Keywords: user innovation, product innovation, knowledge transfer

JEL Codes: D22, O31, O33

  


UNU-MERIT