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  • The power of customers to drive innovation, A Report by Business Decisions Limited for the Enterprise Directorate General of The European Commission


Stimulating innovation is a central feature of the European Union�s Enterprise Policy because it is the most powerful long-term driver of economic growth and improvements in living standards. It is sustainable, however, only when companies convert new ideas into commercially successful products, services, and processes.
The innovation process begins with the emergence of new market opportunities, progresses through the process of developing new products and services, and finishes with customer and market acceptance.
To examine more closely the role of customers in the innovation process and to identify possible policy options, the Innovation Directorate of DG Enterprise supported a study on "The power of customers to drive innovation".
This study had three principal objectives:
- To better understand the impact of customer-related factors on the innovation process within companies;
- To examine the current use of public policy initiatives which enhance the ability of companies to innovate in response to customer-based factors; and
- To identify public policy options for improving the ability of companies to involve customers in the innovation process.
The study involved: an extensive literature review; opinion surveys of 1 000 companies and 125 representative organisations in the EU and the USA on the role of customers in the innovation process; 25 case studies on the experience of companies with customers during the innovation process; and 12 country reviews of existing public policy initiatives to strengthen the role of the customer in the innovation process. The key conclusions of the surveys, the case studies and the country reviews have been integrated into the report (and its Appendixes). The complete texts of the case studies and the country reviews are included in a separate Annex to the report.

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Record Number: 6469 / Last updated on: 2004-12-02
Category: STUD
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