Emerging patterns of innovation
Innovation comes in many forms, and policymakers are always looking for ways to strengthen innovative output in Europe. The EU-funded project INFU investigated innovation-related visions, scenarios and implications in policymaking and practice. The project explored new structures and patterns of innovation such as open innovation, user innovation and social innovation and how they could help the economy and society, aiming to design new policies and measures that encourage the innovative environment. To achieve its goals the project documented any changes in innovation patterns or barriers that might discourage or disrupt innovation in the future. It then identified 20 future innovation landscapes or visions through joint scenario building and evaluated how they could help academic and industrial research regarding policy goals such as sustainability. Each vision describes how one or several signals could compromise the process of creating, developing and disseminating innovation ideas in the future. Moreover, the project team interviewed industry experts and academicians to explore the innovation visions, identifying eight critical nodes of change in innovation patterns. The experts then underlined implications of possible new innovation schemes on production, environmental impact, regulatory frameworks and more. As a result, the project was able to articulate key characteristics that describe innovation patterns, study implications for policy and outline new directions for research and innovation policy. Key topics include the emerging global innovation landscape, intellectual property rights (IPR) and policy debates related to new forms of innovation. INFU provided policy guidelines and underscored the necessity to improve relevant infrastructure, as well as the need to use new indicators for value-driven innovation. It also underlined the need to include social and environmental criteria in driving innovation, as well as strengthening the links between education and innovation. The project team disseminated all the valuable and relevant results that emerged from this initiative, including parties within the EU and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It produced four policy briefs that summarise the main findings of the project, which are likely to have a very positive impact on furthering innovation.