User-led innovation â€“ where users play an active part in the development of new or improved products and services â€“ is exploding: proliferating digital technologies mean that weâ€™re all potential innovators now. New firms based on user-led innovation are being sold for hundreds of millions of dollars only a few years after being founded.
Policymakers have remained somewhat sceptical about the importance of user-led innovation. But if the UK is to harness this new wave of invention and creativity, it needs to develop world-leading policy in support of user-led innovation. This means being more aware of the impact of new legislation on user-led innovation, and establishing a forum to ensure that policymakers hear directly from these new inventors.
NESTA, the UK innovation organisation, has published a research report and policy briefing on how users are changing the rules of innovation.