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Journal of the National Research University Higher School of Economics

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E-ISSN 2312-9972 online
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Anna Zaytseva , Olga Shuvalova 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Changing Emphases in Innovation Activity: User Innovation

2011. Vol. 5. No. 2. P. 16–32 [issue contents]

Anna Zaytseva— Junior Research Fellow, Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, National Research University — Higher School of Economics (Russia). E-mail: azaytseva@hse.ru  Address: 20, Myasnitskaya str., Moscow, Russia, 101000

Olga Shuvalova— Head, Division for Sociological Studies, Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, National Research University — Higher School of Economics (Russia).E-mail: oshuvalova@hse.ru  Address: 20, Myasnitskaya str., Moscow, Russia, 101000

Innovation commonly refers to new marketable goods generated by a manufacturer. This concept is the base of the established system of innovation policy. However, a new type of innovation is becoming increasingly widespread — innovation initiated by the user. Such developments are often not based on R&D and technology. Despite the increase in the area of statistical innovation measurement in recent years, the role of the user as an player in innovation is underestimated, both in statistical and political terms.

The paper attempts to explain the specifics of this phenomenon and evaluate its contribution to economic development. The emerging new model presumes a changing role of technologies — from innovation drivers to innovation enablers.

It is emphasized that the dynamics of user innovation should not be underestimated, as they create the prerequisites for involving the whole society in the innovation activity. This allows the enlargement of the share of warranted innovations owing to issuing products demanded by users; increasing market niches; developing collaborative models; and changing policy priorities. Implementation of new opportunities provided by “mass” innovation depends on the innovative capacities of users and the possibilities of their mobilization under public and corporate policy. 

Empirically, the study is based on the results of the 1st round of Monitoring the innovation behavior of the Russian population evaluating Russian users' innovation capabilities. It demonstrates that better access to ICT for the majority of the population may significantly increase the population’s innovation potential and bear fruits in the short and middle-term perspective. The analysis confirms the necessity of government efforts in developing innovation infrastructure. It is obvious that user-oriented policy does not exclude fostering manufacturers but presumes use of complementary leveraging for establishing long-term economic growth, based on active inclusion of the mass population into innovative processes.

Citation: Zaytseva A., Shuvalova O. (2011) Novye aktsenty v razvitii innovatsionnoy deyatel'nosti: innovatsii, initsiiruemye pol'zovatelyami [Changing Emphases in Innovation Activity: User Innovation]. Foresight-Russia, vol. 5, no 2, pp. 16-32 (in Russian)
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