8. User orientation in enterprises’ innovation activity in 2012 to 2014

The innovation survey 2014 also asked enterprises about the role of user orientation in their innovation activity, i.e. what means and measures of user innovation the enterprise had used in their innovation activity or in the production of innovative products. The mentioned measures cover development together with users as well as integration of the products remodelled and developed by users into the enterprise’s production.

Joint brainstorming, development and content production with users can, in practice, mean, for example, development forums and development platforms offered by the enterprise to collect the ideas of users and user communities. It may involve production of software or content or utilising crowdsourcing.

Products remodelled by users here refer to existing products that customers and users have processed further. In practice, the enterprise can be responsible for further processing them and is ultimately responsible for their production and introduction to the markets. When it comes to products developed by users, they are new products specifically developed by users that the enterprise takes into production and introduces to the markets. The enterprise's role may naturally also include finalising development work of the product.

The product user can be either another enterprise or end product user, i.e. consumer.

Based on the results, corporate customers are more often visible as participants in the innovation than private consumers. Of all enterprises with innovation activity, around one-fifth, 22 per cent, viewed the importance of development work in cooperation with corporate users of their products as high or moderate. Around one in ten of enterprises with innovation activity viewed development work with consumers as important (high or moderate importance).

One-fifth of those with innovation activity felt that products remodelled by corporate users were important in their innovation activity and in the production of innovative products. The corresponding result for products remodelled by consumers was nine per cent. Around one in ten estimated that new products developed by enterprises played an important role for the enterprise’s innovation activity, and six per cent felt that new products developed by consumers played an important role in their innovation activity.

The importance of user innovation was, as a rule, higher for manufacturing enterprises than for service industry enterprises.

Figure 32. Manufacturing enterprises that integrated user innovation in the innovation activity and production of innovative products by the importance of user innovation in 2012 to 2014, share of enterprises with innovation activity

Figure 32. Manufacturing enterprises that integrated user innovation in the innovation activity and production of innovative products by the importance of user innovation in 2012 to 2014, share of enterprises with innovation activity

Figure 33. Service industry enterprises that integrated user innovation in the innovation activity and production of innovative products by the importance of user innovation in 2012 to 2014, share of enterprises with innovation activity

Figure 33. Service industry enterprises that integrated user innovation in the innovation activity and production of innovative products by the importance of user innovation in 2012 to 2014, share of enterprises with innovation activity

For the developers of product innovations, integrating user orientation into innovation is even more visible than when examining all enterprises with innovation activity. For example, one in four manufacturing enterprises that launched product innovations and one in three service industry enterprises with innovations consider joint development with corporate users to be of high or moderate importance. One in four of the enterprises that launched product innovations to the markets saw products remodelled by corporate users as important for innovation activity. The importance of products remodelled by consumers as seen as high or moderate by 11 per cent of enterprises with product innovations.

Unlike innovation activity that increases as the size of the enterprise grows, cooperation with users and integration of user innovations can be as common in relative terms among small and large enterprises with innovation activity. Development together with other enterprises is visible as highly important more often among large manufacturing enterprises than among small enterprises, but, for example, products developed by users, both other enterprises and consumers, can be part of innovative production as commonly in small and large enterprises.

All in all, 30 per cent of enterprises with innovation activity reported that they had launched product innovations to the markets in 2012 to 2014 that included user innovation. This represented 40 per cent of enterprises that launched product innovations and 17 per cent of all enterprises.

In relative terms, the innovations of larger enterprises included more elements of user innovation than those of smaller enterprises, especially in manufacturing and particularly concerning joint development and products remodelled by users. Products developed by users were, in turn, more commonly used as the basis for innovations of smaller enterprises than of larger enterprises.

Figure 34. Introduction of product innovations including user innovation in 2012 to 2014, share of enterprises with innovation activity

Figure 34. Introduction of product innovations including user innovation in 2012 to 2014, share of enterprises with innovation activity

Source: Innovation 2014, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mervi Niemi 029 551 3263, Heidi Pirkola 029 551 3246, tiede.teknologia@stat.fi

Director in charge: Mari Ylä-Jarkko


Updated 2.6.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Innovation [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-4399. 2014, 8. User orientation in enterprises’ innovation activity in 2012 to 2014 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 12.11.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/inn/2014/inn_2014_2016-06-02_kat_008_en.html