User-driven innovation: value creation through design-enabled innovation

Author: Nikola Benin


  Horizon 2020H2020 website

Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
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Topic Description

Specific Challenge:With competitiveness being increasingly based on intangibles and a mix of products and services that respond to users’ needs, applying design thinking, tools and methods can improve performance and efficiency in the commercial and public sector. Design-enabled innovation can be considered as a prominent example of “user-driven” innovation, where user involvement in the process is central, as in many cases innovation can better succeed through co-creation. User-centred design thinking and the application of design tools and methods, when applied to services, systems and organisations, enable structured service and business-model innovation, organisational innovation as well as other intangible forms of innovation. The focus is on applying design tools and methods, since this offers a systematic approach to conceive user-driven innovations.

The specific challenge to be addressed by this topic is that many public sector organisations and businesses, especially SMEs, miss out on the potential to utilise design as a source for improving efficiency and stimulating growth.

Expected Impact:

  • Robust and commonly accepted guidance on embedding design in value-creating networks and identification of barriers and enablers;
  • Creation of data, data sets and metrics to evaluate impact regardless of sector;
  • The methodology developed and the analysis will contribute to incorporating diverse user perspectives into design policies and practices and for their further development and implementation. The results, e.g. the impact evaluation methodology, should be applicable and give clear guidance particularly to SMEs and public administrations;
  • Development of new approaches and solutions which translate into new products, services and processes increasing public sector effectiveness and private sector competitiveness, and sustaining innovation capabilities and processes;
  • Producing assessment and simulation tools to verify results in the increase of efficiency and/or effectiveness through the use of design;
  • Mainstreaming design, making it an integral part of value creation and a self-sustaining element of innovation processes;
  • Integration of design and user-driven innovation into innovation policies and support mechanisms, including funding programmes.

Cross-cutting Priorities:Open Innovation
Socio-economic science and humanities


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