Innovation Unbound: Changing innovation locus, changing policy focus

This publication intends to draw some key insights from all the work carried throughout INNO-GRIPS project.

The study explores some of the many ways in which innovation and innovation processes are changing in the twenty-first century. We have seen changes in the locus of innovation – who conducts it, how, and where? This goes beyond the very important developments associated with the rise of emergent economies as innovation actors. New approaches to organising innovation have also been arising, and despite much hyperbole about, for instance, “open innovation”, there is certainly a range of methods for managing and coordinating research, development, design, and implementation processes. We have seen changes in the focus of innovation. This is highlighted by such terms as user- and society-driven innovation, the rise of interest in service and social innovation, and by attention to innovation that can help us address the Grand Challenges that confront us.

Challenges such as natural resources scarcity or social inclusion require alignment of numerous stakeholders and initiatives, and this itself requires numerous contributory steps. People can be mobilised through competitions and demonstrator projects, niches can be nurtured through procurement and construction of local clusters, standards can be built into R&D and design processes as well as into product performance,sociotechnical experiments and methods for assessing risks and benefits of innovations can be implemented. This effort will need social innovation to establish and/or empower civil society as well as business and political movements, since the project of addressing the Grand Challenge is a long-term one.

From , published on 11-03-2011
Original document: GRIPS Innovation Unbound.pdf - PDF document - 1920 Kb


  • Julie Basset (LL&A), Hugo Thenint (LL&A) and Ian Miles (University of Manchester)


  • Innovation research
  • Public policy

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