Social computing: implications for the EU innovation landscape

Corina Pascu (European Commission's Directorate‐General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies (IPTS), Seville, Spain.)
David Osimo (European Commission's Directorate‐General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies (IPTS), Seville, Spain.)
Geomina Turlea (European Commission's Directorate‐General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies (IPTS), Seville, Spain.)
Martin Ulbrich (European Commission's Directorate‐General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies (IPTS), Seville, Spain.)
Yves Punie (European Commission's Directorate‐General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies (IPTS), Seville, Spain.)
Jean‐Claude Burgelman (European Commission's Directorate‐General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies (IPTS), Seville, Spain.)

Foresight

ISSN: 1463-6689

Publication date: 22 February 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the main implications for innovation and competitiveness of social computing trends that promote swift social and economic relations. They are increasingly being considered by policymakers, both as tool and object for policymaking (i.e. how social computing could play a role in information society policies). Therefore, a general issue for the paper is represented by the lessons to be learned in terms of policy‐related consequences for Europe.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on an extensive desk‐based survey of secondary data available from reports, studies and most recent statistics, from internet audience measurement companies, international research companies, research projects of non‐profit centers, international firms or the industry itself.

Findings

The diffusion and usage of social computing applications have been growing at an exponential rate. A powerful feature emerges, i.e. the new user as supplier, co‐producer or innovator of the service. New areas of innovation lie at the crossroads of an increasingly complex process of both tacit and codified knowledge production. They affect the way people find information, learn, share, communicate and consume and the way business is done. New players and markets provide significant threats and opportunities for the ICT and media industries. New players have a smaller cost base, viable business models and a real market.

Research limitations/implications

Comparative and systematic research of the fast growing social computing trends is needed over longer periods of time.

Practical implications

The paper provides the first evidence on the size and weight of these trends, as well as on their social and economic relevance. It raises the need for more research, e.g. on the areas that would be most impacted and to what extent, as well as a wealth of policy‐related research questions.

Originality/value

Since social computing is an emerging phenomenon, the work is innovative and novel because it attempts to draw a first solid overall picture of the development of these trends.

Keywords

Citation

Pascu, C., Osimo, D., Turlea, G., Ulbrich, M., Punie, Y. and Burgelman, J. (2008), "Social computing: implications for the EU innovation landscape", Foresight, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 37-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636680810856017

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Company

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