Although new forms of innovation such as open innovation, user innovation or crowdsourcing have been intensively discussed in the past decade, there is little systematic exploration of their wider positive and negative effects on economy, society and environment. Based on the recent debate in the literature and findings from a European foresight project, this paper aims to discuss the critical aspects of new forms of innovation such as increased participation, the use of information technologies and the increased pace of innovation and their challenges for innovation policy.
Based on a collection of international practice examples from industry and society, innovation visions have been generated and assessed by different experts across whole Europe.
A generic trend identified can be best described as open, distributed and networked innovation process. Although many new innovation models accelerate the innovation process, there are also some counter trends which in some fields may slow down the innovation process. In addition, the increased use of web-based tools, algorithms and information technologies raises new questions concerning the protection of intellectual property and data security. This reveals new questions for policymaking, which have not gained much attention on the European level so far.
Although there is an established discourse around potentially negative impacts of the outcomes of the innovation processes notably in the field of technology assessment, innovation capacity is usually seen as a desirable characteristic of innovation systems. In this paper, the possible negative aspects of new innovation models, an issue hardly addressed in the innovation literature so far, are discussed.
The INFU project has been supported by the Seventh Framework Programme, Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities, of the European Commission.
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