Most new products developed and introduced in the market by manufacturers are market flops, being the major reason for this the poor understanding of users’ needs in manufacturers’ innovations (Von Hippel, 2006). This fact outlines the importance that user innovations have and raises the question on how should users be incentive to innovate.

Users as innovators tend to develop products to face their own particular needs, not concerned with sales or profits. Manufacturers prefer to focus on products that address larger markets and benefit from more certain sales and profits. The association with users as innovators allows manufacturers not to concern about product development, but on replication of products that users have already proven to be useful and to fulfil market needs. Nevertheless one of the facts that are hindering users as innovators and manufacturers relations is property rights lack of clear definition. Within this sense, free revealing assumes a great importance in managing user manufacturer relations and for this policies that protect and enhance users as innovators property rights and promote their interactions and partnership seeking with manufacturers should be promoted. Also, manufacturers’ greater advantage in involving users should be levelled through R&D subsidies dedicated to users as innovator, while manufacturers can improve users as innovators contact through toolkits provision, a valuable tool in diminishing the gap between conceptual ideas and feasible markets ones. Toolkits provision assures coordination and feasibility, as the knowledge of the production process can contribute to optimize and increase efficiency in the new product development process.

Regarding users as innovators and investors relations for new entrepreneurial adventures, misunderstanding and unbalanced interests from both sides, often hinder their relations. Unperceived advantages that can arise in both sides of the partnership, mainly due to lack of common knowledge bases and trust, may hinder the development of market feasible products. The creation of an inter-agent that comprehends and interacts within both sides is a feasible approach to reach equilibrium and comprehensive negotiations. These knowledge managers are privileged communicators both with innovators and investors and, the creation of such an image would allow the definition of strategic orientation towards innovations market approach, fostering the cooperation between creators and investors.

The set of a coherent incentive strategy, based on adequate financial incentives is the essential pillar to foster the development of a new market, such as the PV-NBS market. The development of a new urban furniture market, which fosters entrepreneurial attitudes and the emergence of new business concepts can increase and qualify the Portuguese PV market, changing its conventional role in the international market, from technology receiver to new products developer and importer. Financial incentives intent is to foster the development of markets which segments proves more interest to each country, according to the expected outcomes and considering the added value each market presents, beyond the pure and more short timing economic view. The existence of a potential for PV-based urban-scale product development in Portugal, originated in users enhances the need to develop policies, such as adequate tariffs to trigger the development of a PV-based urban-scale product market. This outcome, and the promotion of such a market devoted to promote users as innovators adoption and integration of innovative materials, making use of RES technologies, should also focus on capacity building strategies that enable them to enroll in new product development. The type of PV policies adopted in each country has a direct impact on the promotion and foster of new ideas, investments and products. If the strategy is well defined and there are clear incentives, the market has a positive attitude and the more likely is that new actors are attracted and involved in the deployment of such a technology.


• Baldwin, Carliss, Hienerth, Christoph, and Von Hippel, Eric. (2005). “How user innovations become commercial products: a theoretical investigation and case study”; Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan School of Management.

• Caree, M.; Thurik, R. (2003). The Impact of Entrepreneurship on Economic Growth. Handbook of Entrepreneurship Research, 437-467. Academic Publishers.

• Hienerth, Cristoph. (2004) The Commercialization of User Innovations: the Development of the Rodeo Kayak Industry. Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Vienna. Austria.

• Lordkipanidze, M.; Brezet. H.; Backman, M. (2004). The entrepreneurship factor in sustainable tourism development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 13, 787-798

• Nasar, Jack. (1999) Design by Competition – Making Design Competition Work. Cambridge University Press. New York.

• Rodrigues, M. (2004). 1st Lisbon Ideas Challenge – Urban Design with. IN+/IST.

• Rodrigues, M. (2006) National Position Paper and Action Plan from Portugal. PV Policy Group (provided by Maria Joao Rodrigues)

• Von Hippel, Eric. (2004). Democratizing Innovation: The evolving phenomenon of user innovation, MIT Press. Massachusetts. United States of America. http://mitpress. mit. edu

• Von Hippel, Eric (2006). Democratizing Innovation. MIT Press. Massachusetts. United States of America. http://mitpress. mit. edu

Updated: July 15, 2015 — 12:40 pm