User-centred innovation has been around for some years now (and will be one of the main themes of this blog). The diffusion of this approach appears to have become mature, to say the least, on the basis of a couple of recent developments.
NESTA have found the term and are taking baby steps in their lab; very welcome. If they can convince the public sector to listen to users for new ideas, it would be a big breakthrough.
The European Commission has recently finished a consultation on user-centred innovation (I know, chalk and cheese, but there we are). The consultation is based around a Commission Staff Working Document on 'design as a driver of user-centred innovation'. The document is a decent synopsis of policy and measurement issues. Their measurement problems could have been simplified immensely if they had known that there are International Standards aimed at doing much of what they want. I suspect that the authors were briefed to try and combine design-driven and user-driven approaches, which makes for some confusing writing in places.
Still, nice to see that user-centred innovation is no longer solely the province of smart companies.