Innovation, market disruption and value creation

Our studies in innovation, market disruption and value creation look at consumption and consumer behaviour as challengers of established market practices.

Drivers for change frequently include technological change and so called digitalization, which have first created new markets (online and mobile services, for instance) and then changed market structures and practices (in energy, electric traffic and shopping). Ecological and economic sustainability are highlighted in our studies, which are typically multidisciplinary to their character.

Consumption is approached through a number of parallel concepts such as collaborative consumption and access (Belk 2014), co-creation (Prahalad & Venkatesh 2006), lead users (von Hippel 2005) and prosumerism (Toffler 1980). Value creation is viewed from the vantage points of consumption and consumerism.

The perspective of sociotechnical change provides a development orientation and an opportunity to see experiments as seeds of change (Hoogma et al. 2002, Hoffmann 2011). Intermediaries (Kivimaa 2014, Hodson and Marvin 2007) and local expertise (Stewart 2007) are frequently considered in our studies. The reception of novelties is also approached in a more straightforward way through the perspectives of technology acceptance (Venkatesh & Davis 2000) and the diffusion of innovations (Rogers 1995). Focus is frequently on sustainable consumption and markets relating to it (energy solutions and markets, circular economy, electric traffic). Innovations with disruptive potential are also of interest (Christensen 1997).

Our research is funded mainly by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland, the European Commission, Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, and the University of Helsinki. Key research partners include Aalto University, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, VTT Technical Reseach Centre of Finland, ARC Fund (Bulgaria) and DBT (Denmark).


Ph.D. (Econ.), Adjunct professor, University researcher Petteri Repo

Ph.D. (Phil.), Adjunct professor, Research director Eva Heiskanen

Ph.D. (Soc.Sc.), Adjunct professor, University researcher Minna Lammi

Ph.D. (Agr.), Adjunct professor, University researcher Päivi Timonen

Ph.D. (Soc.Sc.), Postdoctoral researcher Kaisa Matschoss

Ph.Lic. (Agr.), Project planner Kaarina Hyvönen


Ongoing projects:

CASI: Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation

Cimulact: Citizen and Multi-Actor Consultation on Horizon2020

CloseLoop: Closing the Loop for High-added-value Materials

eCoSini: Light electric traffic and V2G solutions

SET: Smart Energy Transition

Tripod: Intermediaries in the energy transition: The invisible work of creating markets for sustainable energy solutions

Selected recent publications:

Heiskanen, E., & Matschoss, K. (2016). Consumers as innovators in the electricity sector? Consumer perceptions on smart grid services. International Journal of Consumer Studies.

Heiskanen, E., Matschoss, K. & Repo, P. (2015). Engaging consumers and citizens in the creation of low-carbon energy markets. Eceee summer study proceedings, 2123-2132.

Hyysalo, S., Repo, P., Timonen, P., Hakkarainen, L. & Heiskanen, E. (2015). Diversity and change of user driven innovation modes in companies. International Journal of Innovation Management, 1650023.

Hyvönen, K., Repo, P. & Lammi, M. (2016). Light electric vehicles: substitution and future uses. Transportation Research Procedia.

Matschoss, K., Kahma, N., & Heiskanen, E. (2015). Pioneering customers as change agents for new energy efficiency services—an empirical study in the Finnish electricity markets. Energy Efficiency, 8(5), 827-843.

Matschoss, K., & Kahma, N. (2015). Service interest and cluster membership–Who are the pioneering users in energy efficiency service markets?. The Nordic Journal of Business, 2.

Repo, P., Hyvönen, K. & Lammi, M. (2015). Sähköinen liikkuminen murroksessa: kuluttajat, sosiotekninen muutos ja tulevaisuuden kevyet kulkuneuvot. Kulutustutkimus.Nyt, 14(1), 30-48.

References for Horizon 2020

We are always looking for new Horizon 2020 partnerships – and yes, we do plan to coordinate projects. Petteri Repo ( and Eva Heiskanen ( will be glad to discuss joint opportunities with you.

CIMULACT – Citizen and Multi-Actor Consultation on Horizon 2020, Partner, Horizon 2020 2015-18.

PE2020 – Public Engagement Innovations for Horizon 2020, Coordinator, FP7 2014-17.

CASI – Public Understanding in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation, Work package leader, FP7 2014-17.

ENTRANZE – Policies to Enforce the Transition to Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in the EU7, Intelligent Energy Europe 2012-14.

CIVISTI – Citizen Visions on Science, Technology and Innovation, Work package leader, FP7 2009-11.

CHANGING BEHAVIOUR – Contextualising behavioural change in energy programmes involving intermediaries and policymaking organizations working towards changing behaviour, Coordinator, FP7 2008-2010.

EUPOPP – Policies to Promote Sustainable Consumption Patterns, Work package leader, FP7 2008-2011.

CREATE ACCEPTANCE – Cultural Influences on Renewable Energy Acceptance and Tools for the Development of Communication Strategies to Promote Acceptance Among Key Actor Groups, Work package leader, FP6 2006-8.


You’ll find us in the basement of the Metsätalo (Forest house) in downtown Helsinki. Our visiting address in Unioninkatu 40 (Consumer Society Research Centre, University of Helsinki). See you!