Can Service Innovation transform our lives? Case Studies in Service Innovation: Europe 2020

This impressive collection of 29 case studies includes excellent examples of the transformative power of service innovation.

Case Study Report

Meeting the Challenge of Europe 2020: Case Studies illustrate the role of service innovation in transforming our lives through promoting smarter, sustainable and more inclusive growth.

Smarter growth typically involves improved services based on “acquisition and management of information about customer needs and behaviours…”  For example, case study 6 shows how the creation of an innovative ICT platform service enables small and medium size enterprises in the Valtellina region of Italy to reach new customers.

Sustainable growth is development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. For example, case study 15 presents Innovation City Ruhr where an existing city with about 50,000 residents in the Ruhr Region of Germany is being rebuilt as a low-energy city.

Inclusive growth is development which “enables all members of society to participate in the process of wealth creation, in a way commensurate with their own abilities and potential.” Case study 28 presents an example of services for jobseekers in Portugal catering for people with lower level qualifications and skills, enabling them to certify their work experience and gain new qualifications. 

The case studies were used as evidence by an expert panel looking forward to and contributing to policy making for a smarter, sustainable, more inclusive Europe in 2020.

The overall work of the panel resulted in the report “Meeting the Challenge of Europe 2020: The Transformative Power of Service Innovation”. Their remit was to consider “the concrete and specific steps which should be taken at the European level to support service innovation in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy”.

The report was produced by the Expert Panel on Service Innovation in the EU, with assistance from the Secretariat consisting of staff from the Danish Technological Institute (DK), SPRU at the University of Sussex (UK)  and eSTRAT (Lux) and chaired by Allan Mayo, Head, Services Policy Unit at Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, UK.

Can Service Innovation transform our lives?

Do you have experiences where service innovation has made a difference to you?

Case Studies in Service Innovation – new book

Recently published book part of the Springer Series ‘Service Science: Research and Innovations in the Service Economy’


Case Studies in Service Innovation provides the reader fresh insight into how innovation occurs in practice, and stimulates learning from one context to another. The volume brings together contributions from researchers and practitioners in a celebration of achievements with the intention of adding to the wider understanding of how service innovation develops.

Each of the 21 cases presents a brief description of the context in which the innovation occurred, the opportunity that led to the innovation and an overview of the innovation itself, also addressing how success was measured, what success has been achieved to date and providing links to further information.

The book is organized around five major themes, each reflecting recognized sources of service innovation:

  • Business Model Innovation: new ways of creating, delivering or capturing economic, social, environmental and other types of value;
  • The Organization in its Environment: an organization engaging beyond its own boundaries, with public private partnerships, sourcing knowledge externally, innovation networks, and open or distributed innovation;
  • Innovation Management within an Organization: an organization actively encouraging innovation within its own boundaries using project teams, internal governance of innovation, and methods or tools that stimulate innovation;
  • Process Innovation: changes in service design and delivery processes, such as consumer led innovation or consumers as part of the innovation process, service operations management, and educational processes;
  • Technology Innovation: the use of technology, including ICT enabled innovation, ICTs that are themselves innovative and support the delivery of new services, new ICT services, new ways of delivering services associated with ICT products, and technology other than ICT.

The final part of the book is given to four extended cases allowing for a more in-depth treatment of innovation within a complex service system. The extended cases also illustrate two important and growing trends, firstly the need for, and benefits of, a more customer centric approach to service innovation and secondly the need for better understanding of public services and the role of public-private partnerships in identifying and achieving innovation.

Case studies in Service Innovation is also available as an e-book.