Crowd-based innovation: Governing transition of responsibilities


The "crowd" increasingly seems to be key for innovation in all kind of sectors, partly enabled by ICT developments. Initiatives can be found around the crowdsourcing of problemsolving and data collection (e.g. apps and sensors to measure traffic, air or water quality), crowdfunding as a business model (including renewable energy), open platforms (where supply and demand meet each other), or the sharing economy (for example, houses or cars). Such initiatives provide many opportunities for innovations in socio-technical systems, but also significant challenges because they often occur in the context of traditional, well-established, institutional and governance structures and practices.
The gap between these traditional structures and radically new initiatives creates tension. Existing rules, standards and practices are challenged, which raises questions about how quality, legitimacy, efficiency and supervision can be safeguarded in crowd-based innovations.
In this research we want to find out how to deal with the conflicts that can arise where crowd-based innovations meet existing structures. The goal is to design governance arrangements so that the power of mobilizing people and organizations can be combined with legitimacy and responsible innovation. We will conduct normative and empirical analysis of 3-5 crowd-based innovations resulting in design interventions that will be iteratively evaluated and refined in Living Labs (developed by, and to be developed with, our partners) related to three top sectors (water, energy and transport/logistics). Our research will result in a generic framework for governance of responsible crowd-based innovations as well as specific governance interventions for a number of concrete crowd-based innovations.


Scientific article

Professional publication

Publication meant for a broad audience

Publications for the general public

  • M Taanman, E Cuppen, B Klievink, T Slot, M Galeano Galvan, N Doorn(2017): rowd-based innovation
  • M.J. Galeano Galvan, T Slot(2018): Crowd-based Innovations: Governance of responsibilities for public values
  • M Taanman, E Cuppen, M Galeano Galván(2018): Grid operators in crowd-based energy innovations: unlikely institutional entrepreneurs?
  • E Cuppen, B Klievink, M Galeano Galván(2018): When innovation meets institutions: the challenges of crowd-based innovations for governance
  • C van der Berg, K Ruiten, J Langeslag, N Bode, T Slot, H van der Aa, M Galeano Galván, Y Yao, E Cuppen(2018): Database of crowd-based innovations in NL and Belgium: Energy, Water and Transportation sectors
  • M.J. Slot(2019): The Ethical Impact of Reputation Systems in the Sharing Economy
  • E Cuppen(2019): Energy governance from a system perspective
  • M Galeano Galvan(2019): Exploring crowd-based energy innovations by grid operators
  • E Cuppen, M Galeano Galvan, M Taanman(2019): Grid operators: Unlikely institutional entrepreneurs?


Project number


Main applicant

Dr. ir. E.H.W.J. Cuppen

Affiliated with

Technische Universiteit Delft, Faculteit Techniek, Bestuur en Management, Beleidskunde

Team members

Ir. M.J. Galeano Galván, M.J. Slot MSc


01/05/2017 to 01/05/2021