Innovation Intermediaries is a concept in innovation studies to help understand the role of firms, agencies and individuals that facilitate innovation by providing the bridging, brokering, knowledge transfer necessary to bring together the range of different organisations and knowledge needed to create successful innovation. Innovation intermediaries have always played a key role in innovation, for example the agricultural middlemen in 16th, 17th and 18th century Britain who not only bought and sold wool, but facilitated the transfer of knowledge of new techniques. With the recent fashion for 'Open Innovation' involving complex networks of firms and users, organisations such as consultants, conference organisers, trade organisations, government innovation agencies etc. are now recognised as playing a central role in facilitating and coordinating innovation.
Innovation intermediaries are variously described as 'bridgers', ' change agents', 'brokers'. They are important as the developers of a new invention or technique are seldom connected to their potential users, or to the firms and organisations that have complementary expertise, knowledge and resources. The same applies to potential users of innovations, so that intermediaries are needed to bring organisations and knowledge together to build supply networks and markets.
Along the innovation process, from ideation, invention, innovation to commercialisation, different innovation intermediaries can be distinguished who offer different services. Basic functions are process coordination and matchmaking between innovation seekers and innovation providers, project valuation and portfolio management. 
See also 
- Bessant, J and H Rush (1995). Building bridges for innovation: the role of consultants in technology transfer. Research Policy, 24, 97–114
- Burt, R (2004). Structural holes and good ideas. American Journal of Sociology, 110, 349–399.
- Hargadon, A.B. (1998) Firms as knowledge brokers:lessons in pursuing continuous innovation. California Management Review, 40, 3, 209–227.
- Howells, J. (2006) Intermediation and the role of intermediaries in innovation, Research Policy, 35, pp. 715–728.
- Katzy, B., E. Turgut, T. Holzmann, K. Sailer (2013) Innovation intermediaries: a process view on open innovation coordination, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Vol 25, Issue 3, pp. 295-309
- Rogers, E.M., 1962. Diffusion of Innovations. The Free Press, New York.
- Stankiewicz, 1995 R. Stankiewicz, The role of the science and technology infrastructure in the development and diffusion of industrial automation in Sweden. In: B. Carlsson, Editor, Technological Systems and Economic Performance: The Case of Factory Automation, Dordrecht, Kluwer (1995), pp. 165–210.
- Sieg J.H., M.W. Wallin, and G. von Krogh 2010 "Managerial challenges in open innovation: A study of innovation intermediation in the chemical industry", R&D Management, Vol 40 No 3, pp281 – 291
- Stewart J and Hyysalo, S, 2008, Intermediaries, Users and Social Learning in Technological Innovation, International Journal of Innovation Management, Vol 12, No 3. (Sept 2008) pp295–325
- Wolpert, J. D. (2002) Breaking out of the innovation box, Harvard Business Review, 80 (2), 77–83.
- Katzy, B.; E. Turgut, T. Holzmann, K. Sailer (2013). "Innovation intermediaries: a process view on innovation coordination". Technology Analysis & Strategic management 25 (3): 295–309.