Public innovation and political parties are usually not studied together. Given the key position parties hold in representative democracies, it is somewhat odd that their influence on public innovation has not been explored. We propose to open this line of inquiry and introduce a typology that highlights four avenues for studying the links between public innovation and political parties: linkage, programme, interaction and policy. We use the typology to discuss relevant themes and empirical examples in existing literature and to formulate of a number of hypotheses about innovation of political parties themselves as well their impact on potentially innovative public decisions. One major expectation is that hierarchical parties with centralized leadership make more efficient decisions but that sustainable innovation outcomes promoted by collaborative efforts are easier to obtain for decentralized political parties with participatory internal democratic processes.