Value co-creation, is an emerging business and innovation paradigm, however, there is not enough clarity on the distinctive characteristics of value co-creation as compared to more traditional value creation approaches. The present paper summarizes the results from an empirically-derived research study focusing on the development of a systematic procedure for the identification of firms that are active in value co-creation. The study is based on a sample 273 firms that were selected for being representative of the breadth of their value co-creation activities. The results include: i) the identification of the key components of value co-creation based on a research methodology using web search and Principal Component Analysis techniques, and ii) the comparison of two different classification techniques identifying the firms with the highest degree of involvement in value co-creation practices. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study using sophisticated data collection techniques to provide a classification of firms according to the degree of their involvement in value co-creation.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.