Design4Innovation: New EU project on design
A new Inter-European funded project, Design4Innovation, has launched.
Design for Europe partner KEPA will participate in a new EU project called Design4Innovation and led by the International Design and Research Centre (PDR). The project aims to support governments to develop and implement Design Action Plans to enhance SME competitiveness through a more strategic use of design.
Design4Innovation will take place over five years and involves eight partners including regional European governments, design centres and innovation agencies. In addition to KEPA (Greece) and PDR (UK), we will work with partners from Belgium, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Spain and Sweden.
The project partners aim for 1,600 SMEs to benefit from support instruments to bring more innovative, user-friendly and profitable products and services to the market.
Through interregional knowledge exchange, we will identify best practice in design support mechanisms for SMEs and engage with policy-makers to integrate support instruments for design into the ERDF operational programmes. The project partners aim for 1,600 SMEs to benefit from support instruments (both financial and non-financial) to bring more innovative, user-friendly and profitable products and services to the market.
Funded by INTERREG Europe —which helps regional and local governments across Europe develop and deliver better policy—, the project corresponds with the European Commission’s ‘Action Plan for Design-driven Innovation’ (2013), which recognizes design as an accessible “tool for user-centred and market-driven innovation in all sectors of the economy” and calls for European regions to develop their Action Plans for Design.
The project represents a new push in KEPA’s efforts in advancing the case for design in Greece and complements the recently launched DesignShots project. Through Design4Innovation, we particularly intend to improve the Greek Operational Programme (OP) Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation 2014-2020 by integrating design as an eligible cost within financial instruments such as grants and innovation vouchers. However, the route to building effective capabilities for design-driven innovation among SMEs is not clear for Greek policymakers.
Design4Innovation will help clear this way out by engaging with policy-makers in exchanging experiences with peers from all Europe. To complement this, through DesignShots we will review Design-Driven Innovation Programmes and we will develop and test an adapted programme for our region that could then be easily funded by and integrated under the OP.
More information about the project please contact Ms Christina Skoubridou