Design Wales has been leading the SEE project since 2008. SEE has been sharing international best practice to integrate design into innovation policies and programmes. A key initiative has been to examine innovation and design policies and programmes developments between 2009 and 2011. The results are in and we present the SEE Design Policy Monitor, which reveals the scope and depth of policy provisions for design an innovation in the partner regions/countries.
Design policy has been a hot topic recently with the results of the European Commission’s call for projects as part of the European Design Innovation Initiative expected in January 2012, BIS publishing the UK’s Innovation and Research Strategy including design for innovation and the Design Council event ‘Should government have a design strategy?’.
As part of the Design Policy Monitor, we examined the innovation policies for the EU’s 27 Member States, which revealed that 17 out 27 have design included (in some form) in a national level strategy. This demonstrates that in the context of economic renewal, design is being recognised as a driver of innovation. On 8 December, the UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills published their Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth with an entire section devoted to design for innovation. Here are some key quotes:
‘Design can be transformative for companies, through leading or supporting product and process innovation, for managing the innovation process itself, for the commercialisation of science, and the delivery of public services.’ P. 35
‘Design thinking can play an important role in strengthening the public sector’s capacity to be an intelligent customer as it involves bringing together different perspectives, including industry and users of a service or product, to understand needs. The use of design can deliver cost savings and improved efficiency in the delivery of public services and help to generate solutions to societal challenges.’ P. 85
The role of design in the new strategy was presented by a representative of BIS at the Design Council policy event on 1 December. Gavin Cawood also presented an overview of the state of play for design policy across Europe. The videos are available on the Design Council website.
Design Wales and SEE will continue to monitor policies for innovation and design over the next few years to examine new trends in the future at European, national and regional levels.