BEDA and the economic value of design

The creative sector is recognised as a significant economic driver within the EU; BEDA members lead several initiatives to measure and understand the extent of its impact. Through collecting and interpreting business data relating to design, this information can then be used to map the potential of integrating design and influencing policymakers at regional, national and EU level.

As BEDA board member Dr Anna Whicher says, “Design is increasingly valuable to policymakers as a key driver of economic growth and a means of innovation in both private and public sectors.” Design was included in the European Commission innovation policy for the first time in 2010; this has led to an Action Plan for Design-driven Innovation at European level and specific design action plans for individual Member States including Denmark, France, Estonia and Latvia. 

Several reports have successfully been completed – among them are The €Design - Measuring Design Value project, which ran between 2012 and 2014 and established a new framework for measuring design. The outcome shifted existing ideas around design as an add-on after technology, to integrate user-centred design and the functional, emotional and social utilities into the creation of goods, services, processes and strategies, which consequently increases economic value. 

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In 2015 the UK Design Council released a report on measuring the impact of design on the UK economy, using measures such as gross value added, productivity, turnover, employment and exports of goods and services. The report differed from previous reports in that, whilst it considered the design industry, design within wider industrial contexts, and the contribution of design to wider society, it used a new definition of design that included design in the built environment, crafts, IT and engineering. 

The role and value of design Working paper: Measuring and defining design, download pdf here: 

There is a huge potential in understanding the value of measuring design. Therefore, not surprising, three of BEDA’s Clusters focus on related topics: the Cluster on measuring design, led by BCD; the Cluster on Design Stats, led by designaustria, and the Cluster on Design IPR, led by the Hungarian Design Council. 

All three clusters welcome new members and/or input, please email Mario López:

EU Project: