ERRIN talk EU Design Days & innovation

We asked Richard Tuffs, Director of ERRIN, about this year’s edition of EU Design Days, in which BEDA collaborated with ERRIN.

Can you tell us about your experience of working with BEDA for this year’s EU Design Days?
This year’s DD was the first time we collaborated with BEDA to organise a joint event and it was an absolutely positive experience. The organisation ran smoothly and the ERRIN DD team could benefit from BEDA’s network, expertise and ideas, especially through the newly established Brussels office. ERRIN welcomes BEDA’s knowledge regarding European design and we are pleased to connect design and the regions together. An excellent example of what a co-operation between two different networks should look like and how synergies can be created. 

What were the highlights – or, if you prefer, the key outcomes - of the event for you?
Definitely to see that the fifth edition still creates a platform to for people working with design in many different fields (universities, companies, regions, public authorities etc.) The EC Commission recognizes the event as a very important initiative in ensuring that design remains in the spotlight in the absence of new initiatives at European level at the moment. 

How do you envisage ERRIN working with BEDA in future?
The ERRIN Design and Creativity group recognizes BEDA as very important partner and aims to strengthen the relationship in order to benefit from each other’s knowledge. BEDA reaches out to a lot of design experts from all over Europe, ERRIN to a lot of regions and experts in many different fields, such as tourism, advanced manufacturing, etc. This creates many synergies. Since design touches a lot of different fields, such a cross-cutting collaboration is in line with the EC attempts to “move away from silo-thinking”. However, it is not just formal synergies but also developing a strong working relationship based on trust and confidence where we can discuss and reflect and brainstorm on new ideas and ways of working in the future. 

Can you explain the importance of this relationship for design at EU level?
The collaboration of two important networks like ERRIN and BEDA shows that the importance of design is growing and influencing a lot of different policy areas. Design is now becoming a cross-cutting domain that is now recognised as playing an increasingly important role in the innovation process. Designer skills can also widen the innovation process via co-creation processes and help support more citizen engagement in the innovation process.

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