Design Europe 2021

Project Summary

Name: Design Europe 2021 – Design for Growth and Prosperity
Lead: BEDA – The Bureau of European Design Associations
Value: €592 648,76
Dates: 12/2014 – 11/2017


The “Design Europe 2021 – Design for Growth and Prosperity” has had a larger sphere of influence than any previous action of BEDA. The figures are testament to its reach – as of November 2017 more than twenty events have been hosted including seminars and conferences, and around thirty studies and publications have been produced within the four work streams of action.

The project was conceived to be the main tool to deliver BEDA’s strategy to 2021 that pursues the following Strategic Objectives:

1.       Enhance the awareness and understanding of the value of design.

2.       Strengthen the capability of the design sector to meet future needs.

3.       Build capacity for design among EU businesses.

4.       Advocate design for public sector renewal.

5.       Promote design as a new approach to policy-making.

Thus, the mission of the ‘Design Europe 2021’ project is to strengthening the design sector of Europe. It comprises four carefully structured and distinctive streams of action that together have increased the capacity and capability of BEDA, as Europe’s only European-level network for national and regional design promotion centres, professional associations for design and innovation agencies.

With a stronger and larger network of design associations and organisations in every Member State, BEDA’s intent is to accelerate long-term structuring effects on the design sector and to facilitate the wider embedding of design in business, government, education, research, the Public sector and the EU institutions. This will enable and influence change in practice and policy for the benefit of the cultural and creative sectors in general and the design sector in particular.

Actions towards the delivery of this strategy:

–          GA+: A full-day programme of creative networking with external facilitators, sharing best practice and mapping member profiles to reinforce the power of our network.

Three editions have been held in Milan, Limassol and Vilnius, focusing respectively on BEDA members’ capacity building to make the organisation stronger, what design organisations can do to tackle the migration challenge in Europe, and the future of design support.

–          BEDA CONNECTS: A once-yearly opportunity for BEDA members to connect with representatives from other European networks and relevant stakeholders with a professional interest in design, in order to create new synergies and collaboration opportunities.

Through its association with ERRIN – the European Regions Research and Innovation Network, BEDA has been an essential partner for last editions of the EU Design Days, a major design event in Brussels that brings together the design industry from across Europe providing an opportunity for dialogue with regional and innovation stakeholders, EU institutions and policy makers. Also, the DE2021 project has allowed BEDA to be represented in key meetings and events in Brussels, raising the profile in the organisation through the partnerships with design and innovation stakeholders in the European design ecosystem.

–          BEDA CLUSTERS: This is the creation of multiple small-scale creative groups to identify, collect and share knowledge and expertise on design trends.

At the moment BEDA maintains 12 active clusters whose members are working closely together to collect, analyse and share their knowledge and expertise within the network. The list includes Cities and Users, Design Effectiveness, Design&IPR, Design Business Models, Design for All, Design Policy, Design Stats, Design4Tourism, Eco-design, European Design and Business Dialogue, Measuring Design Value, and Membership Benefits. A number of events and publications have been produced by BEDA CLUSTERS raising the profile of the organisation and this members within a wide range of sectors. More information on

–          BEDA INTEGRATES: A high-level programme for design integration in the EU agendas including a sequence of above and below-the-line strategic activities to communicate the value of design and Europe’s design sector in contributing to the cultural power and diversity of Europe.

The successful editions of the BEDA Insight Forum targeting national and European policy-makers in 2015, 2016 and 2017 demonstrate the excellent state of the relations between BEDA and the EU institutions. The capacity of influence of the organisation has been expanded through a number of Directorate-Generals within the Commission, but also to the European Parliament and other agencies and bodies. In particular, BEDA is now a key partner of the EU Policy Lab of the Joint Research Centre and of the EUIPO – EU Intellectual Property Office.

Last but not least, the ‘Design Europe 2021’ project has reshaped and enhance BEDA’s communication strategy in order to disseminate the project news to target audiences, across all levels and platforms. The new strategy and tools have also raised the profile of BEDA’s members through sharing relevant news and resources. The new website is a significant step in transforming BEDA into a go-to knowledge hub for members, of information, knowledge exchange and promotion. It’s also a key tool to highlight the value of design and innovation to the European culture, economy, environment, society and governance; as well as to promote BEDA’s role as the liaison between its members and the European Union.

For further information:


The “Design Europe 2021” project has produced a restructuring and longstanding effect within the organization. BEDA’s capacity to champion the design sector and influence the EU agendas while responding the expectations and needs of its members is greater than ever. Moreover, the deliverables generated in the frame of the project are helping to transform BEDA into a unique knowledge and experience based organization in the design sector. For this reason, the organization has a keen interest in continuing the key activities of the four project work streams.

BEDA INTEGRATES: The successful series of the Insight Forum events has allowed BEDA to enlarge and to expand the engagement with the EU institutions – the European Commission actively participated in the events and the European Parliament hosted one of the editions, while a number of representatives of EU agencies attended the events. For this reason, BEDA plans to continue to host future editions of the Insight Forum within its advocacy action. The BEDA Cluster on Design Policy will drive this action and maintain a constant collaboration with relevant officials in order to influence the EU agenda and to promote design as a key factor for innovation, growth and prosperity. This advocacy action’s effect will cascade down influencing the national scale the design organizations are operating and resulting in design driven innovation policies and the adequate funding for the design sector.

BEDA CLUSTERS: One of the fundamental reasons to join BEDA is accessing a pan-European network of design organizations. The expertise groups created in the frame of the DE2021 project are the perfect structure to identify, analyze and share knowledge and expertise on both established and future design trends. The great potential of these groups to generate valuable data and identify emerging disciplines will be exploited in the future as BEDA is maintaining the clusters. The number of the topics of the clusters will adapt in order to feed all the works streams of the BEDA’s strategy plan, in particular through selecting the topic of the future editions of the GA+ and Insight Forum events. Once the actual clusters are consolidated, the intention is to seek the participation of external and complementary stakeholders such as innovation agencies in order to expand BEDA’s network.

BEDA GA+: The experience accumulated throughout the project has proven that BEDA Members are keen to work together on relevant topics that need an international perspective, such as the support of the design sector in Europe. GA+ workshops are thus the perfect opportunity to gather the knowledge and expertise of the most important design organizations in Europe to tackle international wicked-challenges such as migration (topic of the GA+ 2016), demographics, environment, ageing, urban development, etc. In the future BEDA CLUSTERS will provide insights in design trends related to those challenges while BEDA INTEGRATES will incorporates the policy-making perspective, resulting in carefully planned annual GA+ workshops providing design organizations with skills, competences and know-how that contribute to strengthening the cultural and creative sectors.

BEDA CONNECTS: Finally, the tools are procedures set thanks to the project will keep facilitating access to professional opportunities, in particular business to business. In the future, BEDA intends to continue encouraging the creation of strong consortiums to develop project proposals. The lasting impact will be to increase the funding secured by cultural and creative players such as design organizations to develop projects for the benefit of the EU.


Built-in synergies across the four action streams will enable impact to be achieved throughout the three-year period of the Call, which has been set within a seven year BEDA strategy. Each action stream will foster and stimulate an increasing number of activities and greater density of interaction leading to significant change-inducing outputs over the three year period.Supported by an effective communications plan, the four actions envisaged are:

‘GA+’, an extension of the BEDA General Assembly to deepen and reveal the expertise and diverse resources within the BEDA members;

‘BEDA CONNECTS’ – an annual gathering point to connect Members to new opportunities for national, trans-national and international collaborations and projects;

‘BEDA CLUSTERS’ – a unique series of Design Expertise Groups each comprising of three BEDA members with a shared expertise with regard to a significant design issue and finally,

‘BEDA INTEGRATES’ – a programme of high level policy influencing with a Design Insight Forum and a mini ‘Design Davos’ and attendant publications.


The objectives of the 3-years action plan have been reached, with some deviations due to sustainability and manageability constraints reported in the following sections (i.e. the final number of clusters). With the mentioned considerations, most of the foreseen deliverables have been produced except the BEDA Archives. A non-exhaustive list of the project deliverables by category:



1.       Attendance to and reporting on more than 40 events organised in Brussels by stakeholders with a professional interest in design

2.       BEDA Clusters Workshop in Antwerp (Y1)

3.       BEDA Clusters Workshop in Brussels (Y2)

4.       BEDA Clusters Workshop in Limassol (Y2)

5.       EU Design Days 2016 (Y2)

6.       EU Design Days 2017 (Y3)

7.       GA+ 2015 Milan (Y1)

8.       GA+ 2016 Limassol (Y2)

9.       GA+ 2017 Vilnius (Y3)

10.   Insight Forum 2015 (Y1)

11.   Insight Forum 2016 (Y2)

12.   Insight Forum 2017 (Y3)

13.   International Conference on Design IPR 2016 (Y2)

14.   Participation at ERRIN Design and Creativity WG meeting (Y2)

15.   Participation at EUIPO Users’ Groups Meeting 2017 (Y3)

16.   Participation at LAB Connection (Y2)

17.   Participation at WIDC 2016 (Y2)

18.   Participation at Workshop on Design for Social Innovation (Y2)

19.   Presentation on €Design and BEDA Cluster Measuring Design Value to attendants of International Design Policy Roundtable in Singapore 2017 (Y3)

20.   Workshop “Design for All” 2017 (Y3)

21.   Workshop “Membership Benefits” 2017 (Y3)



1.       BEDA Clusters Mapping (Y3)

2.       Cluster Guide to Map Design Ecosystems (Y3)

3.       Cluster Mapping of the European Design Ecosystem (Y3)

4.       Cluster proposal for Cluster on Membership Benefits (Y3)

5.       Cluster report on Design Effectiveness (Y3)

6.       Cluster report on Design4Tourism (Y2)

7.       Cluster report on Measuring Design Value – Report 2016 (Y2)

8.       Cluster report on Measuring Design Value – Report 2017 (Y3)

9.       Cluster report on the International Conference on Design IPR 2016 (Y2)

10.   Cluster report on Workshop in Antwerp (Y1)

11.   Cluster report on Workshop in Brussels (Y3)

12.   Cluster report on Workshop in Limassol (Y2)

13.   Cluster research for the European Design Report (Y3)

14.   Cluster survey and report on Design Remuneration Methods in Europe (Y2)

15.   Cluster survey and report on Membership Benefits (Y3)

16.   Cluster Working Paper R&D Agenda on Circular Economy (Y3)

17.   EU Design Projects Mapping (Y2)



1.       BEDA Cluster Guide (Y2)

2.       BEDA Manifesto (Y2)

3.       EU Design Days 2017 brochure (Y3)

4.       European Design Report II (Y3)

5.       Executive Summary on Insight Forum 2017 (Y3)

6.       Position Paper on Design and Circular Economy (Y2)

7.       Report on Design and the Migration Challenge (Y2)

8.       Report on GA+ 2015 Milan (Y1)

9.       Report on GA+ 2016 Limassol (Y2)

10.   Report on GA+ 2017 Vilnius (Y3)

11.   Report on Insight Forum 2015 (Y1)

12.   Report on Insight Forum 2016 (Y2)

13.   Summary of Workshop “Design for All” – BID Saint-Étienne 2017 (Y3)



1.       Clusters workshop in Antwerp (Y1)

2.       Clusters workshop in Brussels (Y3)

3.       Clusters workshop in Limassol (Y2)

4.       Contact and/or collaboration with 22 EU funded projects related to design

5.       Creation of 12 clusters to share knowledge and experience

6.       EU Design Days 2016 (Y2)

7.       EU Design Days 2017 (Y3)

8.       GA+ 2015 Milan (Y1)

9.       GA+ 2016 Limassol (Y2)

10.   GA+ 2017 Vilnius (Y3)

11.   Insight Forum 2015 (Y1)

12.   Insight Forum 2016 (Y2)

13.   Insight Forum 2017 (Y3)

14.   Participation at ERRIN Design and Creativity WG meeting (Y2)

15.   Participation at WIDC 2016 (Y2)

16.   Word Design Summit 1st Pre-Summit Meeting (Y3)

17.   Word Design Summit 2nd Pre-Summit Meeting (Y3)



1.       Creation of BEDA’s Company Page, and management of BEDA’s Group on Linkedin to disseminate project activities

2.       EU Design Days 2016 – Design Dialogue presentation (Y2)

3.       EU Design Days 2017 – Vice-president’s presentation (Y3)

4.       EU Design Days 2017 promotion campaign (Y3)

5.       GA+ 2015 Milan promotion campaign and graphic material (Y1)

6.       GA+ 2016 Limassol promotion campaign and graphic material (Y2)

7.       GA+ 2017 Vilnius promotion campaign and graphic material (Y3)

8.       Insight Forum 2015 promotion campaign and graphic material (Y1)

9.       Insight Forum 2016 promotion campaign and graphic material (Y2)

10.   Insight Forum 2017 promotion campaign and graphic material (Y3)

11.   Monthly newsletters featuring EU support and project updates

12.   New BEDA Website to adapt it to project objectives (transform website into a knowledge hub) and to disseminate project activities and outputs

13.   New Communication Strategy

14.   Participation at the Workshop on Design for Social Innovation (Y2)

15.   Particularized promotion campaign of project activities and events

16.   Presentation at Conference “The role of Eco-Design in the circular economy” (Y1)

17.   Presentation at Designnovation conference (Y1)

18.   Redesign of newsletter to include new project related sections

19.   Restructuring of Flickr albums

20.   Social Media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter


BEDA Membership

We have 48 members from 28 countries within the geographical limits of Europe. They are all leading design promotion centres (usually funded by Government/public money) or professional design and trade associations (usually funded by the design industry of that country). Our professional design and trade association members represent hundreds of thousands of individual designers across Europe.

Design for Europe

Design for Europe is a three-year programme to support design-driven innovation across Europe. It is co-funded by the European Union as part of the EU’s Action Plan for Design-Driven Innovation. Design for Europe is being delivered between January 2014 and December 2016 by a consortium of design organisations, universities and business support organisations from across the EU.

European Regions Research And Innovation Network (ERRIN)

Founded in 2001, ERRIN is a unique Brussels-based platform of more than 120 regional stakeholders organisation most of whom are represented by their Brussels offices. ERRIN promotes knowledge exchange between its members, focusing on joint actions and project partnerships to strengthen regional research and innovation capacities. Through these actions ERRIN seeks to contribute to the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the Innovation Union flagship initiative and Smart Specialisation strategies.