Project Summary

Name: Design4Innovation
Lead: PDR (International Design and Research Centre), UK
Partners: 8
Value: €1.7m
Dates: January 2017 – December 2021


Design4Innovation is a collaborative project of eight European partners working together to promote the up-take design as a tool for user-centred innovation within innovation funding programmes. Design4Innovation aims to help small and medium enterprises create more desirable products and services but also to support governments to develop, implement and monitor Design Action Plans.


To better inform evidence-based policy-making, we will monitor the impact and evaluate effectiveness of implemented mechanisms during 24-month monitoring phase. We are working towards ambitious targets of:

  • 1,600 SMEs accessing vouchers, grants and mentoring programmes for design,
  • 80% of beneficiary SMEs implementing new products/services,
  • 80% of beneficiary SMEs with increased in turnover,

We will share our results during a high-level conference in Brussels in 2021.


  • Create stakeholder groups including representatives from policy, operational programmes, business intermediaries, design centres and academia.
  • Map the Design Ecosystems in the partner regions.
  • Facilitate peer-learning among the network through study visits.
  • Identify and share good practices in design support programmes such as design vouchers and design mentoring.
  • Collate tools and methods to build capacity for design among business intermediaries.
  • Collate a bank of evidence on the economic value of design (case studies and mini films).
  • Involve policy-makers and programme managers in project workshops to influence policy and programmes for enterprises.
  • Conduct forecasting to anticipate future trends in innovation policies and programmes.
  • Disseminate good practices across Europe.


  • 122 events using design methods with policy-makers
  • 3 policy booklets for governments to integrate design into policy instruments
  • 16 case studies of good practice
  • 4 video case studies of enterprises using design for innovation
  • 8 Design Action Plans