According to the COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Implementing an Action Plan for Design-Driven Innovation (September 2013), promoting understanding of design’s impact on innovation is one of the three strategic areas for action to accelerate the take-up of design in innovation policy. This area area involves creating conditions and developing competencies for an effective policy on design-driven innovation, and one of its key action lines is:

3.1.2. Measuring the economic impact of design and its role alongside other intangible assets in value creation. There is a lack of reliable, comparable statistical evidence demonstrating design’s contribution to the economy and its impact on return on investment. Developing effective evidence-based policies requires comprehensive, reliable methods for measuring the impact of investing in design. Also, there is a need for a comprehensive picture of design investment across Europe.

€Design – Measuring Design Value was one of the 6 EU co-financed projects promoting design-driven innovation in the strategic areas of the Action Plan. They were financed through the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme and relate to the European Design Innovation Initiative that contributes to the take-up of design as a user-centred innovation tool. The project was lead by BCD Barcelona Design Centre, with the participation of SVID, Designaustria, Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, Copenhague Business School and University of Cambridge – Design Management.

€Design goal was that EU Innovation Statistics (as the Community Innovation Survey or the Innobarometer) include design-driven innovation data of the impact of design for innovation, beyond the aesthetics dimension, but as the integrator of functional, emotional and social utilities.

€Design proposed the following definition of design:

‘To design is to integrate functional, emotional and social utilities when shaping goods, services, processes, messages and strategies’

On February 13th 2014, €Design took part in the Expert Workshop on Measuring the Use and Economic Impact of Design: New Perspectives on Innovation, with the participation of EU, OECD, Eurostat, NESTI and WIPO representatives to share the knowledge and experiences resulting from the latest research activities on the economic contribution of design.

In this workshop €Design introduced the fundamental pillars on how to collect data and measure the role and economic contribution of design in the value added of nations, economic value creation of businesses and creation of quality jobs.

In line with the content of the Expert Workshop on Measuring the Use and Economic Impact of Design: New Perspectives on Innovation, €Design formulated a set of guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Data. Copies of the draft of the Proposed Guidelines were sent for comments/contributions to experts of the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) OECD and EUROSTAT. We received enriching comments/contributions that were added the final text, which was presented and distributed at the final conference of the project in Brussels in June 2014.

The conclusions of the project were:

  • Design as integrator at the outset of systemic innovation has a relevant role to economic and social growth.
  • Policy makers need data.
  • Data can be provided by introducing three new questions.
  • How goods and services compete
  • Attributes of introduced innovations
  • Resources used
  • Design as an economic contributor can be measured in the CIS or in the Eurobarometer.
  • Guidelines and questions must be aligned.

€Design made also proposals regarding the future revision of Frascati Manual 2002 version, foreseen for 2015, for example on providing guidelines about the role of design as a connector between research and innovation.

Finally, €Design project was mentioned in the OECD document
Measuring Design and its Role in Innovation (STI Working Paper 2015/01) (Page 38) and a link to €Design website was made at the OECD website:

Building on the legacy of €Design, this Cluster is aimed at continuing working on inititatives towards the measurement of design’s contribution to the economy and jobs creation and about the relevance of these data for policy makers and the design and business communities.

Theme: Design ManagementDesign PolicyDesign Support and PromotionDesign Value and Business Dialogue
Cluster: Design & IPRDesign StatsEuropean Design and Business DialogueMeasuring Design Value
Supporting Documents:
 BEDA Cluster Measuring Design Value – Report 2016.pdf
Date : 30/11/2016
EU ProjectDesign Europe 2021