Strategic use of design is about utilising methods and tools from the world of design systematically to create new business opportunities.
Clusterix 2.0 has selected Strategic use of Design as an example of Good practice to develop new models of innovation for Strategic Cluster Partnerships and thereby contribute to cluster development.
Many Danish companies have chosen to use strategic design as their key method to involve users in development of products and solutions to become more competitive. To promote this process, the cluster Design2innovate (D2I) was established in 2010 as a membership-based design cluster to support companies by using design strategically to optimise and improve production, products, strategy and processes.
Since 2010 D2I has introduced design and design methods to 547 companies (1,500 employees and managers). D2I has conducted consultations in design, design vouchers, short seminars and workshops on design methods. Next step is that the region funds an initiative by which D2I canvas companies to involve them in designdriven innovation and make D2I more financially sustainable. Strategic use of design can be applied on other clusters and be a method to promote cross-cluster collaboration.
The cluster Design2innovate has received around 13 mio. EUR to develop a number of initatives to involve and train companies in design driven innovation. The resources can be scaled up and down, by including more or less enterprises according to the budget.
Evidence of success
Since 2010, a total of 574 companies and 1609 individuals have taken part in D2I’s activities. Over a three-year period, the number of companies in the region working with design has grown by 25%. External consultant evaluated activities and concluded that the activities are of high quality, that 72% after the first course for enterprises are expecting increased turnover and 42% after the second course.
The cluster has encountered challenges when identifying maturity in companies to implement strategic use of design. Some enterprises are not used to work with long term strategic goals, others do not have sufficient internal resources to work with strategic use of design.
Potential for learning or transfer
Companies using design strategically perform better than others. This is the reason for suggesting the GP as a new model of innovation. The method can be taken up by staff in cluster organisations or by enterprises themselves. The initiative can be embedded in a creative industry cluster ecosystem or in any other cluster. The GP has also served as a tool for developing the overall creative industry ecosystem.
The good practice can be of potential interest for public authorities themselves, as the method can be used to involve for example patients or users of public services in development of new or different services.
Policy makers can transfer and adapt this good practice themselves to involve user groups or to train key actors in their Regional Innovation Systems.
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