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Thursday, 22. August 2019  

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Design is a driver of innovation

The European Commission invites you to respond to a public consultation on design and innovation launched on the basis of a Commission staff working document, 'Design as a driver of user-centred innovation'. This document looks at design as an activity that allows companies to develop products and services that better correspond to user needs, and analyses the contribution of design to innovation and competitiveness. The results are compelling. Research shows that companies that invest in design tend to be more innovative, more profitable, and grow faster than those that do not. 

The staff working document suggests that there are better ways to use design for innovation in Europe, and that the use of design has untapped potential in many companies, particularly smaller firms. This potential exists in new markets but also in mature and low-tech markets.

Design and ‘design thinking’ – putting the user in the centre – can make new technology user-friendly and attractive. Design, therefore, complements technological R&D as a driver of innovation. In mature and low-tech markets, aesthetic and functional innovations in product, package and communication design are often key elements of brand building and commercial success.

In addition to its economical benefits, design can build environmental, safety, access and other considerations into products, services and systems. Examples of successful use of design in European companies can be found on the Design Management Europe (DME) website. DME is part of PRO INNO Europe®.

The aim of the public consultation on design and innovation is to find out what more can be done at EU-level to support the use of design innovation. The invitation is open to organisations and individuals for comment until 26 June 2009.

Commission staff working document on design as a driver of user-centred innovation

Public consultation on design and innovation







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