Design plays a key role as an intangible asset for EU innovative companies. 21% of European companies use design as a strategic means to encourage innovation and the EU's design sector has an annual turnover of €36 billion. In order to fully exploit designs' potential to boost innovation, growth and job creation, the European Commission set up the European Design Innovation Initiative.
21 policy recommendations have recently been presented by the European Design Leadership Board, addressing six areas for strategic action:
- the global stage; including identifying and strengthening existing European Design Centres, and creating a "Designed in the European Union" label;
- Europe's innovation system; including new methods to measure the growth impact of investment in design, and including design within innovation and business incubators and their networks;
- Europe's enterprises; including strengthening design innovation in SMEs and facilitating access to finance for design-led companies;
- the public sector; including increasing the use of design and designers in public sector innovation by establishing design labs;
- the research system; including embedding design research in Europe’s research system; and
- the education system; including fostering a culture of design learning and encouraging Member States to support the development of design competencies for the 21st century.
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