“Design-Driven Innovation Support”: REDI final conference in Brussels

Many studies show that design contributes to the competitiveness of businesses. Its use however still remains limited. REDI (Regions support Entrepreneurs and Designers to Innovate) is a programme which is supported by the European Commission with the aim to sustain territorial “ecosystems” that stimulate innovation through design. On 10 March 2015, the EU Project REDI ended with a final conference at the Represention of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Brussels. The REDI partners shared their experiences and investigated how innovation supports existing initiatives within the framework of workshops, a plenary session and an exhibition.

The day started with three different workshops which were held in parallel. They aimed at motivating the participants to figure out how design can be integrated into a business strategy. Afterwards, the conference granted insights into how the REDI partners worked on that topic. The plenary session, hosted by Vito Oražem, Managing Director Design Zentrum NRW, summed up the outcome of the REDI project.

In his presentation, Vito Oražem introduced the Game Design Conferences in the German metropolis Berlin, initiated by the Design Zentrum NRW. These conferences drew attention to the importance of game design in various fields, such as communication, education and entertainment. As a result, REDI partner APCI even created a game that explains a design process.

Besides three different workshops, the conclusions of the REDI project review were presented. It was pointed out, for example, that businesses start to think about design but not from the start. The vital question is: What fits best between business strategy and design?

In his closing speech, Bonifacio Garcia Porras emphasised that design innovation is receiving great attention and that there are many events on design. He pointed out that this is just the beginning and that design is well established on the EU agenda. In order to succeed at the European level, initiatives have to work on a regional level first. There is a will to learn about user-centric design innovations in Europe.

The evening ended with an exhibition combining successful initiatives from Germany and France by presenting selected exhibits of young professionals and well-known companies. The objects reflected the integration and promotion of design in various fields. On show were products and communication designs of up-and-coming talents who have received the Red Dot quality seal for outstanding design. The Design Zentrum NRW assembled this selection. Moreover, the presentation showcased design projects, which were selected by the Agence pour la Promotion de la Création Industrielle and which have been awarded with the label “L’Observeur du Design“.

REDI is one of six programmes which is supported and co-financed by the European Commission under the EDII (European Design Innovation Initiative).

About REDI
REDI (Regions supporting Entrepreneurs and Designers to Innovate) was set up by a consortium of five European organisations and is funded through the European Design Innovation Initiative. Its aim is to sustain regional innovation opportunities that stimulate innovation through design. The main objective is to bridge the gap between businesses and design professionals in order to unleash the design innovation potential in various contexts throughout the European Union.

REDI Partners
Agence pour la Promotion de la Création Industrielle (APCI), Paris, France
Business Support Center for SMEs, Ruse, Bulgaria
Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Bretagne (CCIB), Saint-Malo, France
Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, Essen, Germany
Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Helsinki, Finland