Design as a tool for innovation

The primary purpose of this mini study on Design is to serve as an input for policy development in the Commission. Secondly, it is meant to serve as an input for an innovation policy workshop on design as a tool for innovation on 26 and 27 June 2008 in Marseille. In particular, the study intends to set the scene for the workshop by giving an update of the latest research, policy developments and evidence in the area. The mini study provides a global review of relevant literature on a specific emerging theme of interest for the European Commission, namely design as a tool for innovation.

The study covers the following questions:
  • definition issues, including variety of understandings of the concept;
  • importance issues, comprising quantitative and qualitative evidences;
  • impact issues;
  • globalisation issues, as it is affecting design sectors and firms’ strategies;
  • skills issues;
  • emerging significant trends in terms of integration of design in companies’ practices;
  • design supportive policies, worldwide, at local, regional or national levels, from relevance and consistency perspectives;
  • evaluation of effectiveness of those design supportive policies;
  • ability of design policies to address societal challenges.


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