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.