The European Commission has issued a call for proposals to create a European Design Innovation Platform, in recognition of the role design has to play in bringing products and services to market. The objective of the platform will be to undertake a series of activities which help to speed up the take-up of design in innovation policies at European, national, and regional levels. The actions of the Platform should also promote the increased use of design in both European industry and the public sector, with the aim of adding value and promoting competitiveness and the efficient use of resources. There should also be some emphasis on closing the divide between those regions which are advanced in the use of design-based innovation and those which are lagging behind.
The kind of activities which will be supported are: advocacy activities promoting the use of design-driven innovation (interaction with policy-makers, cases studies; communication of outcomes where design has been used in innovation policy); a web-based platform to support peer-learning, networking and partnerships among design driven companies (this activity is seen as key); activities to support the improvement of design capabilities in enterprises (events, etc.); and activities to support the design capabilities of the public sector.
Projects funded will support the implementation of the Commission’s forthcoming Action Plan for Design-Driven Innovation (see see COM(2012) 537 at: http://ec.europa.eu/culture/our-policy-development/documents/communication-sept2012.pdf), which is itself based on recommendations of the European Design Leadership Board (http://i3s.ec.europa.eu/commitment/25.html). Applicants are also asked to ensure that proposed activities do not overlap with those of six projects already funded in support of the Action Plan, details of which are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/innovation/policy/design-creativity/index_en.htm
The project is expected to run for a maximum of three years. It will be funded at a rate of 75% of eligible costs, with a total EU contribution of EUR 2,850,000 available. To apply, you need a consortium of at least three partners from three different eligible countries (these are listed in the call for proposals). The closing date for applications is 2 July 2013.
Full details are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/page/call_CIP?callIdentifier=76-G-ENT-CIP-13-C-N05S00&specificProgram=EIP
We’d advise that you read the documents, especially the Call for Proposal and the Guide for Applicants, before starting work on any application. Best of luck!