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Minister Nash Supports Regional Assembly’s Call for a Greater Application of Design-Driven Innovation

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SEE Report Launch

Minister Ged Nash T.D., Minister for Business and Employment speaking in Dublin today at the launch of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly’s report ‘Design-Driven Innovation: Why it Matters for SME Competitiveness’ stated, “For too long, design has been the poor relation of Government supports to business and we need to recognise, as this report demonstrates, that investment in design improves a business’s bottom line which in turn can create more jobs”.

The report highlights the need to support the greater application of design-thinking processes among Irish SMEs to develop their competitiveness and growth potential. In presenting the findings of the report co-author Adrian O’Donoghue of the Northern and Western Regional Assembly stated “An opportunity exists during the year long-promotion of Irish design in 2015 to focus on what design-driven innovation, the multidisciplinary and strategic process, can deliver for the Irish economy. This can be achieved through the greater inclusion of design-thinking in our eco-system of supports by enterprise agencies, the roll-out of educational courses at third level and awareness raising programme amongst Irish SMEs”.

Recognising the need for Member States to be supported in their application of the design-thinking in business, the European Commission established the European Design Innovation Initiative and supported by this programme, the Assembly has funded its activities to raise awareness and develop the research evidence base in Ireland.

The launch highlighted the global shift towards the application of design-thinking to enhance business models which has been proven to cultivate dynamic cultures, more desirable products and services, faster growth and passionate customers. Adrian O’Donoghue added, “Design pays off, firms that integrate design in their approach have been shown to make more money and generate greater exports than their competitors”.

Referring to a forthcoming review of design innovation supports available to companies, Minister Nash concluded “I have asked Enterprise Ireland to evaluate the current programmes that are available to SMEs in support of design and to look at whether more specific and targeted measures might be introduced in support of enterprise policy”. The Minister has asked Enterprise Ireland to report back to him by the end of the summer.

In his concluding remarks at the launch, Assembly Director Gerry Finn said, “We would like to thank the European Commission for their support and in particular the members of the Steering Committee for their engagement with the process over the last year which has helped us bring forward and develop our report. In addition, CIRCA Group Europe consultants have brought their significant expertise and experience to inform the content of this report”.

Further information please phone Adrian O’Donoghue T: 087-212-0307

Click Here to Download the “Design-Driven Innovation: Why it Matters for SME Competitiveness” PDF Version (size 9mb)

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Click Here to Download a lower resolution PDF Version of the report(size 1.5mb)

Also available to Download

NWRA + CIRCA – Design-Driven Innovation Report Launch Press Release 2015.03.10

Jim Costello – Design-Driven Innovation Report Launch 2015.03.10