Just over three years ago Design4Innovation partners set out on a knowledge exchange journey to find inspirations and examples of good practice in making our small and medium businesses more user-centric, more competitive, profitable and sustainable through design. As we are now entering two years of impact monitoring phase, it is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the results achieved during the learning time. Quantitative summaries always provide a good overview of what has been done, so let's start with the numbers:

  • 8 Action Plans with a total of 27 actions addressing 12 different policy documents;
  • Action Plans were developed based on insights from 77 Policy Learning events that engaged over 1000 people; that includes 7 knowledge exchange workshops and study visits, as well as stakeholder group meetings in our partner regions;
  • Further 2000 people were engaged in 57 Dissemination events, including a high-level 'International Design Policy Roundtable' and ‘Innovation by design’ exhibition during 2018 Valletta European Capital of Culture celebrations;
  • Our project website is one of the most popular websites among second call projects hosting over 2000 sessions every semester;
  • All 80 people, closely involved in project, reported increased professional capacity, and 70% of them to 'a large degree'.

The numbers are important and it is very satisfying to see how much we have done in those three years. However, it was reading the comments to our evaluation survey that gave us the biggest reward and sense of pride. Let me share a couple of them here:

  • "Design4Innovation project has more wide effect that just action plan development and implementation, it has also indirect impact on society. Dissemination events were a great opportunity to rise society`s awareness about design"  
  • "For the first time as a stakeholder, I felt like my voice is heard and the engagement is valued",
  • "Design4Innovation was one of the best projects I have taken part in."
  • "Thank you for supporting this important work."
  • "To the lead partner: many many thanks for all your disposition and commitment!!!!"
  • "This was one of the greatest projects where I participated, and the reason for that - PDR as the Lead Partner. Thanks for the great work done!"
  • "It was a real pleasure for me to cooperate with interesting and involved people"
  • "I hope the project will have the next edition." 

We at PDR would also like to thank our dedicated partners and their stakeholders for sharing their knowledge and ideas. We owe a special 'Thank you' to the whole team at Interreg Europe for supporting us throughout the learning phase. We truly hope that in those uncertain times, when we are debating our future, redefining economic growth and value chains, our Action Plan interventions will be sustained and will positively contribute to rethinking and rebuilding the ways we do business.