The Alpine Space shows moderate to strong innovation performance (Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2016), placing it among the most innovative EU regions. Yet, in spite of good ICT structures and high innovating SMEs, the territory displays unequal service and funding opportunities between urban and mountain areas, where limited innovation services and inadequate investment restrain SMEs growth. Also, at transnational level, collaboration across Alpine Space countries on innovation is limited.
Following EUSALP action plan the DesAlps project aims at improving two key conditions for more competitiveness:
- Setting up a transnational network and strategy to apply Design Thinking to innovation, making networking opportunities and sustainability two pillars to support SMEs to overcome barriers limiting their growth.
- Performing its action in a strategic sector (Sustainable Living), where transnational cooperatin in research and innovation is strengthened by S3 frame and can therefore impact more effectively at a social and economic level.
The overall objective of the DesAlps project is to improve the framework condition for innovation in the Alpine Space improving intermediaries' and policy makers' knowledge and competence on Design Thinking to assist entrepreneurs with dedicated strategy and structure: a Virtual Training Centre. Innovation and local Design Thinking Labs will boost SMEs innovation processes and growht yet preserving the connection with the territory.
The DesAlps project will define new strategies and tools to improve the framework conditions for innovation in the Alpine Space through Design Thinking diffusion, focus on increasing knowledge and know-how exchanging at a transnational level. DesAlps will also implement a durable transnationl cooperation network thanks to Design Thinking hotspots that will act as permanent cross-fertilization actors, boosting the potential for business innovation and consensus building for Design Thinking inclusion and policies.