DesAlps is a new European project working on supporting the use of Design Thinking (DT) for innovation by testing DT methods for SMEs to encourage innovation and supporting its integration into support policies in the Alpine Space ecosystems. DT is a driver of “user - centred” innovation and will help SMEs to identify and develop product and services much more customer oriented and meeting users’ expectations. Moreover, Design Thinking methods and tools will support the contamination between different sectors (from cultural sectors to traditional industrial sectors) and different innovation actors (technicians, designers, creatives, web-masters, etc.) for disruptive innovations.
DesAlps project aims at spreading a new kind of innovation approach: focused on improving knowledge management, customers’ relationship, strategic networking, better collaboration and cross-fertilization actions. In this way, even though geographical, logistic and financial barriers are limiting technological innovation processes, this new kind of innovation approach will focus on improving knowledge management, customers’ relationship, strategic networking, better collaboration and cross-fertilization actions. That is why DesAlps will focus on DT: empathy with user, spill-over actions, networking opportunities and attention to sustainable growth are pillars of the DT and will fit very well with the Alpine SMEs, their size and their processes for new products and services. To improve transnational cooperation and trigger opportunities, DesAlps foresees also the establishment of a Virtual DT Training Center with permanent DT Labs, that provide assistance and spread knowledge to all actors with multiply effects on the Alpine eco-system. Yet, to identify the most efficient innovation ecosystem for the diffusion of DT among Intermediaries and SMEs our first task was to identify pros, cons, barriers, opportunities and possible synergies to enhance DT implementation in innovation strategies. The results are offered again on this publication and will updated if needed with results coming from Testing sessions.
Starting form Spring 2018, SMEs will be able to directly benefit on Training and Testing on Design Thinking method (cost supported by the EC in the framework of Alpine Space program) in order to help companies’ processes and staff to become more experienced in Design for SME & innovation policies.