The SEE Platform (Sharing European Experience on Design, Innovation and Policy) was a network of 11 European partners engaging with government to accelerate the uptake of design in innovation policies and programmes. From 2012 to 2015, funded by the Europe Commission, SEE is one of the implementation mechanisms of the European Commission’s Action Plan for Design-driven Innovation. Led by PDR at Cardiff Metropolitan University, SEE is highlighted in an impact case study in the Commission’s mid-term review of the policy Innovation Union.
Through new research, workshops for policy-makers, case studies, policy booklets and the annual Design Policy Monitor, SEE has built a bank of evidence to support public authorities to integrate design into policy, programmes and their mainstream practice. The network involved over 1,000 policy-makers in hands-on workshops and consequently integrated design into 18 policies and 48 programmes at national, regional and local levels. PDR developed the highly successful Design Policy Workshops and the Design Policy Monitor.
SEE can demonstrate impact in all of the partner countries because the network has facilitated peer-learning and exchange among innovation policy-makers across Europe enabling them to transfer and adapt best practices in design policies and programmes.
As a result of policy-makers participating in SEE workshops, engagement by SEE partners and drawing on SEE research, design now features in national level policies in Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Greece as well as at a regional level in Wales (UK), South Bohemia (Czech Republic), Greater Copenhagen (Denmark), Central Finland, Central Macedonia (Greece), Malopolskie and Silesia (Poland).
In addition to influencing 18 policies, SEE has resulted in the implementation of 48 new design-related programmes. Some examples include Design Management in the SME Wallet (Flanders), Design Bulldozer (Estonia), Extroversion (Greece), Design for Social Innovation (Ireland), Design at Your Service! (Silesia), Design Thinking in Public Services (UK) and Design for Independent Living (Wales). This amounts to new investment in design programmes of over €8.5 million.
The SEE Design, Innovation and Policy Conference held on 10 February 2015 in the Flemish Parliament in Brussels attracted over 160 stakeholders representing regional and national governments, design centres, design agencies and academia from across Europe.
Since the SEE Platform began in 2012, the design policy landscape in Europe has transformed. Design is increasingly being recognised as a factor for innovation in small to medium-sized enterprises, the public sector and society and progressively moves up the policy agenda at multiple levels of governance across Europe.
Design’s ability to combine multi-disciplinary expertise in collaborative problem-solving processes with the focus on human needs has made it a central point of a shift from technology-focused and R&D-driven innovation towards more user-centred methodologies and techniques. The challenge we now face is to keep the momentum going and capitalise on the SEE Platform legacy, broaden the design capabilities among SMEs, help to develop design-driven innovation capacities within the public sector and further introduce design methods to multiple policy domains such health, social, environmental, digital and transport and also as a method for inclusive policy-making.
SEE produced a number of publications including:
Design Policy Monitor with statistics on the performance of Design Ecosystems
Design for Public Good Report - presenting a series of case studies and tools to enhance the understanding of design for public sector innovation and facilitate the integration of its methods into mainstream practice
PDR would like to thank all of the other SEE partners for their collaboration:
Regional Development Agency of South Bohemia (RERA)
Danish Design Centre
Estonian Design Centre
Aalto University, School of Art and Design
JAMK University of Applied Sciences
Business and Cultural Development Centre (KEPA)
Northern and Western Regional Assembly