Secretariat for the European Commission's Design Innovation Initiative to be placed in Aalto University

31 January 2011
Helsinki (Finland) - The European Design Innovation Initiative (EDII), launched by the European Commission to strengthen the connection between design, innovation and competitiveness, will now be supported by its own secretariat, situated at the Designium Innovation Centre operating in connection with the Aalto University in Helsinki.
Helsinki (Finland) - The European Design Innovation Initiative (EDII), launched by the European Commission to strengthen the connection between design, innovation and competitiveness, will now be supported by its own secretariat, situated at the Designium Innovation Centre operating in connection with the Aalto University in Helsinki.

The secretariat was placed in Finland as a result of two central factors: Aalto University's Mission Statement about bringing together art, economy and technology and the expertise and experience found in the Designium Innovation Centre regarding versatile utilisation of competence in design.

According to the Commission, an increase in market-driven and user-centred approach is needed in Europe to balance out technology-oriented thinking. The Commission perceives that user-centred and a market-driven design are in a central position when tackling challenges associated with climate change, ageing of population and the competitiveness of European countries.

A European Leadership Board will be established to manage the initiative. It represents the central actors who are able to ensure the right match between the utilisation of design, innovation and competitiveness: economic life, top-level research and education in the field of design, designers and support organisations for design and innovation activities.

The EDII Leadership Board, the secretariat and the European Commission will produce a common vision and recommendations regarding the most important development areas and measures that will be used to ensure the integration of design into European innovation policies.

"Extending the application of the user-centred expertise and thinking that has evolved within research and education in design to all product planning provides a good starting point for the generation of new innovation. The possibilities for the application of the new information are limitless," believes Eija Nieminen, Director of Designium.

World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 has been involved in close collaboration with the initiative.

"We are happy learn of the Commission's decision and pleased that the role of design will be further strengthened in the EU. Establishing the secretariat will also support the objectives of World Design Capital Helsinki. Placing the secretariat in Helsinki will strengthen the position of the capital area as a design cluster of international significance," says Pekka Timonen, Director of International Design Association (IDA) in charge of the preparations for WDC Helsinki 2012.



For more information, please contact:

Eija Nieminen
Director, Designium
T: +358 50 355 0403
E:


About the European Design Innovation Initiative

The particular importance of design as a key discipline and activity to bring ideas to the market has been recognised in the Innovation Union, Europe's 2020 flagship initiative. In line with the commitment taken in the Innovation Union, the European Commission will launch in 2011 the European Design Innovation Initiative to exploit the full potential of design for innovation and to reinforce the link between design, innovation and competitiveness.
ec.europa.eu

About the Design Innovation Center

Designium Innovation Centre operating in connection with Aalto University promotes the transfer of new knowledge and expertise in design into economic life and an increase in the utilisation of design in the word of business. Another objective of the Centre is to contribute to a significant increase in the international competitiveness of Finland and a rise in employment. Designium produces information on the current situation and international developments of the design industry, implements measures to promote the development of design and creates new international contacts.
www.taik.fi/designium