The DesImO project 

Design Impact Observatory (DesImO)

Estonian Design Centre, Business and Cultural Development Centre – KEPA (Greece), Design Society Fond (Denmark) and PDR’s Design & Innovation Policy Team (Wales) came together to exchange good practices and collaboratively propose solutions through a Horizon 2020 funded project – Design Impact Observatory (DesImO).

The main objective of the DesImO project is to collaboratively address a common innovation support challenge, through the concept of Twinning+methodology. DesImO aims to bring four organizations together, to jointly explore best practices and provide guidelines and tools regarding effectively measuring Design and its impact on SMEs. The project has started in February 2021 and has a duration of 12 months. KEPA is the Lead Partner of the Consortium. 

The basic DesImO’s concept is to tackle the challenges that national/regional agencies face, providing innovation support services that really apply to and satisfy the needs of the SMEs, especially regarding the impact monitoring of innovation drivers– such as Design – on SMEs performance.

The four members of the consortium have long-standing experience in Design, in providing services to SMEs and in managing national/regional funds to reinforce entrepreneurship. In DesImO project, the partnership will peer review past and on-going initiatives focusing on measuring impact of Design interventions in the business sector (and especially in SMEs).

Specific objectives of the project are:

Creation of a peer learning group (≥9 persons, from the 4 regions involved), in order to strengthen the Design monitoring and measuring capacity of the involved partners, through the application of Twinning+ methodology.

Identification of good practices / monitoring Design in Europe and beyond. The partners will identify methodologies, indicators and data collection procedures applied in existing reports on Design effects (Design value creation).

Tool testing. During the initial peer-learning activity, the partners will develop the draft guidelines and tools for Design impact monitoring. During tool testing, all partners will put these guidelines into practice, by measuring Design and its impact on SMEs in their territories.

Assessing the process. After completing the tool testing, the partners shall assess the results of the monitoring and the guidelines. They shall exchange experience on what worked well and what needs to be modified, which will lead them to refining the guidelines for an “Design Impact Observatory”.

Finalizing the DOP. Based on the outputs of the previous activities, a Design Options Paper (DOP) will be delivered as the final deliverable of the project, leading the way to a monitoring system of Design.

Establish a strategic partnership to engage in more peer learning activities in the future, by undersigning a Memorandum of Cooperation among DesImO partners concerning Design in/for/on SMEs.

More information: