The aim of the project is to enhance the co-creation philosophy to the service delivery system of urban challenge solving, through the inclusion of innovative SMEs in the design process. During the implementation of the project, the partners will peer review a co-creation procedure of setting up a solution that addresses a local challenge, satisfying the affected target group, capitalizing the expertise of the innovative SMEs of the region/country and enabling local authorities both improve the use of public money and raise their citizens’ satisfaction rates. The 3 partners, will peer-review other similar initiatives, in order to come up with a backbone of a “design service” offered to the local ecosystem by innovation agencies, that will enable cities, SMEs and citizens collaborate for the common good.
The main objective of the “Design Challenge Pilot” project, is to collaboratively address a common innovation support challenge, through the concept of the Twinning+ methodology, in order to peer-review a common faced innovation-support problem. The Twinning+ methodology is a methodology that combines elements of traditional peer reviews and twinning in small learning groups of interested agencies.
This specific project aims to bring three organisations together, to jointly seek for solutions on how local societies can capitalise their respective SMEs’ participation in Innovation Support programmes. The point is that, all these SMEs, having participated in national / regional Innovation Support programmes, have developed their capacity, knowledge and experience through them. Nowadays, in a rapid changing world that faces hundreds of social challenges, it has been proved that there is a weakness by local/regional governments to give adequate answers to them. The innovative SME’s earned added value through their participation in the Innovation Support programmes, could be the potential solution to the problem, while it also provides us a solution to another issue. SMEs that have been already supported, do not (or extremely rarely) have a follow-up relationship with the support-provider organisation, resulting to the lack of information of the development these SMEs have shown in that time and the return on investment (ROI) made.
During the implementation of the project, the partners will peer review a co-creation procedure of setting up a solution that addresses a local challenge, satisfying the affected target groups, capitalizing the expertise of the innovative SMEs of the region/country and enabling local authorities both improve the use of public money and raise their citizens’ satisfaction rates. The 3 partners, will identify and peer-review other similar initiatives (if any), and will include the feedback regarding their efficiency, while developing the backbone of the new “design-service” to be offered to the local ecosystem by innovation agencies, that will enable cities, SMEs and citizens collaborate for the common good. The consortium members will set up a procedure where all the beforementioned stakeholders will collaborate to “frame the challenge”, “ideate possible solutions”, “prototype” the best of them, “test” them in real life and “adopt” the ultimate one that satisfies the most, all people involved.
Further than just setting a new “design service” and delivering a Design Options Paper (DOP) for other agencies to use, the consortium will adopt a different process. The partners, collaborating through this Twinning+ concept and peer-review process, will come up with a “draft” DOP, that will be used as a guidebook to set up a pilot-challenge solving service in Greece. The service will ensure that all stakeholders’ point-of-view will be included and KEPA will facilitate the implementation of the procedure by solving a social challenge, making maximum use of local SMEs expertise. Through this pilot that will take place in Thessaloniki, not only a new service will be developed and tested, but valuable feedback on the usability of the DOP and unforeseen issues not covered, will be exported and then will be fed back on the final version of the DOP. The partners, based on the peer-learning activities and the Pilot Action, will deliver an understandable and handy final “Design Options Paper” – that will serve effectively as a “guide” or a “handbook” on how other innovation support agencies can also cope with social problems, while they activate local SMEs at the same time.
Specific objectives of the project are the following:
- Creation of a peer learning group (≥8 persons, from the 3 regions involved) in order to strengthen the service/programme design and delivery capacity of the involved partners, through the application of Twinning+ methodology.
- Identification of good practices / design support programmes in Europe and beyond. The partners will identify existing or previously implemented similar design services/programmes and will report the “plus” and “minuses” they have/had. This way, they will include a “Do’s and Don’ts” summary in the DOP, in order to guide similar agencies and organisations in the setup phase of a similar service/programme.
- Set up of a pilot action. After finishing the peer-learning activities, the partners will develop a “draft” DOP, which includes the learnings, the experiences and the suggestions developed. In that stage, this DOP will be used in order to bring a new design service to life, and test in real time the effectiveness of the (so-far) outcomes of the project. As so, the partners will use their findings and combined experience and they will put into practice the DOP’s guidelines, in order to set up a new design service from scratch.The Design Challenge Pilot development phase will take place in Thessaloniki, in order to co-work and co-develop the pilot service. By setting this objective, two deliverables will be developed: a. The final DOP, with inputs made during the test of its usability and effectiveness and b. The new Design Challenge Pilot service in Greece, which will be presented also in the final DOP. After the DCP development phase, the service will be delivered in order to actually solve a social challenge of the city of Thessaloniki, capitalising the knowledge of the local/regional innovative SMEs.
- Establish a strategic partnership among the DCP partnering innovation agencies to engage in more frequent peer learning activities in the future, concerning design improvement measures for services/programmes towards SMEs (a Memorandum will be undersigned by DCP partners in the final phase of the project).
To achieve the overall and specific objectives, the DCP project will enable the knowledge exchange among the participants on the following matters:
- Provision of design support services/programmes to local society on the involved territories (indicatively: information on standards / networking / financial & non-financial opportunities types / barriers / investment auditing / reported results / etc.).
- Enhancement of user-centred procedures in providing solutions to social issues.
- Improvement of administrative and ‘back-office’ aspects in the management of design support services / programmes, that address social challenges.
- Follow up of the design support intervention, measurement of its effect on the issues addressed; inputs gathering and improvement of the offered service/programme.