The Business and Cultural Development Centre, along with the Danish Design Centre and Estonian Design Centre, were approved for the implementation of the project "Co-create Design Innovation Services”. 

Under the call "Peer learning of innovation agencies" for proposals of the Horizon2020 Programme, the Business and Cultural Development Centre (KEPA), along with the Danish Design Centre (DDC) and Estonian Design Centre (EDC), were approved for the implementation of the project "Co-create Design Innovation Services" with the acronym "CODIS". The contract was signed on 16/04/2018 and the total project duration is 12 months.

A brief description of the project

The main objective of the project is to collaboratively address a common innovation support challenge, through the concept of the Twinning+ methodology, in order to peer-review a common innovation-support problem faced. CODIS aims to bring three organisations together, to jointly seek for solutions-best practices and provide advice regarding the service delivery system of design support programmes. The three members of the consortium have long-standing experience in providing services to SMEs, managing national/regional funds to reinforce entrepreneurship. During the implementation of the project, the partners will peer review the whole cycle of an innovation service provision: the procedures of setting up a design-support service that satisfies its target group, the awareness raising regarding design support opportunities, the provision of the services themselves, the post-evaluation of the provision and the improvement of the service. Using the Twinning Advanced methodology, this initiative will lead to the elaboration of a Design Option Paper (DOP), which will include the results of the peer-review process on existing services, and will be a backbone of how to set up a “design support service”. An innovative objective during the CODIS project that has not been covered yet in any similar action is that the partners, right after drafting the final draft of the DOP, will use it as a guidebook and test it setting up a pilot - new service, in Greece. Through this pilot, not only a new service will be developed, but valuable feedback on the usability of the DOP and unforeseen issues not covered, will be exported and then fed back on the final version of the DOP. As so, the final DOP will be an understandable and handy tool that will serve effectively as a “guide” or a “handbook” to other innovation agencies to design and/or deliver similar, more enterprise-friendly programmes and services.

Specific objectives of the project

Specific objectives of the project are the following:
1. Creation of a peer learning group (≥6 persons, from the 3 regions involved) in order to strengthen the design support and service/programme design and delivery capacity of the involved partners, through the application of Twinning+ methodology.
2. Identification of good practices/design support programmes in Europe and beyond. The partners will identify existing or previously design support services/programmes and will report the “plus” and “minuses” they have/had. This way, they will develop in the DOP a “Do’s and Don’ts” summary to guide similar agencies and organisations in setting the concept around the setup of a service/programme.
1. Set up of a pilot action. After finishing the peer-learning activities, the partners will develop a final draft DOP. During the pilot action, partners will put into practice the DOP’s guidelines, in order to set up a new design support service from scratch. The pilot will take place in Thessaloniki, at the premises of KEPA, 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
b. The new design support service in Greece, which will be presented also in the final DOP.
2. Establish a strategic partnership among the CODIS 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 CODIS partners in the final phase of the project).

To achieve the overall and specific objectives, the CODIS project will enable the knowledge exchange among the participants on the following matters:

- Provision of design support services/programmes to SMEs on the involved territories (indicatively: information on standards / networking / financial & non-financial opportunities types / barriers / investment auditing / etc.).
- Enhancement of user-centered procedures in providing assistance to SMEs.
- Improvement of administrative and ‘back-office’ aspects in the management of design support services/programmes.
- Follow up of the design support intervention, measurement of its effect on SMEs being supported; inputs gathering and improvement of the offered service/programme.

The lead parter of the project is Business & Cultural Development Centre - KEPA, Greece
co-partners are Estonian Design Centre - EDC, Estonia and Danish Design Centre - DDC, Denmark