“I’m really pleased to see so many companies making use of the programme and bringing design in at an early stage of product development,” says Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske.
Oslo: Over a three year period, NOK 20 million has been distributed among 54 Norwegian businesses as part of a unique investment in innovation. It has recently been announced that the Design-driven Innovation Programme (DIP) is to be continued.
“I’m really pleased to see so many companies making use of the programme. Design, technical expertise and market understanding are important for new and profitable innovations, especially when design is brought in at an early stage of product development,” says Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske.
In a budget dominated by sobriety and the need to make savings, the Norwegian government elected to continue with the DIP in 2012. The 16 projects that will receive support during the year have also been announced.
“Over a three year period, as many as 341 businesses from 70 sectors have applied for a total of NOK 154 million in innovation support from the DIP.The interest has been enormous - more than we dared hope for - and shows that the project is filling a void in Norwegian innovation work.You could almost say there’s a gap in the market,” says Skule Storheill, Innovation Director and DIP officer at the Norwegian Design Council.
He explains that the DIP money has always been the deciding factor in a company choosing to start an innovation project.Over the past three years, everything from the oil and gas sector and maritime industry to technology companies, training institutions and large hospitals have received concept development support from the innovation project.
The focus on the environment is stronger than ever in the oil industry.Environmental technology company Biota Guard has developed a system that uses a series of sensors for real-time monitoring of the environment around platforms and other off-shore installations.Biota Guard wants to collect and present environmental data in a way that gives the oil companies the best possible basis for decision making, and now the Tananger-based firm is receiving NOK 420,000 in concept development support from DIP.
“We’ve noticed that the oil companies are becoming increasingly interested in getting environmental data into the operating rooms so that searching and production can take place as sensitively as possible,” says Project Manager Geir Strand at Biota Guard.
To give the operators an optimal decision-making tool, complicated environmental information has to be presented in as clear a manner as possible – integrated with other operational information.
Biota Guard is now in the process of choosing a design agency.“Industrial designers take their starting point from the work situation of the operator via user scenarios, and help us find out what the user actually needs – and doesn’t need – in terms of information,” says Strand.
This year, a total of 80 businesses from the whole of Norway applied for a total of NOK 34 million – and 16 of these have been selected to receive NOK 6.5 million in concept development support.Over a period of three years, 54 companies from 14 counties have received DIP funds.
This year's recipients include a large number of innovative private companies such as Ocea, TOPRO and the aforementioned Biota Guard, in addition to well-known institutions such as Vinmonopolet and the university hospitals in Oslo and Akershus.
“After completion of the project, all business recipients of support are paid a visit and interviewed about the process and results. This is so that we can create an even better basis for spreading new knowledge about how design can drive innovation,” says Storheill.
He draws our attention to the cooperation between the expertise environments at the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Design Council and the crucial role they have played in the success of the Design-driven Innovation Programme.
This article was written by Pressenytt for the Norwegian Design Council. Pressenytt has editorial responsibility for the content of the article.PUBLISHED 01.11.2011 09:57