On 4 December 2019, the European H2020 DESIGNSCAPES project, in which Econcult of the Universitat de València participates as a partner, published the resolution of the second phase of its call for proposals on design-oriented innovation prototyping on its website. Among some 170 applications from all over Europe, 41 were finally selected, including four Spanish projects. In total Designscapes distributes in this call around 1 million euros to materialise innovative prototypes of design-based products or services to provide innovative solutions in addressing today’s crucial socio-economic challenges.
In this sense, the selected proposals coming from Spain represent 10% of the total, which means a high success rate since the call has received proposals from more than 20 European countries. In addition to the four selected Spanish projects, half of them (Institute for Urban Innovation and Vides Creuades) are from organisations operating in the city of Valencia, and one more (Civimetro) from Madrid, also counts among its agents members from Valencia. Finally, the fourth (Biribil) is a proposal that comes from Bilbao. All of them aim to generate social innovations based on the adaptation of the design thinking method and co-creation with citizens.
The Urban Innovation Institute project, presented by CivicWise Valencia, aims to define a global challenge in the domestic sphere by focusing on collective housing in the process of urban transformation of the city of Valencia. The Vides Creuades, coordinated by the Orriols Convive Association, is an initiative that aims to make visible, connect and build stories in the Valencian territories through collaboration with the neighbours of the neighbourhoods.
Civimetro, led by CiwicWise Madrid, will develop a guide for the evaluation of citizen laboratories in the Spanish capital. Finally, the Biribil project, managed by the Abad Design studio, aims to generate circular economy solutions by integrating users in the process, from problem definition and ideation to impact assessment, within a triple bottom line perspective: people, profit and planet.
DESIGNSCAPES is a European Horizon2020 project that aims to exploit the generative potential of urban environments in European cities to foster the uptake, enhancement and scaling up of design-activated innovations by companies, associations, public institutions and other city stakeholders. The results of this call show the high degree of maturity of Valencian social design. The project has a budget of 1.5 million euros to support feasibility studies, prototypes and scalability testing of innovative initiatives across Europe. In the first phase of its call, two Spanish projects – ‘Active Barri’ from Tarragona and ‘Moulding the Town – Study of the Integration of Disused Wooden Industrial Moulds into the Urban Landscapes’ from Sagunto – were funded to implement the feasibility studies of their projects.
The third phase of the call is open until 28 February 2020, and potential beneficiaries will be able to obtain an additional 25,000 euros to scale up their projects.
Econcult, of the UVEG, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, has become a key agent in the promotion and internationalisation of the Valencian cultural and creative sectors, with initiatives such as this one, its participation in the candidacy of Valencia as World Design Capital or the CHEBEC project where it has trained and mentored more than 10 cultural organisations to facilitate their internationalisation. Econcult is currently in the process of drafting the White Paper on Design Enabled Innovation in the Urban Environment for the European Commission, to be published in 2020.
+information econcult.eu, designscapes.eu