THE CO-CREATE PROJECT
CO-CREATE is a European project involving 12 partners from 7 different countries of the European Mediterranean area (Interreg MED Program 2014-2020). In the MED European area (Mediterranean area), mechanical, construction and furnishing) are traditional productive sectors and have a great effect in terms of GDP and hiring. These sectors are the cornerstone of the project. They are often organized in clusters, and today are suffering from a lack of innovation, because they are focused on reinforcing their competitiveness in national and international markets.
CO-CREATE wants to support the cross-fertilization process, which means the transfer of ideas among different sectors. In CO-CREATE, the transfer is moving between clusters of traditional companies and cultural-creative industries, using co-design tools (participatory planning) and other creative methods (design thinking) applied to entrepreneurship, in order to generate spin-off (product-service) innovation projects, new startups etc.
METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH
The research activity is based on the various application of design thinking processes and methods in these traditional business sectors. It is important to understand and measure the effect that design can have on innovation and growth of both SMEs and companies that work in these fields, with the purpose of helping 380 SMEs innovation projects. One of the main outputs of the CO-CREATE project is the production of a cross-fertilization toolkit as a means to encourage cluster and SME innovation. The method used consists in prototyping and verifying creative methodologies within the structure of the companies. The purpose is to involve employees and actors at various levels in a co-planning process.