DIP is an open competition arena in which different innovation projects compete for support based on a number of specific criteria.
The goal of the programme is for Norwegian businesses to test innovation methods based on user studies and design methodology. The idea is to develop new products, services, processes or organisational forms and, in doing so, increase the competitive strength of the Norwegian business community.
The annual budget framework from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries determines how many projects can be funded. Design and Architecture Norway runs the programme and works together with the Research Council of Norway and Innovation Norway in assessing and processing applications.
In 2009, Synovate conducted a nationwide business sector study called Design Diagnosis on behalf of DOGA (Norwegian Design and Architecture Centre at the time). The study revealed the following:
- Only 13 percent of Norwegian companies conduct user surveys in connection with their innovation processes.
- Companies that actively use design methodology in their processes are more than twice as innovative as other companies, regardless of the sector.
- Four times as many design users apply for patent protection compared to companies that do not use design methodology in their innovation processes.
Government focus on DIP
The Innovation White Papers (White Paper no. 7. 2008-2009) describes government efforts to promote design-driven innovation. Since its implementation, the government has earmarked annual DIP funding to increase the innovative and competitive strength of the business community. “DIP aims to contribute to increased knowledge of processes and the utility value of design-driven innovation through pilot projects and other efforts. Information distribution is intended to stimulate the business community to utilise this methodology more often.”
Communicating experiences and results
An important aspect of DIP is that the experiences of each company benefit the rest of the business community. To ensure this spreading of information, companies that receive funding are required to share all information and documents related to the DIP project after its conclusion.
DOGA follows up on every individual DIP project after the results become available. The knowledge and experiences gained are shared through publications, seminars, lectures and workshops organised both by DOGA and through the DIP company network.