PLUS is a market development programme aiming at maturing the Danish business community and the Danish design industry’s ability to cooperate. It was managed by a consortium made up of the Danish Design Centre, the Confederation of Danish Industry, Technical University of Denmark and Design Denmark. The actual service was provided by 19 established design agencies in Denmark.
The goal of the programme was for Danish companies across different sectors/industries and design agencies to collaborate on completely new business ideas with design as a central tool. This would strengthen a new innovation culture in the Danish business industry by gathering and sharing experiences supporting new types of partnerships between the established industry, established design agencies. In other words, it was about bringing design competencies to companies to boost their innovation capacity and enhance designers’ competencies within strategic design.
The companies applied for participation in the programme by issuing relevant innovation challenges. The companies and their innovation cases were evaluated by the programme consortium, and the most relevant were awarded participation in the programme. Then the participating companies were teamed up with relevant design agencies by the consortium.
During a period of 2-4 months, the 18 teams collaborated on one innovative service or business idea each, proposed by the companies. The design agencies facilitated the processes. During the programme lifetime, all partnerships had their own PLUS blogs on which they posted news about the progress.
The Danish Market Development Fund funded the programme with €1.34M as co-financement. The PLUS partnerships were each funded with €33,534 of these which were disbursed directly to the design agencies. The participating companies funded their own participation with €6,707 besides their own work and hours.
After the programme ended, interviews and effect measurements were conducted with all participants. The companies were asked to evaluate PLUS’ contribution to their revenue. Based on their evaluation, the programme’s value added is estimated at €21.5M over a 3-year period. Besides, companies and design agencies reported that PLUS already contributed to the development of new products, concepts, and prototypes, and that they expected to create more new products etc. over the course of the next three years.