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Project Goal

Innovation-oriented services of SMEs in Alpine Space are fragmented and lacking in adaptability towards the specifics of companies of the area and the request of a more sustainable and flexible approach to businesses. Multiple forces - social, technological, competitive - combined with the Alps specificities make today’s challenge for small businesses to adapt and grow even more complex, as they are already experiencing disadvantages through the physical and cognitive distance from innovation centers. The Design Thinking (DT) process can help start a new wave of business innovation through collaboration, new decision making processes and more sustainable added value creation without overturning the strong link to the territory that characterizes the companies in this area, combining both technological and non-technological elements. A systemic and strategic vision is missing, which should be created starting from the development of stronger framework conditions for design. The opportunity with DesAlps is to create a fertile framework for boosting a DT-approach on SME-services, analyzing the impact that DT has on innovation processes in SMEs and on the creation of a mutual cooperation among intermediaries and policy makers. SMEs, intermediaries, stakeholders and policy makers will benefit from the shared DT-methodologies and will empower the impact of this innovation process thanks also to the connection with each territory. DesAlps will have a thematic approach centered on sustainable living linked to relevant enabling technologies and services in order to maximize the impact on the already existing policies and on the generation of new ones.


  • Design Thinking Implementation within the AS innovation ecosystem: Through analysis, cooperation and testing DesAlps will generate a comprehensive strategy to strengthen cooperation among innovation actors, support SMEs' competitiveness, meet societal challenges and overcome AS barriers in economy and marketing.
  • Increasing of intermediaries’ assistance quality to boost SMEs innovative growth: Increase and exchange DT knowledge transnationally will empower the quality of intermediaries’ support to SMEs and make it permanent in the DesAlps Virtual Training center. Contents will be free available for further training of intermediaries.
  • Enhancement of AS SMEs capability of generating innovative products and services: A new model for performing innovation through DT will be tested on SMEs and structured to be further implemented thanks to DT Labs. Transnational network of DT Labs will boost a cooperation model for the DT implementation in the innovative framework.


  • Lead Partner: t2i – Trasferimento Tecnologico e Innovazione s.c.a.r.l., ITALIA
  • Camera di Commercio di Padova, ITALIA
  • Città Metropolitana di Torino, ITALIA
  • Business Upper Austria – OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH, ÖSTERREICH
  • Innovations- und Technologietransfer Salzburg GmbH, ÖSTERREICH
  • Toulon Var Technologies, FRANCE
  • Agence Régionale pour l’Innovation et l’Intenationalisation des Entreprises de Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, FRANCE
  • Gospodarska zbornica Slovenije, SLOVENIJA
  • Mariborska razvojna agencija, SLOVENIJA
  • bwcon GmbH, DEUTSCHLAND

Duration:  01.11.2016 – 31.10.2019

Client/program: Interreg Alpine Space

Website: www.alpine-space.eu/projects/desalps/en/home

AP Simona Pede


Simona Pede

Leiterin TalentLabor

+49 (0) 159 06846227