Current Issue

Trade Associations as Mediators between Designer Professionals, SMEs, and Regional Development

Emanuela CONTI and Tonino PENCARELLI
IJCCI volume 3, issue 3, July 2016

Creativity and industrial design may play an important role in the innovation processes of companies and the competitiveness of territories. Italian SMEs must be creative and internationally competitive, but many remain unaware of the importance of collaborating with industrial designers. By the same token, many professional designers have difficulties contacting SMEs and forging collaborative relationships with them. This paper deepens the discussion by introducing the role of trade associations to bridge this gap. A knowledge hub model, managed by trade associations, constitutes a platform for training young designers in unconventional ways and where they collaborate with enterprises looking for creativity through an action learning approach, thus reducing the gap between the local demand and supply of creativity. This model has been tested in the province of Pesaro and Urbino and may be applied in other contexts.

Keywords: Designer professionals, Industries and territories competitiveness, SMEs, Trade association

Category: Industry Insight