Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : User-driven innovation: value creation through design-enabled innovation

Topic identifier: CO-CREATION-02-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
27 October 2015
Deadline: 04 February 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

With competitiveness being increasingly based on intangibles and a mix of products and services that respond to users' needs, applying design thinking, tools and methods can improve performance and efficiency in the commercial and public sector. Design-enabled innovation can be considered as a prominent example of "user-driven" innovation, where user involvement in the process is central, as in many cases innovation can better succeed through co-creation. User-centred design thinking and the application of design tools and methods, when applied to services, systems and organisations, enable structured service and business-model innovation, organisational innovation as well as other intangible forms of innovation. The focus is on applying design tools and methods, since this offers a systematic approach to conceive user-driven innovations.

The specific challenge to be addressed by this topic is that many public sector organisations and businesses, especially SMEs, miss out on the potential to utilise design as a source for improving efficiency and stimulating growth.


The consortium should plan and run a European pilot including selecting and allocating funding primarily to the concept development phase of the selected projects. Aspects of inclusiveness and social objectives of addressing inequalities in citizens' access to the innovations should be taken into account. The pilot should build on national and European level actions on design, incorporating a robust selection process to ensure that projects selected are likely to be further developed and implemented beyond the concept phase. The emphasis should be on practical experimentation, piloting and demonstrating activities as well as concept testing and incubating to improve organisations' processes, services, products or business models in the private, public or third sectors. Drawing on the experience of the funded projects, the pilot will a) gather data and metrics concerning the impact of design-related policies and programmes in terms of user benefit and business impact, b) develop a transferable methodology to evaluate the effectiveness of design in the innovation process, c) develop a methodology on how actors in different sectors can better connect with design-enabled innovation to increase efficiency and competitiveness in their respective sectors as well as a common impact evaluation methodology and respective indicators, to be applied across sectors and scalable to organisational, regional, national and European level. The activities could also involve showcasing success stories and disseminating the accumulated knowledge, particularly illustrating the applicability and potential of design-enabled innovation for all sectors, be they public or private or commercial or non-commercial activities.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Robust and commonly accepted guidance on embedding design in value-creating networks and identification of barriers and enablers;
  • Creation of data, data sets and metrics to evaluate impact regardless of sector;
  • The methodology developed and the analysis will contribute to incorporating diverse user perspectives into design policies and practices and for their further development and implementation. The results, e.g. the impact evaluation methodology, should be applicable and give clear guidance particularly to SMEs and public administrations;
  • Development of new approaches and solutions which translate into new products, services and processes increasing public sector effectiveness and private sector competitiveness, and sustaining innovation capabilities and processes;
  • Producing assessment and simulation tools to verify results in the increase of efficiency and/or effectiveness through the use of design;
  • Mainstreaming design, making it an integral part of value creation and a self-sustaining element of innovation processes;
  • Integration of design and user-driven innovation into innovation policies and support mechanisms, including funding programmes.
Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.
    Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.
  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

    This topic participates per default in the open access to research data pilot which aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects:
    • The pilot applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available for open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan (to be provided within six months after the project start).
    • Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they are part of the Pilot, and will not be penalised for opting out of the Pilot.
    • Projects can at any stage opt-out of the pilot.
    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.
    Further information on the Open Research Data Pilot is made available in the H2020 Online Manual.

  8. Additional documents

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
    H2020 Work Programme 2017-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis - Framework Programme
    Legal basis - Rules for Participation
    Legal basis - Specific Programme


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