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Peru can become a true innovation hub using design

On the 10th of August Peru was the home to a presentation, before an important group of Peruvian businesspeople, of the IED Madrid project PerúDesignNet, in collaboration with PROMPERÚ, which seeks to turn Peru into an innovation hub using design.

Riccardo Marzullo, the director of the IED Madrid, described the project in detail in the PROMPERU auditorium, in the context of the conference “Innovation via design as a factor for business competitiveness”.

  • 6 SMEs were selected from a total of 122 participants in the competition for companies, following an auditing programme to get to know the companies in terms of design, innovation, organisation, etc. Technical teams were launched with national and international experts in order to create a specific brief and launch an international ideas competition.
  • An ideas competition was launched to 1.5 million designers from all the world, via the DesignNet platform, and 360 were received from 49 countries, with the aim of solving issues in the three key sectors in Peru: gastronomy, crafts and tourism.
  • 42 designers have been selected to develop their proposals along with the selected SMEs, and they will take part in the PerúDesignNet Week (from the 21st to the 26th of September, in Peru) in a context of innovation and creativity featuring workshops, cultural activities, inno-talks, etc.
  • Later, the 6 winning projects will take part in the Innovation Ecosystem, to develop real prototypes. The results obtained will be presented at different international events, to gain international visibility and projection.

This is undoubtedly “the best campaign for Peru. The diversity of wealth and resources of this country can be an engine for change and innovation”. As Riccardo Marzullo pointed out, at present “there is a greater awareness of the fact that design can be used to improve the world and fix problems. The experience with the DesignNet programme in Madrid (2010) and México (2012) was readdressed to take into account Peru’s idiosyncrasies. So we looked at two strategies: one, to carry out a micro-project with the Las Manuelas collective, based in Puno, which works on alpaca textiles, and two, turning this innovation ecosystems featuring designers, universities, professionals, citizens and businesses into a practical model for micro-companies in Peru.” The director of the IED Madrid explained that the DesignNet was launched a few years ago with the aim of making design go beyond the professional realm, to impact all kinds of companies and help them develop with innovation and creativity. “We developed the DesigNet programme to find solutions, using design, to complex problems, and we defined cities as the spaces where problems such as diversity, lack of safety, welfare, business, social issues, etc. come together. We created a community of creatives and designers from all over the world who work on finding solutions to specific issues, with the aim that each city’s institutions include in their communities their own research labs”.

Peru offers all the conditions to turn it into a true innovation ecosystem using design. “Over the years I have come to know a generation of people who are able to truly impact the country. The most important potential of the country lies in its people, its youngsters, who wish to turn Peru into a more modern and future-looking country”, according to Marzullo. Equally important, however, is to measure the impact of these projects, seeing how these companies increase the value of the Peru brand and its productive capacity, among other variables.

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