Design for Green Industry: Regional Resilience is a brand new program that will run January – April 2022. This initiative is part of Living Labs’ activities throughout 2021 – 2022, which will focus on circular economies and local ecologies.
Modeled after the highly successful Design for Startups program and funded by NRC IRAP, this new initiative brings the transformative power of design to SMEs by connecting them with designers to produce deliverables that will have impact on their business and on local and regional circular economies broadly.
Design for Regional Resilience targets firms that contribute actively to localized circular economy networks. A circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite resources. Approaches may include reuse/redistribution; active sharing within partner or customer networks; and rethinking product-service relationships.
Types of SMEs that would benefit from this initiative:
- SMEs whose core services or products mitigate or provide uptake or value added recovery systems and products for local waste
- SMEs that provide innovative services or products that keep materials in use by extending the life of products, or that prioritize renewable and/or regenerative sources of energy and material
- SMEs that source, repurpose, recycle or reuse materials locally for their manufacturing and that produce goods for the local market
- SMEs providing city-serving services and products
- SMEs developing and delivering share, reuse, repair models
- SMEs focused on extending the life of materials and products with minimal re-processing
- SMEs focused on fostering local food security and local food waste recovery for local growing/urban agriculture operations
This program will help firms to:
- Deepen engagement with circular economy practices, products or partnerships
- Communicate sustainability metrics and/or contributions to the circular economy through brand storytelling, including data visualization and visual documentation
- Align core products with the needs of target customers using design-led methods of user research and testing
- Assess and adjust existing products and processes toward the goal of meeting sustainability targets, or simplifying user experiences
- Prototype new products
- Map material, energy, or consumption flows within internal or external systems
Design for Green Industry: Regional Resilience is funded by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program. Design for Green Industry will assist 11 SMEs with specific Industrial, Interaction, and Service Design problems, by assigning Emily Carr students to each project, where they will develop and implement applied solutions to design-driven gaps identified by SMEs throughout 2021 – 2022.