European Commission Launches Public Consultation on Design for User-Centred Innovation


The European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) circulates the following announcement:

Moving a large bureaucracy, like the European Commission (EC), into new areas of policy-making can be a rather slow process. Although the EC has supported "Design for All" initiatives for over 10 years, design as such is not an official part of the EU policy agenda. Now the Commission has launched a public consultation to gather opinions about making design an integral part of European innovation policy.

A positive outcome to the consultation could lead to new EC funding programmes and initiatives in support of innovation through design - something which ENAT believes is much needed in the travel and tourism industry.

The Public Consultation closes on 26 June 2009.

The EC working paper provides an analysis of the rationale for making design an integral part of European innovation policy. The consultation questions are based on the document. Their aim is to find out whether more should be done at EU level in the area of design and if so, what.

The questions are split into three sections:

1. identification,
2. key questions and
3. specific questions.

The identification and key questions are compulsory. The specific questions are optional and respondents may therefore reply to all, none or a selection of the latter group of questions. Respondents are however strongly encouraged to respond to as many questions as possible, to help ensuring the best possible results from the public consultation.

To download the Consultation Questionnaire, visit the EC Consultation website.

ENAT firmly believes that the "Design for All" approach and following the "Universal Design principles" are crucial to the delivery of tourism that is accessible to and inclusive of all citizens. Environments, facilities, products and equipment, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and services in the travel and tourism sector must be designed to take into account the widest range of user requirements, including the needs of children, people with disabilities and older visitors. "User-centred" innovation can be the focus of a great deal of much needed development for many areas of accessible tourism, for example in accommodation, attractions, transportation, tours and all kinds of tourist activities.

The ENAT association will respond to the EC consultation. We also offer the design experience of many of our members to further the European work on design for user-centred innovation.


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