Bringing design culture to businesses in the state of Paraná, stimulating innovation and allowing industry to be more competitive. That is the goal of the Innovative Paraná by Design program, an initiative by Centro Brasil Design (CBD) and SETI, the Secretary of Science, Technology and Higher Education, with support from the Paraná Fund. The program helps companies identify opportunities for innovation and look for a design firm, facilitating and stimulating the creation of more competitive and successful products, packaging, identities and services. This program has the participation of 57 companies, from 10 different productive sectors such as medical equipment, metalworking, furniture and services. Until June 2014, 557 companies have already been made aware of design and innovation issues, the program advisors visited 246 companies and from these, 40 companies had participated in the design diagnosis applied by DUCO.

Demand: To evaluate the success and develop improvements its implementation, DUCO proposed performing design diagnosis for each company at the start and end of their participation in the program.

Approach: For conducting these assessments, the Design Diagnostics tool developed by DUCO and based on the Design Management Staircase was used. Participating companies answered an extensive questionnaire, allowing DUCO to develop analysis and individual reports. These individual diagnoses compared respondent companies with similar companies in sector, size and product, allowing the program advisors to compile recommendations for improving the design use in each company.

Delivery: At first, the individual company design diagnoses were delivered, with specific analysis on their level of design management capability, the impact of design on innovation, the company’s main design strengths and weaknesses, along with recommendations for practical actions for effective and efficient use of design. These diagnostics also allows for a greater benefit for the program within industry, since the companies themselves might define actions for the better use of design. At the end of the program, a general report will be delivered to CBD and SETI with statistically tested data indicating the program’s impact.