Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD today (Sunday) commenced a 4-day visit to Scandinavia and The Netherlands to lead a design feasibility study.
The visit has been organised as part of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), the year-long initiative backed by the Irish government exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally.
The purpose of the design feasibility study is to raise the profile of the quality and expertise that characterises the Irish design sector, leading to export growth and ultimately more jobs in Ireland. The study also aims to solidify the relationship between Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands and Ireland in order to increase the level of business interaction between Ireland and other design focused European countries.
Exploring and discussing the design policy and supports that are in place within Denmark, Sweden and The Netherlands will be central to the trip with a view to developing relationships with key design institutions that are playing a leading role in the design sector in Scandinavian and Dutch markets.
The itinerary for this fact-finding mission includes high-level meetings with Government Ministries, business meetings with Enterprise Ireland clients, site visits and networking events in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Rotterdam and Eindhoven.
Plans for the study were put in place to coincide with Dutch Design Week in order to provide opportunities for Irish companies in the design sector to meet with leading design companies in the Nordic region.
Speaking ahead of his trip, Minister Nash said:
“The purpose of this design feasibility study is to explore opportunities for further developing the design sector in Ireland based on successful models already established by other European countries internationally recognised as design leaders. The trip will also provide a valuable opportunity to promote Ireland as a source of innovative design products and services in order to increase the level of business exchange between Ireland and the Scandinavian and Dutch markets. We want to encourage deeper trade partnerships by promoting Ireland as a great country to do business and maximize opportunities for Irish companies to compete and win in these export markets.”
The Minister’s programme for Copenhagen includes meetings with the Danish Design Council, the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and KADK, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation.
In Stockholm, Minister Nash will meet with The Ministry for Enterprise and Innovation, the Ministry for Employment and KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology. The visit will also include the inauguration of Enterprise Ireland client company Hanley Energy’s PowerHive as well as meetings with other Enterprise Ireland clients in the region.
Highlights of the visit to Rotterdam will include meetings with the Creative Industries Fund NL and with Het Nieuwe Instituut, the arts institute for exhibitions, lectures and research on contemporary architecture and design.
Minister Nash’s trip will conclude in Eindhoven where he will meet with Design Academy and formally launch Liminal – Irish design at the threshold, the touring flagship exhibition for Irish Design 2015, at Dutch Design Week. The exhibition’s run in Eindhoven follows presentations at Milan Design Week and WantedDesign in New York earlier in the year. Featuring over 20 designers, architects, companies and studios, Liminal explores the craft of collaboration across disciplines and presents the exploratory journeys undertaken by designers.
Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of Irish Design 2015 said:
"We are delighted that this design feasibility study is taking place during such a pivotal year for the Irish design sector. The trip will be instrumental in learning from the experiences of European neighbours who are world renowned for their design and innovation as we focus on the future direction of Ireland’s design sector. Through the ID2015 initiative, we are showcasing the work of Irish designers around the world, developing commercial opportunities and establishing strategic partnerships for the ongoing development of this vibrant sector. We are particularly pleased to be presenting Ireland’s first group exhibition at Dutch Design Week where we are promoting Irish design across a broad spectrum of disciplines as one of the many highlights of the ID2015 programme. We look forward to seeing opportunities unfold from our participation in such a high profile event and build a lasting legacy for the sector following ID2015.”
The design feasibility study is a collaboration between ID2015, Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassies of Ireland to Denmark, Sweden and The Netherlands.