European project DanubePIE

Product innovation through Eco-design in the Danube region

Manufacturers face the challenge to comply increasingly with environmental standards of their products. At the same time cost reductions through energy and material efficiency are clear competitive advantages. Eco-design – the design of products considering their environmental impacts during the entire life cycle – is an opportunity for more sustainable processes and new market access.

The EU-funded project DanubePIE promoted this life cycle thinking within the Danube region and used Eco-design as a powerful tool to encourage such product innovation. The project partners raised awareness on the related constraints and chances addressing manufacturing SMEs, industrial product designers, environmental advisers, educational institutions, stakeholders and the broader public. The traditional sectors packaging and printing – packaging manufacturers as well as package end-users like food, cosmetics, electronic etc. item producers – were the target group and main beneficiaries of the project activities.

The project pursued a cross-cluster approach between the creative industry (product design, industrial design) and industry from different sectors in the form of round tables for creative idea generation.

9200 small and medium sized enterprises (SME) benefitted from the support measures, trainings and conferences. 60 consultants have been trained on eco-design measures with the aim to help companies to improve products or develop new eco-designed products. 660 enterprises have been visited by the project partners. 460 enterprises participated in inhouse traninings.

DanubePIE had been coordinated by SEZ who was responsible for the project activities in Baden-Württemberg.

Project duration: 04/2013 - 12/2014
Countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia