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WORTH Partnership Project
News article24 September 2018European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency2 min read



This week was great to talk to our WORTH mentor from Italy, Ubaldo Spina who is the Business Development Manager for Design and SMEs at CETMA, Research and Technology Organization.

He works as a researcher and industrial designer dealing with product development, design and innovation management processes. He is also a consultant for many companies (SMEs and Large Enterprises) in R&D projects and innovation services. We were fascinated to find out about his experience in the industry and how he can pass this on to past and future WORTH Partnership Project participants:

Much of your work has a focus on research and development of innovative design and business, why is this personally important to you?
Good question! Thank you. I was first and foremost a student of design, product design, even before digitalization radically transformed the concept and function of design. As a designer I started working in a research and technology organization (RTO), where I learned the thin difference between a research activities (the solution is not said to be there) and an engineering service (the solution is available). True innovation through research and design is part of the development process to make these results accessible and appealing in new products and services. All my professional life passes through this way, for this reason it is important for me.

Through your work with other funded programs, what is your best piece of advice for WORTH Partnerships to ensure the success of their concepts?
There are two best tips that I can give. The first is universal for those who generate innovation and, above all, for those who want to compete globally: to be persevering. You cannot wait for hours on a railway platform and let the only train pass away. The second is compromise, success does not start from the perfect solution, but from the best trade-off between designer, enterprise and technology provider. Three different dimensions that can only converge if you have broad technical skills, mental openness and relational capabilities.

WORTH aims to assist young designers and SMEs come together to develop innovative design concepts, why do you think this is positive for Europe?
Europe, never like in this moment, needs comparison. WORTH is an experiment, a formidable gym to feed the European spirit, based on the exchange of experiences and collaborations between promising young people who overcome physical and mental barriers. Europe will be able to compete as a continent only if talents and academic and industrial excellence will be able to share approaches and strategies for the future. We are still a continent that inspires the whole world for its inexhaustible creative power, fostered by a strong social and environmental awareness.

Is there a trend in the design industry that has sparked your interest and would like to see further developed?
Design invests every day of our life, it is difficult to imagine trends and developments that may not concern us or interest us. Some time ago I wrote an article about the danger that designers may be in the future “fusionists”, those who will be involved in merging art, engineering, research and science by mixing the best of different disciplines, profiles without a real specialization. Surely we need to reverse some routes and to imagine differently the material approach of design. Personally I am very attracted to design for emergencies, projects designed to prevent risks and protect people and communities affected by disasters. Design, in the future, will be much more incisive outside the traditional contexts in which we usually talking about it.

Find out more about Ubaldo Spina here.


Publication date
24 September 2018
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency
News Type
  • Worth News