« …Ecodesign is not just a passing fad but a strong trend that is not only welcome, but predominant in the better management of our human and environmental resources. »
In this newsletter we will discuss ecodesign and its different aspects. Skerpa Design was recently awarded first prize in NOVAE’s ecodesign contest for developing an unconventional, eco-responsible product. We will also explore the reasons why you should choose to go green. Finally, you will be updated on the available financial aid for innovation and R&D.
NOVAE 2011 Contest and Ecodesign
As the outcome of the Concours québécois en écoconception (Quebec ecodesign contest) organized by NOVAE, the Institute for Product Development and presented by ALCOA Canada, Skerpa Design was awarded first prize in its category, “business concept”, for its optimized garden watering can, in May 2011 in Montreal. There were a total of 6 winners in various categories, highlighting the achievements of companies big and small. Amongst the winners was CASCADES (leader in paper industry) and were two students, from the University of Montreal’s School of Industrial Design, who stood out from the crowd with their eco-responsible shoe concept advocating local manufacturing and the re-use of materials.
The 2011 NOVAE contest was the perfect occasion to bring to light the innovation and expertise that closely links R&D, Industrial Design and socio-environmental concerns. Skerpa Design’s watering can was especially appreciated for its transport and storage optimization that helps reduce the environmental footprint in terms of green gas emissions. We encourage you to visit NOVAE’s website for more information on sustainable development in Quebec.
Ecodesign is not just a passing fad but a strong trend that is not only welcome, but predominant in the better management of our human and environmental resources. Finally, for industrial designers, or at least within Skerpa Design, ecodesign is a major part of the design brief; as important as finding the most cost-efficient manufacturing methods for companies. Contrary to what one might think, ecodesign is accessible to all because it often means savings for the company, especially when the industrial designers are consulted at the beginning of a product design and development project, and when ecodesign is considered as a requirement in that project.
According to a survey conducted by the MDEIE in 2008, “Two out of three industrials expect a return on investment on industrial design expenses within three years, or in less than a year for almost a third of industrials. This means that many companies believe industrial design can be profitable in the short term.”
All the more reason to seek the collaboration of qualified industrial designers.
Why should you go green?
In the special section entitled “Prix PDG Vert”, of the Febuary 25th issue of weekly buisness magazine Les Affaires, they mentionned that the go-green initiative could be as efficent in attracting new clients, as new employees.
According to the article by Pierre Théroux, companies invest in sustainable development for different reasons:
56% To assume their social and environmental responsibilities
48% To better or maintain their brand image
46% To get a competitive edge
29% To react to the pressure from the stakeholders
22% To conform to present or future standards or regulations
Up to the minute…
PAI (Innovation Support program) in Quebec
The PROGRAMME D’APPUI À L’INNOVATION – PAI (Innovation support program) was just launched by the MDEIE replacing the DESIGN INNOVATION fiscal measure in Quebec.
The program’s main objective is to support businesses in developing and marketing new products or innovative technological methods.
It is aimed toward legally established businesses, including cooperatives and social economy enterprises, operating in Quebec. It aims, more specifically, companies that have 200 or fewer employees. The financial aid consists of a non-repayable contribution of up to 40% of all eligible expenses. Fees for specialized services, such as industrial design, engineering, for the obtention of industrial property (including patents) or for the acquisition of any intellectual property rights or licenses, are eligible.
The total financial assistance for a project is limited to 400 000$, including a 100 000$ limit to complete the necessary project planning studies or to develop a marketing plan.
For more details, please visit MDEIE’s website on industrial design.
The generous SR&ED program has been reformed
In the Canadian government’s 2012 federal budget the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program was reformed as a result of the recommendations giving by an expert group mandated to make an assessment of this innovation stimulating program.
The budget proposes, amongst other things, to reduce the amount of tax credits in favor of direct subsidies. The amount tax credits will be reduced from 20% to 15%. The budget also proposes that capital expenses, which include research equipment purchases, will be excluded from the program, therefore no longer eligible for tax credits.
At first glance this seems to be great news in terms of subsidies. Unfortunately, it might also means that projects will get delayed while waiting to get approved. With tax credits, it was faster and easier to estimate the anticipated returns.
For more information, please read Philippe Mercure’s article in La Presse.