Starting next year, all designs submitted for INDEX: Award 2017 will not only have the opportunity to win the world’s largest design prize – worth EUR 500,000 – but will also have the chance to be scouted for investment. In collaboration with investment company, Dansk OTC, INDEX: Design to Improve Life will be establishing a fund (which they are calling "Danish Ventures – Investing in Design to Improve Life") of up to DKK 300 million (over EUR 40 million), all to invest in life improving design.
The Danish Ministry of Business and Growth, supporting ministry of INDEX: Design to Improve Life, also hopes the new source of capital will encourage more innovation, as well as create more sustainable businesses and jobs in Denmark.
"Creative ideas and design create growth and can help to maintain production in Denmark,” said Mr Troels Lund Poulsen, Minister of Business and Growth. “It’s therefore important to create better opportunities for these ideas to be realised."
Aside from awarding the world's best sustainable designers, INDEX: Design to Improve Life have always envisioned doing more to help designs come to fruition and create positive impact.
"With the establishment of Danish Ventures – Investing in Design to Improve Life, we have fulfilled a dream that we never thought was possible," says Kigge Hvid, CEO of INDEX.
"Our vision has always been to use design to solve global challenges in a sustainable way, “With the fund, we can do our small part to move the world forward, and help designers with funding to make a real positive difference.”
Danish Ventures – Investing in Design to Improve Life will have two main objectives: to invest in design that improves life, and to attract foreign businesses and designers to Denmark.
A small part of the profits of Danish Ventures – Investing in Design to Improve Life will be directed to the operation of INDEX: Design to Improve Life. The non-profit organisation currently receives 30 to 50 percent of their funding from The Danish Ministry of Business and Growth. As per the Ministry’s recommendation, the fund will assist the organisation with becoming more self-financing.
"Hopefully, we will kill two birds with one stone," says Kigge Hvid. "We are doing our part to make the world a better place, as well as taking step to ensure our own survival."
From the official launch in January 2016, the fund will aim to deliver 20 to 30 investments over the first 18 – 24 months. INDEX: Design to Improve Life will also assist designers who receive funding with business training and support to ensure successful commercialisation.