Insights from the Innovate UK 'Design in Innovation' briefing

Following BIDA Director Steve May-Russell's invitation to attend this a recent Innovate UK briefing, he concludes that plans for the future sound like very good news for BIDA members.

Innovate UK aim to fund high quality, early stage ‘design foundation’ activity, to inspire better ideas for subsequent development.

To “help businesses grow faster and achieve greater commercial success through the effective use of excellent early stage design.”

With a pledge to publicly advocate the use of excellent early-stage design and raise awareness of the value of design in innovation, it sounds like an ambition that BIDA members should actively support. Particularly because there will be significant funds available to allocate to allowable costs within collaborative funded projects and I suspect some form of pre-qualification of those competent to support this scheme will be essential to justify 'responsibly' and 'fairly' spending public money.

Amongst the objectives, Innovate UK include knowledge sharing and capability building in (strategic) design. Their ambitions are laid out in a five point plan to accelerate UK economic growth through design within small, high-growth potential firms in key markets sectors. The complete document is available here:

Design is proven to accelerate growth and enhance commercial outcomes, helping to transformer SME’s into high-growth mid-size companies with strong productivity and export success is key to their ambitions. These messages all help to champion our profession towards the recognition it deserves for the business impact it can deliver.

Steve would be keen to hear (and pass on to Innovate UK) what other people think of the strategy?  Please email,uk or contribute to the debate on the BIDA LinkedIn Group.