Innovate UK Reveals Four-Year Design Strategy

The UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK (IUK) has published a strategy that seeks to encourage and support excellent design in innovation. The document, ‘Design in Innovation Strategy, 2020-2024’, recognises that the UK is a world-leader in design excellence and there are opportunities for businesses to realise more value by accessing that capability and embedding design within their processes and culture.

IUK acknowledges that barriers to progress remain in place. It believes that technically feasible ideas must also be desirable and fit-for-purpose. To address this, IUK says it will launch a programme to meet business need under four themes:

Making the case for investment in design.

Reducing the cost of entry for those new to design.

Helping businesses access the best design talent.

Helping businesses maximise the value contribution of design.

The programme will include grant funding opportunities for human-centred design activity as well as broader initiatives, which will be assessed against success criteria in order to deliver value. IUK will work with industry partners and across government to fully embed design in innovation, to ensure the UK’s world-class designers maximise their contribution to sustainable economic growth.

The Strategy outlines four ways that good design boosts businesses and the economy, by:

Delivering more valuable outcomes.

Reducing innovation risk.

Accelerating scale-up.

Improving business performance.

Dr Ian Campbell, IUK Executive Chair, said:

‘Innovate UK is at the forefront of the Government’s commitment to increase public and private investment in R&D activities. By ensuring that this is integrated with design, the likelihood of success will increase, boosting the return on our own investments and helping to bring wider, long-term outcomes for the whole country.’

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