Government makes design central to manufacturing strategy

The Government is looking to knowledge assets, including design, software and brand building to improve the global competitiveness of UK manufacturers.

Its manufacturing strategy – New Challenges, New Opportunities – set out earlier this week by the Department for Business and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, outlines plans to improve perceptions of the manufacturing sector, and aims to place the UK as a forerunner in the development of low-carbon technologies.

Design, according to Science and Innova tion Minister Ian Pearson, is a key part of the product development, inno – vation and R&D required to stimulate the manufacturing economy.

‘The UK’s manufacturing has changed massively over the past 20 years. Increasingly, manufacturing has gone up the value chain, as companies have invested in R&D, product development and innovation, all of which are absolutely crucial to maintaining an edge. We want to see more of this, and increasingly low-carbon technologies investing in design,’

Pearson tells Design Week. ‘What I want to stress is that design is the process by which ideas become an attractive proposition for users,’ he adds. Pearson was speaking after the launch of New Challenges, New Opportunities and ahead of a conference, Helping Businesses Compete, in support of the Design Council’s Designing Demand programme, which aims to place design at the forefront of UK businesses to give them a competitive edge.

The manufacturing strategy also sets out plans to build a manufacturing technology centre with pre-production facilities in Coventry and a £24m investment in research, as well as increasing the number of apprenticeships available in the sector.

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