Work Foundation to research growth strategies for design

The Work Foundation is set to launch a research project which will aim to pinpoint how to create ’explosive growth’ in the UK creative industries, including design.

The Work Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to develop consultancy and research on work and its future in the UK.

Dr Benjamin Reid, senior researcher at the Work Foundation, says the new research programme, which is set to launch in November, will build on the 2007 report Staying ahead: the economic performance of the UK’s creative industries (pictured), which was produced for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Reid says, ’Obviously, the context has changed since 2007 – this was when funding in the arts was at an absolute high. As well as funding being cut, Government programmes are now under pressure and there’s been a drop off in advertising spend which has created more pressure.’

The Work Foundation says the new research will aim to ’ensure the creative industries take their rightful place in leading the UK out of recession’. The key question it will address is ’How can the UK creative industries develop an explosive level of growth between now and 2020?’

The Work Foundation is finalising sponsors for the scheme, who will be able to sit on the steering board and drive the research. The organisation says it is currently seeking further sponsors to support and augment the research, including those from the design sector.

Reid says new research reports will be released every three months throughout the programme’s 12-month run. The programme will aim to influence both Government policy and to support and inform individual organisations’ strategies for growth.

The Work Foundation says questions likely to be addressed in the research, which is still being finalised, include, ’Does the coalition Government understand the real value of the UK creative industries to the economy?’ and ’What is preventing UK creative businesses competing internationally?’

The research will also attempt to answer the questions, ’[Are the UK creative industries] developing the right skills for growth and do they have the right kind of leadership?’ and ’What kinds of business models and growth strategies should be encouraged in the UK creative industries?’

The research will also feed into the Work Foundation’s Knowledge Economy Programme, which has identified the creative industries as a potential growth area, alongside ’manuservices’, the low-carbon economy and hi-tech services.

Work Foundation report
The research will be fronted by Will Hutton, executive vice-chairman of the Work Foundation
It will run for a year, from next month until November 2011
The Work Foundation says it has already signed up a number of parties from various fields,including broadcasting, advertising, music and education

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