Millennium Product challenge from Blair

Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a challenge last week to UK designers and businesses to boost the UK’s standing as a world-class country.

Speaking at the launch of the Design Council’s Millennium Products initiative, Blair said, “I believe Britain must be one of the leading nations in the world.”

We should use innovation “to build our industry and economy to out-smart our competitors”, he added. The Millennium Products scheme will “identify and promote the best of British creativity”, he said.

Entrants to Millennium Products “must be created in the UK and must make a difference” to the way we will live in the next century, says Design Council chairman John Sorrell. The initiative aims “to improve perceptions of British industry at home and abroad… and to inspire the best use of design… to put Britain at the lead of the creative revolution,” he says.

Any company can submit products or services for consideration to the Millennium Products panel of assessors, drawn from business, industry and the media.

Entry is free and products will be selected every six months until 2000. Submissions for the first round are due in by 16 January 1998 and should have been launched between 1 January 1995 and 31 December this year.

Among those cited as potential contenders at the nationwide launch were the Woosh chair for disabled children by Northern Irish company Lecky, special effects by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop for the movie Buddy and lidded plastic buckets, designed as water carriers by Oxfam.

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