DTI funds Net hot link to promote UK design

American clients will have a “hot link” to UK design consultancies via a Department of Trade and Industry-funded World Wide Web site linked to the Design Business Association.

The DBA is launching a site on 17 June with design input from The Design Advantage in the west Midlands, Design Bridge, Indes Design, Berryman Ball, Siebert/ Head and Holmes & Marchant.

A DTI link would “cut out the need for contacts databases” for those who want to work in the US and for potential clients, says Chris Thompson, managing director of PSD Associates and chair of the DBA’s Export Task Group.

The Web site is planned to follow on from the DTI’s Gateway Europe project, launched last week through its North America Now scheme. “It would be very significant for UK design consultants,” says Thompson.

Gateway Europe, being piloted this year, is expected to be launched formally in 1997 and will include a series of US seminars funded by the DTI. The first takes place on 5 June in Princeton.

“UK designers will have the chance to promote themselves [at the seminars], and potential US clients will be directed to free-phone numbers where they can link up with relevant trade associations,” says Thompson.

Peter Waller is the new director of Business Link Specialist Services at the DTI. Ken Poulter, his predecessor, has moved internally. “The design policy unit which restructured the Design Council will now report to me,” says Waller.

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