BDI chief executive Maxine Horn wrote to Mandelson this week, following his appointment as Business Secretary in this month’s Cabinet reshuffle. Mandelson’s role also takes in responsibility for higher education.
Horn’s letter refers to the BDI report Delivering the Innovation Dream, published earlier this year, which argues that universities, SMEs and designers should collaborate on projects instead of competing.
‘A strategic national University Design Industry Partnership scheme would help deflect pressure from the universities, which appear to be viewed as a kind of innovation remedy by the Government, but whose connections to the most suitable industrial partners are somewhat unstructured,’ says Horn.
‘We want more recognition of strategic designers by the higher education sector, and we want universities which set up innovation centres in conflict with the design industry to start involving designers,’ adds BDI editor Frank Landamore.
‘A formal national strategic outline could encourage universities to benefit from professional design expertise,’ he adds.
‘Universities do not appreciate that strategic designers are shortcuts to success.’