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Can design-led practice help the UK manufacturing industry compete on a global scale?

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 05 MARCH 2015
design ideas

UK manufacturing cannot ignore the crucial importance of cutting edge design if it is to remain globally competitive, a Design Council event hosted by Birmingham City University will hear.

The Leading Business by Design Summit will highlight how the strategic use of design, creativity and new technology can support and drive innovation in the UK. The event aims to encourage manufacturers in all sectors to employ 'design-led thinking' in response to an increasingly competitive global market.

The event on 18 June at Birmingham City University's City Centre campus will be the first time Design Council has hosted its annual Design Summit outside of the capital, choosing Birmingham based on its outstanding manufacturing and design heritage.

Speaking ahead of the event, Design Council Chief Executive John Mathers, said: "We are very pleased that Birmingham City University has offered to host our Design Summit. As part of our Sounding Board and one of our partners on the Design for Europe platform, the University understands the need to develop more practical insights into how design can deliver competitive advantage."

The Summit will explore how emerging markets have meant competition no longer takes place between individual businesses, but entire supply chains. Rapid developments in science and technology are changing the way products are designed and manufactured, and it is crucial British manufacturing has the skills and interdisciplinary framework to adapt.

Mathers explained further: "Britain has long been a world leader in manufacturing and design, but maintaining this position is more challenging than ever in today’s global market. Our Leading Business by Design Summit provides the opportunity for all engaged in manufacturing, business and the creative sectors to consider how we can collaborate and accelerate our efforts to drive innovation, growth and even greater success."

Birmingham City University Vice Chancellor Professor Cliff Allan said: "Welcoming Design Council to Birmingham to focus on ways in which design can deliver competitive advantage in manufacturing is a positive development for our regional economy but also says so much about us as a University.

"Linking science and technology with creative innovation to practically improve the user experience is what we aim to do in our teaching and learning, as well as what the UK requires to secure competitive advantage."

The Summit will showcase exclusive new research on design in manufacturing within the passenger automotive and civil aerospace sectors, conducted by the Warwick Business School and market research agency RS Consulting.

The Design Council Leading Business by Design Summit 18 June will form a key part of the Birmingham Made Me Design Expo 15 to 19 June, in which Birmingham City University is a leading partner.

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