ACID WELCOMES GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT TO DESIGN

DESIGN FOR GROWTH SUMMIT

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At a ‘Design for Growth’ Summit held at the Design Council over 150 representatives from the world of design, government and industry, and hundreds more online, heard Universities and Science Minister David Willetts confirm that, “Design forms an integral part of the Government’s plans for innovation and growth and it will be a prominent feature in our upcoming Research and Innovation strategy. Good design can help business to thrive and improve public services and with over 230,000 people employed in our design industry it makes a significant contribution to our economic wealth with £23 billion spent on UK design in 2009. It is great that Jonathan Ive of Apple and other world leaders in design are here to inspire the next generation of British designers. ‘Design for Growth’ brings together leaders in design, business, policy and education to discuss measures to stimulate growth in the economy.”

Alongside Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, at the Summit, other guest speakers included Ian Callum and Gerry McGovern, Design Directors at Jaguar and Land Rover and Kevin McCloud, author, broadcaster and designer.

David Willets continued, “The UK has a world class design sector and we need to maintain our role as a global leader, which is why we have continued to support the Design Council by investing £4 million.  In line with the Government’s Plan for Growth, the Design Council will refocus its design mentoring product, Designing Demand, on manufacturing firms and particularly those with advanced manufacturing capability.”

Minister of State for Business and Enterprise Mark Prisk said, “It is great news that a number of small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses will be given the chance to have free design mentoring over the next year. Companies must innovate and stay ahead of their rivals to be successful on a global scale. That is why we are making these crucial investments in industrial innovation. Today’s announcement is just part of a range of business mentoring opportunities to help small firms grow and prosper. We will shortly be launching a new network of business mentors which will help SMEs get advice from those who know best.”

Attending the event, Dids Macdonald, ACID’s CEO said in response to Mark Prisk MP’s statement that there was a need to strengthen IP rights within design, “I welcome the fact that this is the first time I have heard design and intellectual property mentioned by a Government Minister as a significant objective within the design sector.  Professor Hargreaves’ Report on Intellectual Property exposed a huge loophole and a lack of clear policy on IP within design. I would like to ask you and the group whether there is support for the creation of a UK Intellectual Property Tsar to match a similar initiative in the USA? President Obama has confirmed US intellectual property as its greatest single asset; shouldn’t we do the same in the UK?”

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