Brunel is one of a trio of UK Universities powering a £4.68m project to help businesses and entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. The design department along with De Montfort University Leicester and Nottingham Trent University will start a specialist company to help small firms get innovations off the drawing board and onto the market.
Impacting Business By Design will help entrepreneurs and small businesses with design, development and investment. Its goal is to bring more new products to market in the UK, attract investment and strengthen industrial competition.
“This project will build on Brunel Design’s strong existing industry engagement,” said Dr Ian de Vere, Brunel Head of Design.
“It will provide the opportunity for our design expertise to directly contribute to innovation and new product development within the UK. We look forward to collaborating with SMEs (small and medium-size enterprises) to bring new products and technologies to market.”
The universities will tap into expertise at the British Industrial Design Association (BIDA), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIA), EEF The Manufacturers’ Organisation and Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
Funding the venture is the Government’s new Connecting Capability Fund (CCF), part of a £67million investment by Research England for the National Productivity Investment Fund.
“This funding recognises the excellent track record in design research not only here at DMU’s Design Unit but at Brunel and Nottingham Trent, as well as the close industry partnerships which all three universities share,” said De Montfort University’s Professor Peter Ford, Impacting Business By Design leader.
“Impacting Business By Design has a huge potential to not only bring more products to market but to make it easier for SMEs and entrepreneurs to innovate, create jobs and grow the UK economy.”
Altogether 54 higher education institutions will get backing from Connecting Capability to work with each other and more than 120 businesses and investors. The projects will attract more than £322m of extra money from universities, businesses and investors.
David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England, said: “I believe these projects present important innovations that should inform our strategic approach to commercialisation in UK Research and Innovation for the future.”
Find out more about design at Brunel.