Delegates to debate 'world changing innovations'

An inaugural meeting to consider 'world changing innovations, products and processes' has been set up for international designers and senior representatives from UK universities.

Delegates from design, science, engineering and technology based faculties will discuss the feasibility of implementing a formal University Design Industry Partnership Scheme, first proposed by the British Design Innovation – a trade organisation for designers.

BDI is hosting the event with support from the University for the Creative Arts – one of the largest specialist universities of art, design, architecture, media and communication in Europe.

Uwe Derksen, deputy head of research and knowledge transfer at UCA, said: "This historic meeting of great minds comprises, I believe, a unique opportunity for BDI's international designers and top universities in the UK to create world changing innovations together."

The meeting takes place on February 26 at the offices of the Design Council in London and follows the publication of Higher Ambitions – The Future of Universities in a Knowledge Economy, a framework report written by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The report called for universities to develop closer relationships with industry, develop programmes responding to economic challenges and for research to achieve greater impact.

Maxine Horn, ceo of BDI, said: "Through its Propositions into Profits framework set up in 2005, BDI and its member companies have been successfully brokering research based innovation and knowledge transfer deals to industry for some years."

BDI has sought to address tensions arising between HEIs and private sector design firms since its report, Delivering the Innovation Dream: The BDI Report was delivered to the government in March 2009. The organisation says that these tensions first arose when the government initiated a policy of funding design and innovation through universities direct to industry, creating competition rather than collaboration with private sector design and innovation companies who possess great knowledge, wide experience and successful track records.

Chris Shaw

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