Innovate UK EDGE: Accelerating businesses growth with design skills

Nov 11, 2021

Businesses expand more quickly by making the most of the UK’s thriving design sector, so Innovate UK EDGE is enhancing its innovation & growth specialist-led support with ‘Design for Growth’.

The UK is home to the most vibrant design community in the world. Whether it’s physical product design in a Formula One workshop, or service and digital design in a world-beating fintech, our heritage and innovation is clear.

However, these skills are not evenly distributed. Large companies and lavishly-funded startups have the budgets and experience to access the best talent. Many UK businesses don’t fully understand the value that design can bring. Even fewer have the skills to manage designers and fully embed design techniques into their strategic decision making.

This is the challenge that Design for Growth is meeting. It’s a new initiative that enhances the support given by Innovate UK EDGE specialists and comes in the wake of COVID’s impact on businesses. Companies who’ve been referred by their specialist receive one to one coaching and other support in areas including branding, product design, customer insight and working with designers.

Since launching two months ago, over 65 fast-growth businesses have joined our first four cohorts. They are using that help to secure investment, develop new products, refine business models and reach new customers.

Among the companies in the first cohorts of Design for Growth are:

●    Medical Intelligence Group, which is developing new health monitoring tools. During its coaching sessions, it has mapped out user journeys in detail, which has revealed key ‘touchpoints’ that will require design investment to optimise. MIG recognises that this design-led approach is key when attracting investment.
●    Game Changer Performance is looking to rebrand its digital performance coaching platform, with a new name, brand and identity to support the launch of its direct to consumer service. During its Design for Growth sessions it is preparing the brief, brand architecture and naming approach before commissioning external design expertise.
●    Nyfasi is developing the Nyfasi Deluxe Detangler which reduces pain experienced by women with afro-textured hair when applying and distributing conditioners. It is spending time joining up all the design elements, from packaging to social media, required first for investment then for launch, while tightening and clarifying the business plan.
●    Chill-ist is the creator of uniquely chill-able eco wine gift carriers made in the UK. Design for Growth has been helping clarify the value proposition for the B2B market.
●    SeaBOT is developing a centre of excellence for autonomous marine testing and training. In its Design for Growth sessions it has mapped service pathways and found opportunities to improve brand identity and image for different market segments.

The scheme is being delivered by the UK’s largest independent design and innovation company, with offices in London and Manchester, alongside a group of highly experienced independent design coaches.

To find out more about Design for Growth, which is available for companies receiving high growth support from an Innovate UK EDGE specialist, contact us.
Source: UK Research and Innovation