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The integration of industrial design capability within UK SMEs: the challenges, opportunities and benefits
journal contributionposted on 13.06.2014, 11:09 by Paul Wormald, Mark Evans
The paper presents a case to support the business of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) through the building of partnerships between universities and companies which foster and support the introduction of industrial design processes in the SMEs. The basis of the partnership is the use of the UK government's 'Knowledge Transfer Partnership' (KTP) schemes to initiate and develop in-house industrial design capability in the SMEs. The paper presents two case studies that raise design management issues and underline the value of industrial design expertise for SMEs. It discusses the positive and negative issues centred on the introduction of graduate-level in-house industrial design expertise for product innovation in manufacturing-sector SMEs. The paper demonstrates that through the discipline of industrial design and the mechanism of a well-managed KTP programme, SMEs can improve their commercial performance and operate successfully in global markets. Copyright © 2009, Inderscience Publishers.