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Design Innovation Network

The Design Innovation Network has been established to encourage innovators to form a collaborative community and embrace design to a greater extent.

The Design Innovation Network has been established to encourage innovators to embrace design as a forethought rather than an afterthought and to a greater extent. 

The innovation network will include start-ups, spin-outs, established businesses, not-for-profit, third sector, government organisations and consortia of companies with a common innovation agenda.

We use the term ‘design’ in a broad sense to encompass tools, methodologies and mindsets that encourage consideration of systems beyond the specific technologies. Specifically, we are interested in design activities that address the question of “doing the right thing” as well as “doing the thing right”; design that is human-centered, and system-aware, inclusive and sustainable

We will work with the innovation community to determine the impact of design on innovation performance and mitigate the barriers to its adoption. With the Network, we will explore how design needs to change, and develop tools to maximise its impact. These insights will also help shape Innovate UK’s evolving Design in Innovation Strategy.

In addition to addressing innovation at an individual project level, the Network will explore how design can respond to complex and uncertain multi-stakeholder challenges such as decarbonisation, food supply, critical materials and inclusion.

We are keen to understand how you use design and what excites you about design in innovation. To explore the possibilities for design in your sector or technology area, please get in touch.

Get Involved

Join the Design innovation Network by clicking here.

Additional Design Resources

Find out more about the KTN Design team.

Download design resources from KTN’s Innovation Canvas.

Our Design Innovation Network Expert

Abigail Hird

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24th February

Design Innovation Network Launch

Join us for the launch of the Design Innovation Network as we set out our vision and explore the powerful possibilities for Design to instigate positive change in innovation across sector and technology areas.

Register here



Innovating for the Planet: reflections on the Design for Planet festival

Dr Abigail Hird, KTN’s Interim Head of Design, shares the key thoughts and lessons learnt about sustainability and design from attending the Design for Planet festival.

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Made Smarter Innovation launches new £20 million competition

In a new Made Smarter Innovation competition focused on Sustainable Smart Factories, UK registered businesses and organisations can apply for a share of up to £20m for digital innovation projects that will improve resource efficiency and energy efficiency. Closes 26th Jan 2022.

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Programmes related to Design Innovation Network

View all our programmes

Innovation Canvas

KTN’s Innovation Canvas is designed to help you create value from innovation and identify the changes needed to make your idea succeed. It provides a framework for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a specific project, identifying the most urgent challenges to overcome, and prioritising what action to take.

Learn More

Navigating the Design to Manufacture Journey

Navigating from design to manufacture can be challenging. Translating an idea from a design into manufactured reality requires skill, expertise and tenacity! Through guides, webinars and events, the Navigating the Design to Manufacture Journey Programme supports innovators as they look to get develop and commercialise physical products that require manufacturing. 

Learn More