The benefits of using design in early stage innovation are well articulated and appreciated by Innovate UK
. This latest KTN guide
puts it into practice and sets out how businesses can create the right conditions and orient activity to shape the early stages of developing innovative products and services.
The guide is intended to help businesses navigate the fog of uncertainty that characterises the early stages of innovation. Often the right route forward is not clear and design approaches offer practical ways to engage stakeholders, build trust and relationships across teams to help identify those options. Importantly it is about understanding how different people’s needs – be they end-users, buyers, suppliers or investors – will shape the development of commercially viable propositions. This means really interrogating the perceived challenges and opportunities: moreover, asking the right questions to find genuine applications and market pull, rather than just focusing effort on proving that a new technology works.