The Design Special Interest Group (SIG)

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SIG work seeks to promote interaction and engagement, and build up a body of evidence, working across four sectoral domains in particular:

  • Digital Economy: incorporating the Internet of Things, and the connected digital economy
  • Cities and the built environment: incorporating work being undertaken on smart city systems, transport and low impact buildings
  • Health and assisted living: including stratified and regenerative medicine, and assisted living.
  • Advanced Manufacturing: incorporating additive manufacturing and automotive.

In addition, the SIG will undertake exploratory work in other domains, with a view to establishing a programme of work for the longer term. Defence and Financial Services have been identified as two particular target areas.



The SIG work will focus around two channels of activity in particular:

  • A programme of seminars and workshops which seek to connect designers and creative innovators with technologists and others across the target market sectors identified. These will include opportunities for ‘show-and-tell' sessions, as well as more investigative work on particular innovation strategies and projects. As part of this process, it is hoped that Innovate UK might be able to develop a range of pilot projects and interventions, to test assumptions and to generate new ideas for a design-led approach to innovation.
  • In addition, the SIG is undertaking a programme of evidence-building and evaluation. Working with, among others, the Design Council and the AHRC, the SIG will be developing a programme of action-research, aimed at building a better understanding of the different ways in which design can enhance the innovation process.


Contact details


  • 020 3693 2007 - local
  • 020 3693 2015 - local

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