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Ulster Teams Up With Design Council to Speed Technologies Going to Market

15 November 2011

The University of Ulster is to team up with the Design Council in a bid to boost the commercial potential of technologies developed at the University.

The University’s Office of Innovation will partner with Design Associates under the Design Council’s ‘Innovate for Universities’ mentoring programme.

Under the programme, strategic design and innovation tools are used to accelerate the commercialisation of universities’ research projects.

Tim Brundle, Director of Innovation at Ulster, explained: “The University of Ulster has a long and successful heritage of creating value from research.

“Our award-winning technology commercialization provides considerable value to the economy and we are thrilled to embark on a new relationship with the Design Council that will integrate design at the outset of projects to enhance our product offerings, shorten time to market and reduce investment risk”.

‘Innovate for Universities’ has been specifically developed by the Design Council to mentor technology transfer teams at universities.

The Design Council has worked with a number of universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Aberdeen and University College London to enhance the commercial potential of technologies developed by research teams.

It is envisaged under the programme that Technology Commercialisation Managers at Ulster and the Design Council’s Design Associates will build links between the research and design communities and leave a legacy of enhanced design capability.

It is believed this user-centred approach to technology development will increase Ulster’s success rates with competitive funding applications, improve collaboration within teams and provide new skills and ways of working.

Ellie Runcie, Director at the Design Council added, “Design skills and methods can help technology transfer teams deal with fundamental questions, from defining applications and possible routes to market, to communicating the benefits of the technology to investors and adding value to intellectual property.

“Design can have a dramatic effect on emerging science by turning it into a commercial proposition that meets a market need and attracts funding”.

NOTES TO EDITOR: 1.    The programme is delivered and fully subsidised by the Design Council through its core funding grant from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills