Creation of design group within Materials KTN

6 Jul 2006

Design is the focus of a new Materials KTN initiative launched on 4 July at the House of Lords by Margaret Hodge, Minister for Industry and Regions at the DTI.

The aim of the new initiative is to bridge the gap between design and materials innovation by providing an effective materials design interface to pull through innovative ideas. Launching the initiative, Hodge said 'we need to exploit our nation's creative skills coupled with its excellent record of scientific invention'.

The group will raise awareness of design within the materials community as well as provide resources for new initiatives. The activities planned for the first year include workshops, lectures and design shows. The continuation of the successful Materialise focus groups run by the Royal College of Art will encourage communication between designers and materials innovators.

'The design community recognises the importance of materials as a driver of change, and there is a significant thirst for materials knowledge, but limited signposting and access points are currently available', said Bernie Rickinson of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

The design group will receive Government funding from the DTI to become one of nine groups in the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). The design group will emphasise the role of design in the choice of materials, as well as forging links with the various branches of the KTN concerned with metals, plastics, composites, textiles etc.

The new group has been created in conjunction with the Design Council and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), with industry backing from the Institute of Engineering Designers (IED) and the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF). The Royal College of Art provides academic representation.

Notes to editors

For more information, contact Zoe Chiverton, tel: 020 451 7395.

Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs) are DTI Business Support Solutions which aim to stimulate innovation in the UK's key industry sectors.Materials KTN website.

The design node is managed by a board of representatives from academia and industry. For more information, contact Bernie Rickinson, tel: 020 7451 7367, email

Further information

MADE website


Documents for download: 
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