Research and analysis

UK design as a global industry

Examining how UK design figures in the global economy, and considers how the intellectual property system can best support its growth.

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The importance of design to the UK economy is widely recognised. It is one of the key pillars of the knowledge economy, it plays an important role in the innovation process, and it is one of a number of specialism’s that help to set the UK apart from global competition. But despite this importance, the nature of design-intensive industries - the businesses that practice and sell design - is remarkably hard to pin down.

This uncertainty renders it hard to analyse, and makes it difficult to develop clear, consistent policies to support the designers. The Hargreaves Review recommended that more research was needed to develop a clear evidence base for improving the intellectual property system for design.

This report examines how UK design figures in the global economy, and considers how the intellectual property system can best support its growth.

Authors:

  • Spencer Thompson, Research Assistant, Big Innovation Centre
  • Andrew Sissons, Researcher, Big Innovation Centre
  • Dr Lucy Montgomery, Visiting Fellow, Big Innovation Centre, and Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) at the Queensland University of Technology