asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has any plans for further policy initiatives to promote the use of British design talent by British companies; and if he will make a statement.
My Department already runs an extensive programme to promote better use of good design by United Kingdom industry and commerce. We are considering further ideas for that programme which were suggested at a design seminar held by the Prime Minister in January, particularly measures to stimulate more and closer links between industry and higher education on design issues.I am also developing new proposals to make expert design and related advice available direct to smaller firms on a regional basis. The aim will be to help such firms identify and pursue new, market led product opportunities and so improve their business prospects. Further details will be announced as soon as possible.