2007 - New Product Development in the West Midlands Region of the UK Jewelry Manufacturing Industry - Evaluating the Impact of Design Support

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2007 - New Product Development in the West Midlands Region of the UK Jewelry Manufacturing Industry - Evaluating the Impact of Design Support

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This paper reports on a study of the effects of a subsidized New Product Development (NPD) program targeted at small firms in the West Midlands, UK. It draws on empirical data obtained from a series of six in-depth case studies on jewelry companies that have received design assistance through the Jewelry Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC), New Product Development program. It is a study of the effects of this assistance program on design strategies in smaller firms, with particular reference to the non-economic impacts of design and business performance. The case studies were drawn from clients who participated in a program sponsored by European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) designed to encourage innovation and stimulate new business opportunities by a collaboration between universities and businesses. The evidence suggests that this form of design assistance can directly contribute to improving economic performance by, for example, creating new, high-value additional product ranges, reducing the risk of innovation and enabling businesses to diversify into new products. It may also influence strategies for product design, foster a more positive attitude to design and lead to long-term relationships with the support infrastructure offered by the JIIC.

Author: Gay Penfold

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