Why design is a strategic growth ingredient for Healthy Ageing
The ageing population presents a significant opportunity for businesses. But without harnessing the benefits of design, it might be more difficult to achieve success.
In this guest blog, Veronica Hawking (Project Manager – Healthy Ageing Challenge Community of Practice) and Julian Grice of Creative Venue explain the Healthy Ageing by Design growth programme and how it offers value to its participants.
Around 1 in 6 children born today can expect to live to 100 – and our longer lives present a huge opportunity for businesses to create products and services to help us stay healthy as we age. For entrepreneurs creating these products, design is crucial to coming up with innovative ideas, launching products successfully, and making sure users love them and want more.
Last month saw the launch of the Healthy Ageing Challenge Community of Practice’s brand-new Healthy Ageing by Design growth programme, which will run this summer. The programme will provide an unmissable opportunity for participants to learn how to use design strategically, as they develop innovative new products and services for the healthy ageing sector.
There is plenty of research proving the value of design. McKinsey reports that businesses that value design increase their revenue at twice the industry rate. The UK Design Council demonstrates a return on investment of £7 for every £1 businesses invest in design.
However, 42% of start-ups fail because they lack a deep understanding of their market and only 50% of businesses conduct research with users before starting to develop their ideas. So why do so many entrepreneurs fail to invest in design? What value do they expect from design? And how do they currently use design? The Healthy Ageing by Design growth programme will answer these questions and help those creating healthy ageing products and services to grow faster.
Helping businesses and innovators grow faster
The Community of Practice’s Healthy Ageing by Design growth programme is delivered in partnership with design industry leaders John Mathers and Julian Grice at Creative Venue. Their experience in leading enterprise growth programmes for British Design Fund, Design Council and Growth Accelerator has inspired the founding of the ‘Design Age Accelerator’ and Healthy Ageing by Design programme.
The programme aims to equip entrepreneurs, innovators, social enterprises and research institutes with the skills and knowledge to innovate faster and more effectively, to create products and services fit for market in the healthy ageing sector.
The programme kicked off on 21st June with the Design your way to growth webinar. It was Chaired by John Mathers, with expert insights from Innovation Design Lead at UKRI Ben Griffin and Damon Bonser, CEO of British Design Fund and first-hand experiences from entrepreneurs Adi Kasliwal, Co-founder of Personal Alarm Watch and Eric Kihlstrom, Chair of Centaur Robotics, the webinar highlighted the value of design through real-life examples.
The over-riding message from the webinar is that design is no longer a ‘nice to have’ … it’s essential if you’re serious about developing innovative and disruptive solutions to make the most of the healthy ageing sector.
The webinar is only the start of our programme. Over summer there will be further workshops, primarily working with projects already in receipt of funding from the Healthy Ageing Challenge, and businesses in the healthy ageing market seeking investment.
These free, interactive workshops will tackle the themes of ‘Design your proposition to fit your market’ and ‘Pitching your design vision’, to help participants understand how design can help overcome business challenges, exploit market opportunities and win investment.
If you're interested in applying to take part in these workshops, please email the Community of Practice team for more details. We will host a webinar in October to share lessons and best practice from the programme, as it reaches its conclusion.
For more information
- Register for updates from the Community of Practice on the latest news and events.
- Connect with the Healthy Ageing Challenge on LinkedIn.
- Follow Creative Venue's Healthy Ageing by Design on LinkedIn
The Healthy Ageing Challenge Community of Practice is delivered by Ageing Better on behalf of UKRI. It is a learning community bringing together those organisations funded by the Healthy Ageing challenge, and others interested in the healthy ageing market, to collaborate, share expertise, and gain insights from the innovation and research both funded by the project and from the wider Healthy Ageing domain.
The views and opinions expressed in this guest blog are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the policy or positions of the Centre for Ageing Better.