By Max Clarke

The Government is to put design at the heart of its plans for economic growth in the UK. The commitment will be made by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts at 'Design for Growth', a high-level summit meeting of global business leaders, leading designers and Government, which is being co-hosted today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Design Council.

“Good design can help business to thrive and improve public services,” said Willets, “and with over 230,000 people employed in our design industry it makes a significant contribution to our economic wealth with £15 billion spent on UK design in 2009.”

“Design for Growth” brings together leaders in design, business, policy and education to discuss measures to stimulate growth in the economy. Among the guest speakers at the Summit is Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple. He is joined by Ian Callum and Gerry McGovern, Design Directors at Jaguar and Land Rover and Kevin McCloud, author, broadcaster and designer.

In line with the Government’s Plan for Growth, the Design Council will refocus its design mentoring product, Designing Demand, on manufacturing firms and particularly those with advanced manufacturing capability.

"I believe this Summit marks a pivotal moment in the use of design by Britain's businesses,” commented Matrin Temple, Design Council chair, “The commitment to hard-wiring the use of design into the forthcoming innovation strategy is an important step, and I look forward to working with government to explore how we can progress the other ideas coming from this powerful gathering of leading thinkers."

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