Design in Action at Innovate UK 2015

3 November 2015

By Brian McNicoll, Design in Action (DiA) Business Partnership Manager

The Innovate UK 2015 conference, taking place at Old Billingsgate, London on the 9th and 10th November, is the highlight of the UK’s innovation calendar bringing together academia, public and private sector support, business and investment organisations to showcase and discuss the most successful projects, processes and services that have been developed over the last 12 months.

Having attended the last two years, I have been overwhelmed by the diverse range of support mechanisms out there that have been set up to help UK businesses become more ‘innovative’ including internationalisation strategies, engaging with research in academia, utilising a design-thinking process to deliver value and growth, in order to raise funding and collaborate with other partners.

Design in Action (DiA) is now required to be present amongst these organisations allowing the project to showcase the very unique Chiasma innovation process that has been successfully developed and implemented over the last 3½ years.

DiA is a £5m Art and Humanities Research Council-funded Knowledge Exchange Hub for the Creative Economy supporting SMEs to utilise “design as a strategy” for innovation, both within and outwith the creative industries.

Most importantly, the project is now in a position to start properly talking about some of the successful business projects we have mentored to date. We are therefore really fortunate to be able to showcase 5 of the 16 businesses we have closely worked with from our portfolio following Chiasma and grant funding combined with intensive business support to enable them to embed a design-led business innovation approach.

The 5 businesses exhibiting at Innovate UK on the DiA stand are:

  • A Fox Wot I Drew – ‘Baum’ – a start-up games company, formed in 2014 and based in Dundee developing their enchanting 2D platform game, ‘Baum’.  A unique physics based puzzler that is launching imminently.
  • Beer52 – ‘’ – A highly successful craft beer club that has went from £0 to a staggering £2m in turnover in just 18 months after attending one of Design in Action’s Chiasma events.
  • Nautilus Beam – ‘Tusi’ – a groundbreaking design-driven interface which will enable users to input text easily via smart watch screens.
  • ‘Tappstory’ Tappstory utilises innovative technology that is activated automatically when a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) touches a product label to reveals its provenance and authenticity.
  • Urban Farming Company – ‘Table Farm’ – A smart solution, growing platform for inside the home.

To find out more about how we work with businesses please visit: and you can follow the latest updates from the project at

The showcasing of these businesses is intended to demonstrate the value of a design-driven business ecology that has the capacity and capability to deliver a solid and viable business proposition into the marketplace, with the resilience to sustain trading and continue to build.

If you are attending Innovate UK this year and would like to arrange a meeting with DiA to find out more about our project or any of our businesses then please enquire via our website: or visit us during the event at Plinth D on the Ground Floor (beside the main stage entrance).

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