Human-centred design is for businesses of any size who are interested in early-stage innovation strategy. For start-ups, strategic design helps get brilliant ideas to the right market. For established businesses, it helps reposition or expand their offering.

People make logical decisions in the pursuit of science, technology and commerce. People are also emotional beings, and those emotions can drive us far harder than reason. When business success is dependent on human behaviour to do the right thing, your business should seek support from human-centred designers.

By focusing on what people need, how people behave, what they aspire to, businesses can use these key insights to achieve greater success in the market.

The Design in Innovation team at Innovate UK KTN can help you whether you are:  

  • A designer looking for opportunities to engage with businesses on activities needing human-centred design support
  • A business wanting to understand how to deploy human-centred design in your business
  • A business wondering whether human-centred design might be a valuable capability to add into your R&D portfolio

Specifically you might want to:

  • Look for funding and opportunities to apply design in different sectors and industries
  • Find a designer with the right expertise to collaborate with and help your business develop
  • Get some quick insights about how companies are best utilising human centred design in their R&D

You can also keep up to date with news, funding and events across the Design sector by connecting with the Innovate UK KTN Design Foundations group on LinkedIn.

Our current focus in this area

Empowering innovators to drive positive change through the power of design.

Design Foundations is aimed at helping businesses engage with customers, users, or wider stakeholders through early-stage, people and planet centred research to identify high-value innovation opportunities and generate more innovative products, services and business models.

Innovate UK KTN’s Innovation Canvas is designed to help you create value from innovation and identify the changes needed to make your idea succeed. It provides a framework for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a specific project, identifying the most urgent challenges to overcome, and prioritising what action to take.

Related Opportunities

Net Zero Living: User focused design

Opens: 01/08/2023 Closes: 04/10/2023

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £3.8m to support them in developing net zero products or services.

More Information

Innovation Exchange challenge: Contacting Priority Service Register Customers Without Mobile Phones During Power Cuts

Opens: 04/09/2023 Closes: 13/10/2023

UK Power Networks is looking to find a reliable method to communicate with priority services register customers during a power cut.

More Information

SSPP: Liquid food and beverages in refillable packaging

Opens: 18/09/2023 Closes: 25/10/2023

Up to £1.5m available to demonstrate a reuse or refill packaging system for liquid food and beverage products, at scale, in a retail chain.

More Information

Related Case Studies Simplifying AI for industry, using a no code AI platform Simplifying AI for industry, using a no code AI platform

Related Events and Recordings


Ignite Labs: Event Series Briefing

09.30 - 11.00 | Online

Watch now

Ignite Labs: Introduction to Design Innovation

14.00 - 16.00 | Online

Watch now
See all events

Our Experts

Related News

Meet the Knowledge Transfer Manager in the Design and Innovation Effectiveness Team


Meet the Knowledge Transfer Manager in the Design and Innovation Effectiveness Team

Introducing Leanne Fowles, a Knowledge Transfer Manager (KTM) at Innovate UK KTN with a specialisation in Data Visualisation.

Read more
Ignite Lab Series Wrap Up: Designing out waste in a circular textile industry


Ignite Lab Series Wrap Up: Designing out waste in a circular textile industry

In the Autumn, the Design Team at Innovate UK KTN launched its inaugural Ignite Lab focusing on Sustainable Textiles and Circular Systems in the north of England. The event series, which included on-site visits and online sessions, aimed to connect businesses looking to innovate with design knowledge and expertise, providing diverse opportunities to learn and engage. 

Read more
More News

For general enquiries regarding our Design sector contact us now


Connect with Innovate UK KTN

Join Innovate UK KTN's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access IUK KTN’s deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.