Design Research Units and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs): An Approach for Advancing Technology and Competitive Strength in Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Design Journal, 2018, 21 (2), pp. 247 - 265
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper makes the case that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector have the potential to benefit from connections with design research units operating within universities. It points out some of the challenges associated with research and development for SMEs, and argues design research units can allow SMEs to better meet these challenges. Additive Manufacturing is used as an exemplary emerging technology that makes explicit the new possibilities and instability of the contemporary manufacturing landscape. A case study is used to articulate the potentials and limitations of industry and university partnerships in design. In conclusion, two alternative models are analysed in order to highlight different ends to which the practitioner-based research can be put.
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