All that’s best

The Millennium Dome is not coming out top of the popularity poll with most of the UK’s media. It’s a shame because we have to get behind projects like this if they are to reach their full potential. As engineers, our great opportunity to get involved comes in the form of the Design Council’s Millennium Products initiative.

Andrew Summers, the Design Council’s Chief Executive, describes his vision: ‘At the dawn of the new millennium the world will be watching us. Britain will be centre stage as home to the Meridian. It is an unprecedented opportunity to promote the very best of British industry and demonstrate the depth of our talent and the breadth of our achievements.

‘Britain’s various engineering industries have earned their position as leading players in “UK plc”. Now is the moment to be acknowledged as global standard-bearers for Britain itself.

‘Millennium Products, a Design Council initiative, will provide this momentum. Launched in September by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, Millennium Products will, over the next two years, identify, encourage and promote some 2000 innovative and ground breaking products and services created in Britain.

‘Those selected will be widely showcased in the media, at the Millennium Experience at Greenwich and in displays and trade shows which will travel the world.

‘Success breeds success, but communicating success is an essential part of business development. Reputation fostered by strong media relations and positive publicity, helps to win orders and attract new business.

‘For engineering and manufacturing firms addressing complex challenges on behalf of clients all over the world, innovation in design and the use of materials and new technologies is essential to success. Routinely, boundaries are broken and rules rewritten to produce solutions. A recent survey found that the most innovative 10% of companies generated more than 75% of their turnover from products or services less than five years old.

‘On a wider scale, success builds strength across an industry sector, ensuring for example that mechanical and electrical engineering are recognised as vital components of the UK economy.’

‘Most importantly, broadening awareness of your industry’s achievements will attract future generations to join the profession.’