The Key Ideas

#39 Create a national economic development approach which emphasises 'smart specialisation' and design-driven innovation

Scotland should be pursuing a strategy of 'smart specialisation'. This simply means seeking to identify specialised areas where Scotland is particularly good and seeking to be the best in those areas. This means producing particularly innovative companies. There is much which can be done to promote this kind of economy-wide innovation such as effective links between small businesses and universities. But one very effective thing Scotland can do is to embed design education in the heart of the school curriculum. Design approaches (looking at how things work and seeing how they can be made to work better for the people who need them) create the capacity to pursue smart specialisation. This should be a discipline all Scottish school children are exposed to throughout their school careers and has the potential to help generations of citizens become more analytical, innovative, and adaptable in their changing environments.