We are proud to be an industry-facing institution with a wealth of experienced strategic leaders, project managers and pioneering researchers. Design, Strategy and Innovation is practiced throughout to encourage entrepreneurial activities, new business growth opportunities and collaborative ventures. Read more Read less

It is through industry projects and Government funded research that we are able to provide support and guidance to SMEs regionally and internationally to develop new value streams and opportunities, that provide a competitive advantage in the product and service sector, by bringing to market new and exciting innovations, making long-term aspirations a short-term reality.

Companies that can reduce their dependency on strategic materials, or which can find ways of reusing materials have the chance to become more competitive and resilient. The Centre for Competitive Creative Design (C4D) is working alongside the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to support such companies to develop regenerative, closed-loop design solutions in line with Circular Economy thinking. 

For many organisations, the transition towards a circular economy requires a change in mind-set, strategy and the adoption of new methods of managing and facilitating the design process. C4D is developing new techniques to support this change and through our Masters courses we are providing students with the knowledge and understanding required to become leaders in this field.

About our research

Cranfield University is well-known for being industry-facing. The industry and academic ‘bridge’ has helped researchers work within, or as part of, reputable and well-established creative UK/EU based SME’s through to international design organisations to develop new innovations.

We foster an immersive multi-disciplinary environment that encourages the creation of innovative new ideas through a passion for inquiry. We encourage the search for new insights by connecting our staff and students with people and organisations with differing perspectives and advocate the provocation of new ideas through rapid prototyping and testing.

Our impact

Cranfield University conducts multidisciplinary research in design, strategy and innovation. The Centre for Competitive Creative Design (C4D), led by Dr Leon Williams, aims to embed state-of-the-art design-led innovation practice within business and education to improve commercial performance and develop future innovation leaders.

Working with us

We recognise that design, strategy and innovation 'as a way of thinking' is closely aligned to the processes of management and helps senior decision-makers to stimulate knowledge transfer within an organisation to explore and develop new and exciting value propositions.

There are many opportunities to collaborate with us:

• Our staff are actively involved in industry funded research, early-stage grants and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP’s)
• Industries can also approach the Design Strategy and Innovation Centre’s such as Competitive Creative Design (C4D) to run workshops and short courses to provide support for their internal staff
• Industry/organisations can fund MSc by Research, MPhil and PhD students in their postgraduate studies to explore new gap and opportunity spaces. This is a popular choice for industry as it provides additional research and development support in the design strategy and innovation field
• Industry funded group design projects or individual projects also provides students with the opportunity to work closely with industry.

These opportunities allow both the industry and the students to unlock new creative ideas whilst providing a platform for the postgraduate master students to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research, whilst overcoming genuine problems in design and innovation.