PDR’s UKCES Project
Last year, PDR was selected by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) as one of five organisations to test new ways to develop skills for innovation in manufacturing.
As part of the UK Futures programme, the project aims to create a new innovation-focused supply chain through collaboration with Prism Medical UK, EBS Automation, Real Time Logistic Solutions Ltd, and ABM University Health Board’s Rehabilitation Engineering Unit to pilot a ‘Unified Innovation Model’ approach to new product development.
Dr Peter Dorrington explains, “Our UKCES Project has been a catalyst for design thinking within a newly formed innovative supply chain. This chain brings together three companies and an NHS rehabilitation unit and their wide-ranging expertise to develop a new product.”
By working in this way, the insights of designers, manufacturers and end users are brought together and shared throughout the entire process of developing novel products, which will be targeted at the high-value UK medical device marketplace.
Four workshops have taken place to date, focussing on introducing the project, creativity and innovation, the principals of user-centred design and product development.
Led by Dr Gareth Loudon and Bethan Gordon, workshop 4 utilised Cardiff School of Art and Design (CSAD) FabLab facility for low-fidelity prototyping of new medical devices that were then tested in CSAD’s Perceptual Experience Lab (PEL), which was dressed to simulate a care home environment.
PEL is a synthetic reality facility that generates realistic simulations of environmental and social settings and emulates human perceptual experience through immersion, directional sound, smell, air movement, temperature and vision.
The next set of workshops will build on these prototypes and will take one chosen design forward to a high-fidelity prototype stage.