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A delegation from Lahti in Finland including Outi Kallioinen, President of University of Lahti, one of Finland’s leading design schools; Jyrki Myllyvirta, the Mayor of Lahti; and Jukka Rantanen, CEO of LADEC, the region’s industrial development company visited Cambridge Design Partnership to see how it integrates design and technology to create market leading innovation.  The delegation was led by Alan Barrell and later joined by his Excellency the Ambassador of Finland to the UK, Mr Pekka Huhtaniemi.

The city of Lahti is located 100km north of Helsinki and is a rapidly growing hub for companies specialising in environmental and design led innovation, in particular developing new technologies in water treatment, renewable energy and design innovation in furniture, sports and footwear.  This growth is supported by Lahti University for Applied Sciences that trains both the engineers and industrial designers of the future.

The delegation viewed Cambridge Design Partnership’s recently opened state-of-the-art research and development facilities and discussed the company’s approach to innovation. The visitors were particularly interested in how CDP integrates industrial design and engineering as a catalyst for breakthrough innovation. CDP presented their track record in creating exciting new products across the consumer and healthcare sectors and explained its culture where researchers, human factors experts, industrial designers, scientists and engineers work seamlessly together to create market leading solutions.

Aki Laakso, a Finnish engineer working at CDP commented, “While Finland is a relatively small country compared to the UK, it has a strong tradition in innovation and industrial design and is investing heavily in its knowledge based economy.  It was exciting to see how the stakeholder centred approach to technology development we take is also a central part of how our visitors think.”

Mike Cane, Founding Partner at CDP added, “Building on the opening of our R&D centre last year, we showcased our recent investment in new capabilities, in particular our new front end of innovation facility. Our research team use the latest techniques including co-creation, outcome driven innovation and sensory engineering to understand stakeholders so we can provide the evidence for our user experience designers, industrial designers, scientists and engineers to create the next generation of new products. We firmly believe that commercially valuable innovation comes from a holistic approach that considers stakeholders, technology and commercial drivers equally.  We were proud to show this world class capability to our Finnish friends.”

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