Turning an idea into a scalable, commercial product is a challenge that faces many entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs. Developing a new product, new functionality or new customer experience can be difficult, and the design to manufacture process must be given careful consideration to ensure that development costs and timelines are managed effectively.

Navigating this process can be daunting and good communication between stakeholders is vital. By understanding what designers and manufacturers care about, it will be easier to establish the good relationships and processes that will avoid costly, time consuming changes further along the development process.

Product Design Scotland in partnership with the ktn manufacturing team have curated an exciting and informative lunchtime programme – join us each week for an opportunity to hear from representatives across the design to manufacture space. Experienced innovators and specialists will give their own perspectives on the challenges and important considerations that should inform early stage product development.

We’re excited to be able to share weeks nine to twelve of this series – take a look below for more details on each of the events.

Don’t worry if you’ve missed any of our previous events in this series, you can now view them in our event recaps here.

Risks, Regulation and Standards

10th June  12:00 – 13:00

Hardware development is fraught with risks. There is risk to the project inherent in the uncertainty of design and the progressive impact of changes made late in the process.  There is also responsibility on the developer to consider the efficacy and safety of the product through its life-cycle. Can it be manufactured and used as intended? Are there unintended consequences that due care could avoid? Regulations and standards exist to protect users and manufacturers as well as the hardware developers themselves. In this session, we’ll hear about different challenges and approaches associated with risk, regulation and standards. This is a broad topic and we will just scratch the surface but there will be an opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A session.


“Risk in product design”

  • Rory Ingram, Product Realisation team lead, AFRC

“Thinking about regulation and risk in hardware development for high integrity sectors”

“Creating a culture of safety”


Building Supply Chains

17th June  12:00 – 13:00

One of the most common things we get asked is “can you help me find someone to manufacture x, y, z”. An accessible and affordable manufacturing process ought to be considered and planned early in the design journey. Often it is an after thought and this is an approach that creates problems. This session will explore how to think about scale up and, importantly, how to build the relationships to make it happen.


  • Jay Bal

“Hardware start-up supply chain development”

“Thinking about low volume and prototyping whilst planning for beyond”

  • Reshoring UK – TBC.

Networking and collaborating

24th June  12:00 – 13:00

Successful hardware development is never a solo endeavour. This journey requires diverse skills and expertise and, if reaching full potential is your mission, building collaborative partnerships with others is absolutely essential.

How do you navigate sharing your ideas with strangers? What benefits can it bring and what impact do collaborators have on your idea development? Hear the philosophies of some experienced leaders in this field and get some top tips for doing it like a complete pro!


“Membership organisations and innovators clubs- being with likeminded people”

Connecting to learn and innovate”


Design Thinking and Systems Principles

1st July  12:00 – 13:00

The last session in our 12-week series is about considering the challenges of navigating the design to manufacture journey holistically.

We underline the importance of thinking about inter-dependencies and gradually maturing information across integral decision areas rather than locking down decisions in a siloed and sequential fashion. A systems approach has been proven to help realise better results, mitigate risks and reduce time and cost overruns. Some leading thinkers explore how these approaches can be applied to navigating the design to manufacture journey.


“Futureproofing and culturing an innovative mindset”

  • Neil Stone, LeapStone, (Former head of Design, British Airways)

“Design led innovation”

  • Martin Aston, Brunel Challenge | Airbus

“Systems Thinking for hardware start-ups”