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High Value Design

November 22, 2017

The world is at an inflexion point. In a time of increasing nationalism, industrial protectionisms, and ever-rising uncertainty, what can countries do to stimulate sustainable future growth?

Working in partnership with the UK Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Roland Berger has found that advanced technology lies at the heart of long-term competitiveness and economic growth – and that the ability to consistently translate advanced engineering from concept to market is the key. We refer to this capability as High Value Design (HVD), i.e. the combination of skills and capabilities required to conceptualize, define and integrate complex technologies at a system level. The study "High Value Design" particularly provides lessons for countries, who would like to enhance their capabilities in this field.

High Value Design offers a country and industrial sector the ability to leapfrog its competition.
High Value Design offers a country and industrial sector the ability to leapfrog its competition.

Throughout the study, the UK's aerospace industry is used as an extended case study to illustrate the importance of HVD. Over the past two decades, the UK has seen a steady erosion in the capabilities and role of its aerospace sector at a global scale. While both the private and public sector have recognized the need to address the pace of technology development – for example through the Aerospace Technology Institute and Manufacturing Catapults – these initiatives have been limited in their ability to address the know-how and creativity required to conceive and design holistic complex systems, such as whole aircraft.

We have found that successful institutions always work at the technological cutting edge, identify and fast-track the most impactful ideas and find the best teams and capabilities to deliver them. We have also found that HVD activities must draw on a wide range of stakeholders – from government and universities, to technological incumbents and start-ups – aligning their incentives with funding and IP to ensure effective collaboration and a holistic positive impact. While incumbents' know-how and access is crucial to ultimate success, the entrepreneurial mind-set of a new entrant is required to really bring about disruptive change.


High Value Design


The study "High Value Design" provides insights for countries aiming to enhance their capacities in this field.

Published November 2017. Available in