National Manufacturing Institute Scotland

Free online events with NMIS and Product Design Scotland: navigating the product design process

This week NMIS and Product Design Scotland kicked off a series of events to coincide with the launch of their new Design Toolkit, which provides best practice advice on the product design process – aimed at smaller businesses or those doing it for the first time.

Coinciding with the launch of the toolkit, which features 4c Design, the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Scintilla, you can access a series of three free online events that each explore the product design process in detail, providing valuable insight from experts involved in the innovation to commercialisation pathway.

From idea to commercial product

Turning an idea into a commercial product is a challenge that faces many entrepreneurs, innovators and small to medium-sized businesses. The design process must be carefully considered and planned to effectively manage development costs, timelines, and expectations.

According to the Harvard Business Review, only 3% of new consumer packaged goods successfully achieve sales targets and  the most common issue reported is a lack of preparation: companies are so focused on inventing and manufacturing new items quickly that they put off the difficult task of effectively preparing them for market until it's too late.

The importance of effective product design

Regardless of what industry you operate in, the process of discovering a market opportunity, properly articulating the problem, devising a good solution for that problem, and validating the solution is known as product design.

Each of our events zeroes in on a different stage of the product design process, so depending where you are on your product development journey, you can join all three or dip into the most appropriate one.  Don’t worry if you miss one, each event will be recorded and made publically available.

The design process and Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)

The first event in the series emphasises the value of design, TRLs and standard design processes that can act as the framework to support your business on its commercialisation journey.

Throughout the event, attendees will explore the importance of building a robust business case, including fully understanding your markets and customers as the foundation for future success.

Topics covered:

  • The value of design
  • Design processes and TRLs
  • Building a business case
  • IP considerations

Catch up here

The commercialisation process

The second event in the series examines the fundamental challenges innovative companies face as they seek to commercialise new technologies. It will highlight the importance of stakeholder engagement while discussing challenges linked to cost and risk management.

Topics covered:

  • Managing costs
  • Stakeholder management
  • Risk management
  • Systems engineering and requirements capture

Sign up here.

Navigating the challenges of a start-up

The final event in the series will explore the challenges of scale-up. From manufacturing to supply chain management, this can be a particularly treacherous aspect of the commercialisation journey and getting it right can mean the difference between success and failure.

Attendees will explore change management across all product lifecycle stages, learning to understand the impact of change and best practices around it.

 Topics covered:

 Managing supply chains

  • Change management
  • Scaling manufacture

Sign up here.

The product design toolkit is now live and can be accessed for free at

Further topics will be added to the toolkit in the coming weeks.

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