3M collaborates to inspire designers of all generations

Engineers, designers and students from across the South East gathered at 3M's Customer Innovation Centre in Bracknell to gain an insight into 3M's culture of innovation and inspire their own design thinking.

More than 50 attendees attended the event organised by 3M, with the IMechE, the IED and the IET. Following a presentation from 3M's UK Research & Development director, Wynne Lewis, members explored a showcase of products at the Customer Innovation Centre, ranging from digital stethoscopes than enable earth-bound doctors to listen to the heartbeats of astronauts on the International Space Station to concrete material so light that it floats.

Wynne said: "This was an opportunity for engineers to gain insight into a unique culture that actively embraces what most organisations would characterise as 'failure'. 3M has tried and tested approaches to creating the right working environment for innovation to flourish, allowing up to 15% of employees' time to be dedicated to projects that aren't formally sponsored by the company."

This was the first of a series of events organised by the three institutes, to bring engineers from a range of disciplines together to inspire creative thinking and increase networking opportunities to aid members' personal development.