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New grant for early stage design projects

Innovate UK launches Design Foundations

Innovate UK has set up a new funding programme for early-stage design projects to help businesses identify innovation opportunities and generate new ideas for products, services or business models that align with customer demand. Proposals submitted to the Design Foundations grant should show design-led methods that seek to understand consumer behaviour, stimulate new ideas, back decision-making and inform strategy.

The competition will provide grants of up to £70,000, with the expectation that the projects put forward will range in size from total costs of £20,000 up to £100,000, lasting between 3 and 9 months. To be eligible, a project must fall under the feasibility study research category so it is important to first gauge whether it meets the criteria – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/innovate-uk-funding-general-guidance-for-applicants#categories-of-research-and-development

Applicants for the grant can be any UK-based company regardless of size or industry sector and, although a UK business must lead the project, there is the freedom to sub-contract the design services for up to 70% of the total project cost.

Intended to stimulate early stage innovation within businesses, Innovate UK aims to minimise the risk involved in exploring new ideas that will have a genuinely transformative impact. Registration for round 1 of this competition closes on 15 February 2017 and is likely to be followed by rounds 2 and 3 in May and August respectively.

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