Businesses can apply for a share of £1 million to support human-centered design activities that inspire new ideas for products and services.
Innovate UK has up to £1 million to support business projects that use early-stage design activities to help them identify innovation opportunities and generate new ideas. The aim is to encourage businesses to use design-led methods to understand customer motivations and behaviour, inspire new ideas, support decision-making and inform strategy. Early-stage design activity can help businesses to tackle the right problems and to generate ideas that are more likely to meet the needs of their customers. According to the Design Council, £1 invested in early-stage design can deliver as much as a £20 increase in revenues for a business. However, many businesses rarely or never use design, or tend to use it as a last finish. The competition will support businesses exploring ideas for physical or digital products, services and business models. They may be in any sector but proposals are particularly encouraged in Innovate UK’s priority areas of health and life sciences; manufacturing and materials; infrastructure systems; and emerging and enabling technologies.
- the competition is open, and the deadline for registration is at midday on 15 February 2017
- projects must be led by a single business of any size but it can sub-contract design services worth up to 70% of the total project cost
- projects are likely to range in size from £20,000 to £100,000 and to last between 3 and 9 months
- businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs
Press release in full.
Policy paper – Innovate UK: design in innovation strategy 2015 to 2019.
Competition information and how to apply.
Innovate 2016 will be held at Manchester Central on the 2nd – 3rd November 2016.
Take part in the global showcase of UK innovation, hear from global thought-leaders and create real business opportunities at Innovate 2016. Find out about today’s business opportunities and future-looking trends across manufacturing, health, cities of the future and technologies of the future.
Hear from industry-leaders on topics such as:
- Retaining the edge with disruptive business models
- Manufacturing: Tackling the productivity gap
- Implementing resilience in a city of the future
- Next-generation medicine: The UK as a world leader
- Emerging technologies revolutionising innovation
View the full agenda.
Hear from top-level inspirational speakers from organisations including: Siemens, Versarien, Amazon, University of Manchester, Hyperloop One, High Value Manufacturing Catapult and of course Innovate UK CEO Dr Ruth McKernan CBE and Catherine Raines, CEO from the Department for International Trade.
Discover the breadth of funding and support for businesses and meet with the organisations that exist to help business thrive. The Support Zone will be back featuring among others the UK Business Angels Association, British Business Bank, HMRC and Growth Hubs.
Register and find out more.
Growing numbers of UK companies are investing in research into new products and services, according to a study by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. (BIS)
The UK Innovation Survey 2015 Main Report, published by BIS on 12 July, collates the results of telephone interviews and a postal questionnaire completed by nearly 30,000 businesses around the UK.
It characterises innovation as any activity involving the introduction of a new product or process; engagement in on-going innovation projects; changes to the company structure or practices; and investment in research, training or technology.
The proportion of innovators increased across the UK, with the introduction of new computer software and ghardware were the most common forms of innovation investment reported.
Click on the links below for more information:
Useful summary: UK innovation survey 2015: infographic
Background: UK innovation survey 2015
Full report to download: UK innovation survey 2015: main report
Innovate UK have just published the 2016/17 Delivery Plan. In it, you will discover some important changes in the way they intend to support business innovation.
Key areas of the delivery plan include:
- a new sector focus – that is easier for industry, investors and government to work with
- changing the frequency and nature of our sector funding competitions – so that they are broader in scope than previously and form a single stream of innovation funding
- forming a single ‘open’ funding programme – for applications from any technology or sector
- enhancing the role of our innovation networks – in providing guidance and support to innovative businesses both nationally and regionally
To find out more read more on their blog: A whistle-stop tour of our delivery plan or check out the website