Design Foundations Round 3: Helping companies deliver early stage innovation

Posted on: 25/07/2018

Innovate UK is to invest up to £1 million in early-stage, human-centred design projects.

Human-centred design is critical to the success of the UK’s innovative business scene. With this in mind, Innovate UK has opened up the Design Foundations grant funding programme to find the next generation of exciting new products, services and business models.

Evidence shows that businesses that use early-stage design, generate increased revenue, market share and exports as well as having a faster and more cost-effective innovation process. It will give you, senior members in the organisation and investors greater confidence in your ideas, streamline the development of those ideas and reduce cost and the likelihood of failure.

With up to £1million to invest, Design Foundations 3 is aimed at helping businesses engage with customers, users and other stakeholders through human-centred research to identify high-value innovation opportunities and generate better propositions for new products, services and business models.

For companies of any size or maturity, the competition, which opens on 13th August, supports projects of up to £40,000 to explore future possibilities over a 3 month period in collaboration with a design team, examining the viability of innovation opportunities and validating the need. Funding details can be found here.


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Briefing Events

Briefing events have been organised to provide further details on the competition application process.  Each project will need high calibre designer skills to provide the relevant tools and approaches. If you do not have those design skills in your company, come along to or tune into our competition events and webinars to help find the appropriate design partner you need to make an excellent application.  Find out more and register at the links below.

Guidance for design networks – Thursday 2nd August 2018 – Webinar

Briefing and networking – Tuesday 14th August 2018 – London

Briefing and networking – Thursday 16th August 2018 – Manchester

Guidance for reapplicants РTuesday 21st August 2018 РWebinar 

Guidance for micro businesses – Tuesday 21st August 2018 – Webinar

Why should you apply?

There are several eligibility criteria, but really any UK registered business can apply. If you are a business that thinks you could benefit from an understanding of market demand to identify or validate your innovation opportunities and de-risk the development of ideas, Design Foundations is for you.

The benefits could include:

  • Explore better ideas and identify the right opportunity.
  • Communicate ideas and bring clarity.
  • Get buy-in and act as a glue for collaboration.
  • Iteratively develop concepts and manage risk.
  • Rethink Strategy and boost innovation capability.

Find out more about the benefits of design and check out the insights from our previous Design Foundations closeout event here.

If you need support or further information about applying for Design Foundations Round 3, contact the Design Team at KTN.

Up to £40k for 3 month early stage human-centred design projects to explore innovative opportunities through Design Foundations 3. Find out more here.

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