By Brigette Currin 2 minute read

Innovate UK is to invest up to £1m in early-stage design projects, to help businesses identify high-value innovation opportunities and generate ideas.

These should be for new products, services or business models that align with customer demand. Proposals should use design-led methods from first principles to understand customer motivations and behaviour, inspire new ideas, support decision-making and inform strategy.

Innovate UK expects projects to range in size from total costs of £20,000 to £100,000. Projects should last between 3 and 9 months.

Within the scope of the competition, Innovate is looking for applications that show:

  • Ambition and a high likelihood of transformative impact
  • Capability of the project team to deliver an outstanding quality of work
  • Commitment to early-stage design process as a driver of innovation strategy
  • A willingness to recognise and address innovation barriers within the business

Projects may generate and explore ideas about physical or digital products, services and/or business models. Projects may be in any technology or industry sector, though Innovate is particularly encouraging proposals within:

  • Health and life sciences
  • Manufacturing and materials
  • Infrastructure systems
  • Emerging and enabling technologies


– The competition opens on 16 January 2017.

– You must register before midday on Wednesday 15 February 2017.

– You must apply before midday on Wednesday 22 February 2017.

Read more here