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Product Innovation

Turning an idea into a scalable, commercial product is a challenge that faces many entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs. Developing a new product, new functionality or new customer experience can be difficult and success may not always happen. 97% of hardware startups fail (compared with 70% of tech start-ups).

Product Innovation

The UK has world class University research and an outstanding track record when it comes to funding early stage research and innovation. We recognise that by turning more great ideas into products could have significant advantages for our economy and society.

In addition to the usual challenges associated with innovation, start-ups with products that require manufacturing face some additional hurdles such as…
-A diverse range of skills and experience
-A dependence on relationships across the supply chain, with designers, contractors and third parties
-The up-front scale of investment required is significant. Risks must be well managed and the business case compelling.

Having awareness of the key challenges and a strong network  are fundamental to success. We can help you find the right people to complement your skills and experience, forge the right connections and act as a critical friend to challenge your thinking through the design to manufacture journey.

To start your journey, read our Navigating The Design to Manufacture Guide.

Our Product Innovation Expert

Abigail Hird

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Funding Opportunities

UK-South Korea Collaborative R&D

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million for this competition, with a maximum grant of £350k/project. This funding is for the purpose of developing innovative proposals with South Korea.

Opens: 14/02/2022 Closes: 06/07/2022

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Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition – Round 2

UK registered businesses can apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy.

Opens: 14/04/2022 Closes: 11/05/2022

Explore Further
Recorded: 5th June

Accelerating Hardware Innovation with HAX mentor Alan Clayton

Join us as wel talk to HAX mentor Alan Clayton about the challenges facing hardware innovators around funding, manufacturing and design.

Watch Now



Young Innovators 20/21 Success Stories

There are many different routes into innovation, and this is clearly illustrated in the stories of our award winners. Read the stories of our 2020/21 Young Innovators to find out how the Young Innovators programme helped them to navigate and accelerate their entrepreneurial journey.

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Young Innovators Awards 21/22 - Young Innovators look to change the world

The winners of this year’s Young Innovators’ Awards, announced today by Innovate UK, look set to tackle some of our biggest societal challenges.

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