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).

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.

Abigail Hird

Our Expert

Abigail Hird

Read full profile

Related Opportunities

Novel, low-emission food production systems: feasibility studies and industrial research

Opens: 18/01/2023 Closes: 19/04/2023

Apply for a share of up to £16m to deliver resource efficient, low-emission food production systems, including alternative proteins and Total Controlled Environment Agriculture (TCEA).

More Information

Transport Pathfinder 2023

Opens: 01/01/2023 Closes: 27/02/2023

Do you have an inspirational, life-enhancing idea, prototype, or plan to reimagine how transport options in the UK can better support a rapidly ageing population to stay connected, active, and independent for longer?

More Information

Innovate UK Smart grants: January 2023

Opens: 19/01/2023 Closes: 26/04/2023

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy.

More Information
Accelerating Hardware Innovation with HAX mentor Alan Clayton
Recorded: 5th June 2020

Accelerating Hardware Innovation with HAX mentor Alan Clayton

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

Read More

Related News

Innovation Alley – a Great Place for Meaningful Conversations

07/10/2022

Innovation Alley – a Great Place for Meaningful Conversations

Made Smarter Innovation Alley alumni company Authentise exhibited on the Alley in 2021.

Read more
KTP Awards 2022 - And the Winners are…

17/10/2022

KTP Awards 2022 - And the Winners are…

Thank you to all who joined us both online and in Liverpool for a dazzling ceremony at St. George’s Hall. Joined by our fantastic host, Suzannah Lipscomb, we witnessed the inspiring work from KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) projects and departments across the UK.

Read more
More News
Close

Connect with Innovate UK KTN

Join Innovate UK KTN's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access IUK KTN’s deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.