Design Foundations July 2022

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million for early-stage, people and planet centred design projects to influence their future R&D activity.

Funding Details
When

Registration Opens

06/07/2022

Registration Closes

31/08/2022

Award

Your project’s total costs must be between £40,000 and £80,000. You can claim up to 100% grant funding for your eligible costs.

Organisation

Innovate UK

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Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £2 million in early-stage innovation projects that use people and planet centred design processes and expertise. This funding is from Innovate UK.

The aim of this competition is to help businesses develop new ideas that will deliver benefits for people and the planet, aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These can be for new or significantly improved products, services, places or business models.

The competition is for eligible organisations that want to test and improve the customer experience, social and environmental benefits of their early stage ideas, as well as generating new ideas.

Applications are encouraged from organisations that have not previously used people and planet centred design processes or expertise.

Your project must:

  • have total costs between £40,000 and £80,000
  • start by 1 March 2023
  • end by 31 August 2023
  • last between 3 months and 6 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must be a UK registered:

business, charity, not for profit or public sector organisation can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications.

If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

Grant funding in this competition is awarded as Minimal Financial assistance (MFA). This allows public bodies to award up to £315,000 to an enterprise in a 3-year rolling financial period.

In your application, you will be asked to declare previous funding received by you. This will form part of the financial checks ahead of Innovate UK making a formal grant offer.

To establish your eligibility, we need to check that our support added to the amount you have previously received does not exceed the limit of £315,000 in the ‘applicable period’.

The aim of this competition is to help businesses develop new ideas that will deliver benefits for people and the planet, aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These can be for new or significantly improved products, services, places or business models.

It will help businesses gain experience of working with design processes and expertise.

Your project must generate new ideas or test and improve the customer experience, social and environmental benefits of your existing, early-stage ideas.

Your project must use a people and planet centred design approach to consider and enhance the value of your ideas. You must consider how to make your ideas more desirable and easy to adopt, so that their benefits can be realised.

You can learn more about appropriate design approaches by searching online for terms including planet centred design, life centred design, humanity centred design and design for planet.

Your project can include activities or work packages to:

  • understand market, social and environmental needs and customer behaviour
  • define problem statements and innovation opportunities
  • generate new or significantly improved ideas
  • create imagery, models, mock-ups or simulations to test ideas with customers and other stakeholders
  • use appropriate tools and models to evaluate the likely environmental and social impact of ideas
  • improve ideas in response to customer feedback and new discoveries
  • plan next steps to develop your ideas toward commercialisation
  • create design outputs to support investment pitches or funding applications

Your project can explore innovative ideas for physical or digital products, services, places or business models.

You are encouraged to respond to new discoveries made during the research and design process. This might include abandoning or rethinking your original ideas and changing the focus of planned R&D activity.

Your project must focus on one or more of the following UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which are:

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Quality education
  • Gender equality
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Reduced inequality
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action
  • Life below water
  • Life on land
  • Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • Partnerships for the goals

An online briefing event will be held on 14th July from 11am to 1pm. Click here to register for a place.

For further information, join the Innovate UK KTN Design Innovation Network, and read Innovate UK’s Design in Innovation Strategy 2020-2024.

If you want help to find a project partner, contact our Design team.