Design groups stand to benefit from extensions to the Department of Trade and Industry’s Smart scheme, which aims to help small companies bring new products to market.
Following cash injections announced by minister for science and innovation Lord Sainsbury, three additions which could benefit designers have been made to the scheme. The new areas for funding are the categories of micro projects, technology reviews and technology studies. Applications for grants are now being invited by the DTI.
Companies developing low- cost prototypes and employing fewer than ten employees are eligible for up to £10 000 assistance from the new Micro Projects fund. Assistance is limited to products and processes involving “technological advance or novelty”.
Smart Technology Reviews provides grants of up to £2500 for companies with fewer than 250 employees, towards the cost of reviewing their technology. Under the Technology Studies category, companies of this size are also eligible for up to £5000 to identify new uses for technology.
“This is good news for investors, small businesses and consumers. With the support already announced earlier this year we are now making nearly £100m available for new Smart projects over the next three years,” says Sainsbury.
Further information can be obtained from the DTI Publications orderline (0870 1502 500), or can be found on the DTI website (www.dti.gov.uk).