SMART Flexible Innovation Support.

SMART FIS is a unique Welsh Government Scheme with the single aim of helping Welsh organisations achieve “Innovation Excellence”.

Welsh Government.

Delivered by a team of specialists – engineering, science, industry and intellectual property. SMART FIS is open to any organisation wishing to engage in research, development and innovation (RD&I), including businesses, the third sector, public sector bodies, academic institutions and research organisations. Typical value of the funding on offer is £100k over a 2 year period at a 50% intervention rate for research, development and exploitation of innovation; product, process and service innovation; as well as embedding culture of skills, growth and citizen benefit.

When applying for support, an Innovation Plan will need to be supplied. This should include: short, medium and long-term innovation goals/impact; circular economy activities related to product, process, and organisation innovation; gaps in capability and capacity; and relevant partners in a collaborative project with an explanation of how risk and reward will be shared. Welsh Government aim to make a funding decision within 20 working days, dependent on size and complexity of the Innovation Plan.

Express Interest.

    SMART Productivity & Design.

    We are the nominated design and manufacturing partner who support Welsh Government in the delivery of their SMART Productivity and Design programme.

    The scheme offers Welsh SMEs the opportunity to access fully funded consultancy within the field of design and manufacturing for up to 8 days, which is delivered in two phases: diagnostic (3 days) and implementation (5 days). The ultimate aim of the SMART scheme is to stimulate economic growth and job creation in Wales through: the development of new products; the introduction of more productive manufacturing processes; and the creation of novel intellectual property.

    Our team of specialist consultants have expertise in: Design Process Improvement, Product Research, Competitor Analysis, Conceptual Design, Engineering Design, Rapid Prototyping, CE Marking, Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, 5S, Value Stream Mapping, Process Improvement, Waste Reduction and Industry 4.0.

    SMART Productivity & Design has supported a vast number of Welsh SMEs across a broad range of sectors. In order to qualify for such Welsh Government funding and associated Welsh Government business grants, the organisation must be located within Wales and ideally employ 10+ members of the staff.

    Case Studies.

    Gaia Renewable Energy, located in South Wales, offers semi-permanent energy systems to the construction industry. Their Solatainer is an off-grid power supply that combines renewable energy and storage with diesel backup to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Initially produced from a single-use 20ft ISO shipping container, they sought a more cost-effective manufacturing method for medium or high volumes, leading them to consider GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) molding. Through the Welsh Government’s SMART Productivity & Design program, Gaia Renewable Energy accessed 8 days of consultancy. ITERATE reverse-engineered the Solatainer, creating a detailed 3D CAD model and comprehensive 2D technical drawings. This data allowed the client to engage subcontract manufacturers experienced in GRP structures, obtain production cost estimates, and prepare for scalable production to meet growing demand.

    Mutiny Shaving is a sustainable personal grooming product supplier, who partnered with ITERATE through the Welsh Government’s SMART Productivity & Design program. The challenge was to design an eco-friendly razor using 3D printing technology that was safe to use and performed in the same way as a traditional razor. After rigorous prototyping and testing, ITERATE created a v-shaped neck with a pin and collar locking mechanism for precise and repeatable blade attachment. Careful material selection led to three eco-conscious 3D printing options, including 70% recycled polymer, wood concentrate and beer waste filaments. The result is a unique razor designed for Fuse Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology, which is fully compostable after its life-in-service. This razor stands out as a sustainable alternative to non-recyclable razors in the market, reflecting Mutiny Shaving’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral.

    Toddle – Born Wild, founded by military veteran and mother Hannah Saunders in 2017, offers a renowned line of 100% vegan skincare products for children, promoting safe outdoor adventures. To expand their brand, Toddle sought to introduce a signature backpack, with funded consultancy support through the SMART programme. The challenge lay in translating Toddle’s vibrant skincare brand into a physical textile product while maintaining its brand identity. The backpack design emphasised a neutral aesthetic, catering to both parents. It retained a traditional backpack shape while integrating removable compartments, termed “adventure pods,” for customisation. ITERATE, using in-house digital sketching expertise, created four concept designs, focusing on modularity and sustainability. The SMART scheme facilitated risk reduction and enabled Toddle to explore new avenues.

    Afon Technology is a Welsh medical tech company, who have developed a groundbreaking device capable of non-invasively monitoring blood glucose levels in those who have diabetes. Through the Welsh Government’s SMART Productivity & Design programme, ITERATE worked closely with the company to design and develop a wrist worn prototype. A key challenge that needed to be overcome was that the monitoring technology had to be consistently placed on the wrist – from one user to another. This was achieved by the strap having a rigid half and a flexible half; enabling the user to maintain a constant position in relation to the vein. Using in-house 3D printing, the design team crafted a functional prototype featuring an Apple Watch displaying glucose data, allowing user feedback to be gained.

    Marco Cable Management are the UK’s top manufacturer of steel wire cable trays and uPVC trunking for cable management in settings like schools, hospitals, and factories, is renowned for innovation and high-quality products. To maintain a competitive edge, they continually launch new products and enhance existing ones. The business benefited from 8-days of fully funded consultancy support through the Welsh Government’s SMART Productivity & Design program. This package of consultancy involved a thorough analysis of the UK cable tray market, dissecting it by financial value and product type. As a result, Marco Cable Management identified promising growth opportunities and gained insights into the necessary investments for launching new products while aligning them with effective manufacturing strategies.

    Dacey Orthotics Solutions is a leading provider of customised orthotics services. They offer comprehensive orthotics services, including bespoke sports footwear and tailored orthoses, incorporating innovative technology to enhance patient experiences and streamline processes. ITERATE was engaged by Dacey to improve their existing 3D scanning platform, resolving issues such as reducing interference, portability, and patient comfort when scanning their feet. The platform was designed with clear, sturdy material to ensure balance without compromising accuracy, and with durability and hygiene in mind. The final platform featured three adjustable height settings, user-friendly access, and modern features like a lockable closure, storage, and an integrated handle for transportation. This design greatly improved 3D scanning of lower limbs, meeting the company’s goal of enhanced data accuracy, user comfort, and modern aesthetics.


    For those businesses that are not eligible for Welsh Government grants, InnovateUK provides an alternative funding route. InnovateUK Smart Grants are an ‘open grant funding’ programme; applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as, but not exclusively: the arts, design and media; creative industries; science or engineering.

    The time-frame and available budget can often vary; however, InnovateUK have previously supported projects that are 6 – 18 months in length and have eligible project costs between £25,000 – £500,000, which are delivered by a single organisation or a collaboration of organisations. Additionally, projects of 19 – 36 months in length would be considered with eligible project costs of between £25,000 – £2 million but must be collaborative.

    ITERATE have successfully delivered a number of InnovateUK funded projects in the medical, healthcare, industrial and consumer technology sectors. The most significant programme, was a £1.1million funded project known as IMPACT (Integrated Manufacture of Polymer and Conductive Tracks). ITERATE led a consortium of organisations that included: CEL (UK); Printed Electronics; and Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick. The aim of this project was to develop an innovative 3D printing technology that combined Fuse Deposition Modelling (FDM) with the deposition of conductive inks.

    Please get in touch if you would like to learn from our experiences of securing grant funding; delivering complex long lead-time R&D projects; as well as working within a consortium that involves industrial and academic collaborative partners