SMART Innovation – Welsh Government Funding

Welsh Government Business Funding

SMART Innovation is a Welsh Government programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 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 SMART Innovation is to stimulate economic growth and job creation in Wales through: 1) the development of new products; 2) the introduction of more productive manufacturing processes; 3) the creation of novel intellectual property.

ITERATE are a nominated Welsh Government supplier and support with their delivery of the SMART Innovation programme. 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.

The SMART Innovation programme has supported a large 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 should employ 10+ members of the staff. Below are some examples of how the scheme has supported Welsh industry:

Welsh Government Grants

In addition to offering funded design and manufacturing consultancy, Welsh Government deliver a suite of business support that has previously included: SMART Cymru; Innovation Vouchers; Academic Expertise for Business (A4B); Knowledge Exchange Project (KEP); as well as regional business grants. Up-to-date information can be found on the SMART Expertise website.

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Innovate UK SMART Grants

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. Further information about this novel technology development and details of how this project was supported by InnovateUK can be found by reading this Case Study.

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 by calling 01291 408283 or contacting gethin@iterate-uk.com