The deadline for applications to this programme was 6th January and applications have now closed. 

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design INNOVATION support

Dorset Gateway has partnered with Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) to offer a new, exclusive, consultant and specialist-led innovation and design funding for emerging Dorset businesses. Funded consultancy of up to £5,000 is available to sole traders, limited companies and social enterprises registered or operating within Dorset.

The support provides up to 100 hours of design consultancy from one of three highly regarded Dorset product design and development specialists. 

The support funded will vary dependent on individual business requirements. For example: 

  • £1,500 could fund one to three days of early-stage concept development, potentially resulting in the production of digital sketches, slide decks and 2D/3D CAD designs. This level of support would suit start-ups and small organisations new to design and product development, or who do not have the capacity to invest in the early stage of an idea. 
  • £5,000 grants could fund detailed STL files for digital fabrication and proof of concept 3D prints, as well as having the potential to support the creation of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) sample for pre-production. This level of support would suit businesses that have perhaps developed a concept and rough ‘proof of concept’ but need investment in prototyping and/or further design process work.

Discover the three design consultancies you could be working with: 



This latest investment is in addition to £1.9 million of Local Growth funding Dorset LEP has already allocated to innovation projects at AUB.

We're supporting innovation in the creative, cultural, engineering and manufacturing sectors with the creation of an Innovation Studio, access to a suite of digital Innovation Resources and an Innovation Suite for specialist digital physical fabrication.