Public funding for design in product development
Already in our article "Economic Factor Design" we explained the important role design can play in the development of products and their placement on the market.
Partners often approach us with plans to develop something because they find in us the partner who is able to turn the idea into a real product. Initiators are not only start-ups or established companies, but also research institutions such as universities or institutes. However, everyone faces the same problem: product development is expensive! The costs for external support, whether in design consulting or the design itself, are often not factored into the development costs. Getting state support, in the form of public funding, and thus making it easier for new products to enter the market can be of great help.
But not only the costs of the development represent a hurdle. The search for suitable partners is also a challenge for many teams. Usually, idea providers only cover their own specialist area and are dependent on external competencies in other areas. In our opinion, this is the greatest and most important task, because competent and reliable partners are a guarantee of success for sustainable product developments.
As a design office for development and product innovation, we not only have many years of experience, but also an excellent network in the areas of research and industry. We would be happy to support you in finding a partner or to assist you ourselves. We tailor our range of services specifically and individually to your requirements. Our expertise covers the entire development process from the initial idea to production. We keep an eye on the entire project: in the conception, the design, the construction and production advice and provide image material for presentations.
We have been able to demonstrably gain many good experiences with public funding opportunities in recent years. Design is in demand and in many cases eligible.
As so often, all beginnings are difficult. The bureaucratic effort involved in submitting an application can seem like an insurmountable obstacle. We say: Don't be put off by the seemingly complicated application process. In recent years, we have been able to support several of our partners in applying for public funding. We know the processes, know how to estimate the effort and can formulate applications with you.
Until the end of 2020, we carried out a cooperation project with the Chair of Technical Chemistry at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the company CryLas GmbH from Berlin. This project was funded by the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM).
The ZIM is a nationwide funding program that is open to all technologies and industries, with the aim of sustainably strengthening the innovative power and thus the competitiveness of medium-sized companies. The technological innovation content and good market opportunities of the funded R&D projects are essential for approval (https://www.zim.de/ZIM/Redaktion/DE/Article/ueber-zim.html).
Contrary to statements to the contrary, the ZIM is an excellent opportunity to have projects funded. The high demands on technical innovation and marketability mean that results have to be documented, but at the same time it is to be evaluated as a quality feature. The effort is rather moderate compared to other funding programs.
The aim of the three-year cooperation project was to develop a compact and economically attractive machine for the production of metal nanoparticles in liquid solutions.
A spin-off of the Projekter was discussed from the start. In this way, knowledge transfer from the university environment to industry could be ensured. Thanks to the successful cooperation and the idea, which was ultimately applied for a patent, the project came closer and closer. The goal is the spin-off at the beginning of 2022 (https://www.uni-due.de/2020-06-29-nanoparticle-on-button-pressure).
The project lived from the exchange and the motivation of the cooperation partners. All departments benefited from each other and supported each other according to their possibilities. In addition to the design tasks, we were also responsible for the project management in this project. While each partner was mainly active in their own area of expertise, we looked at the overall concept, because our job is to bring all the components together. We were the driving force in many areas and always had the entirety of the project in mind.
Project funding, yes or no?
From this example of a successful funding project, it can be generally deduced that public funding is a good way.
The problems of expensive development costs and the search for competent partners can be solved in this way.
However, good research or advice on the right funding program is advisable at the beginning. There are many different programs with different focuses.
Contact us, we will be happy to advise you!
At this point we would also like to point out the new law on tax incentives for research. The law has been in force since January 1, 2020. The new research allowance makes Germany even more attractive as a location for research and innovation. This is an independent ancillary law to the Income Tax and Corporation Tax Act, which is intended to benefit private research and development.
You can find more information on this topic on the BMWi website (https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Schlaglichter-der-Wirtschaftspolitik/2020/02/kapitel-1-10-neue-forschungszulage-in-deutschland.html).
We are at your side to answer the question of whether your idea is eligible for funding. Every project is different, but in our experience, the opportunity to consider and engage is always worthwhile. Even if no funding is possible, we are the right supporting partner for you or at least know the right partner for you and will be happy to put you in touch.
We look forward to exciting new projects!