Get funding to improve design in your business
Main Content


By Design grant

Our By Design grant can contribute between £2,000 and £5,000 to help you design new products, processes or services or to help you improve the design of existing products, processes or services.

Who can apply?

  • VAT registered companies in Scotland (except Highlands and Islands) looking to develop new products or services. Non-VAT registered applicants may be considered if they have pre-approval for a VAT exemption via their Business Gateway adviser or Scottish Enterprise innovation specialist.
  • You must be able to contribute at least 30% of the cost
  • You must be able to fund the project up front
  • You must be able to demonstrate the benefits of the project
  • While you don’t have to be trading, you do have to be able to describe how the grant will help take your product or service to market
  • Social enterprise companies

What can you use it for?

  • Design a new product or service or improve the design of existing products or services
  • Hire a designer to help improve your business processes
  • Updated branding and packaging as part of a larger innovation project, however this must not make up the whole of the project
  • External research providing information on customer needs and wants
  • Hire an expert to help write a design brief or prepare a design blueprint
  • Develop a more user-friendly approach to new product development
  • Hire an expert to help your business use design more effectively
  • Designing and developing a prototype as long as the prototype has no commercial value
  • Designing and developing a website, as long as the website is part of the project and web design costs do not exceed 10% of the total eligible project costs

You can't apply for this grant if:

  • You've received, or are receiving, funding from Scottish Enterprise or any other public sector body for the project
  • You're a Scottish Enterprise account managed company or Business Gateway Growth Pipeline company, as we already provide these companies with other forms of support
  • You have previously received By Design or Make it to Market support within the last 36 months

What you can't use it for:

  • Travel costs
  • Capital expenditure, including ICT hardware
  • Internal training costs
  • Repayment or provision of loans or grants
  • Costs to meet regulatory requirements in the UK, such as health and safety requirements
  • Ongoing maintenance contracts
  • Salary costs or staff recruitment costs, including the design or placement of recruitment adverts or promotional materials
  • Printing costs, such as brochures or leaflets
  • Software for your business, such as office software or operating system licences
  • Printing and production costs for marketing collateral
  • Contractors outwith the EU

Get started

First you'll need to confirm you’re eligible for the grant. Then we'll send you the full application form with guidance notes to help you complete it.

Confirm you're eligible

Not sure?

If you're unsure whether this grant is right for you, you may be able to discuss your options with an adviser through our Innovation Support service.

Apply for our Innovation Support Service

Check for other options

How our services help companies like yours