By Design grants

Funding to improve design in your business

Our By Design grant can help you improve design in your business.

We can contribute between £2,000 and £5,000 to help you design new products, services or processes or to help you improve the design of existing ones.

What can By Design be used for?

  • Sampling or Minimal Viable Product (MVP) design
  • Service design or manufacture ready design
  • Formulation trials and focus groups
  • Recipe development
  • Packaging, prototyping or tooling

Branding can be covered by the grant but must be part of a bigger innovation project with other design costs in the application. 

Designing a website can be included, as long as the website is part of the bigger innovation project and web design costs do not exceed 10% of the total eligible project costs.

What can By Design not be used for?

  • Travel costs or internal training costs
  • Capital expenditure, including ICT hardware
  • Ongoing maintenance contracts or contractors outwith the EU
  • Salary costs or staff recruitment costs, including the design or placement of recruitment adverts
  • 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

Am I eligible?

To be eligible your company:

  • Must have a base in Scotland and be registered for VAT
  • Must not have commissioned any work or spent any money on the project activities that the grant would fund

Other criteria

  • You can finance at least 30% of project costs
  • You can pay the project costs up front
  • You can demonstrate the benefits of the project
  • Your company doesn't have an SE account manager or Business Gateway growth pipeline adviser
  • Funding won't be used for travel costs
  • Funding won't be used for capital expenditure such as IT equipment
  • Funding won't be used for software licences
  • Funding won't be used for internal payment or temporary salaries
  • No more than 10% of the overall project cost will be focused on website design
  • You haven't received By Design or Make it to Market grant funding in the past
  • Your company is an SME (an SME has fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than €50m or a balance sheet of less than €43m)
  • Your company has a business bank account which will be used for expenditure relating to the grant

EU Commission's definition of an SME

How to apply

Need help with a design project? Ask about our funding and support.