The Design Council has announced a new package of support for projects that support the use of design for business growth and success. The support comes in the form of grants from the Design Council's newly-established 'Design Fund for Growth' to help regional and national groups stage a series of five initiatives between October 2011 and March 2012.
Proposals are particularly being particularly sought from not-for-profit organisations such as design support networks, business representative organisations, technology groups and universities. The aim is to strengthen the relationship between design, business and technology, and placing design at the heart of economic growth.
Each successful partner organisation will receive up to £20,000 in funding to plan, promote and run their proposed activity and also to build on its success thereafter. They will also receive press and media support, specialist event advice, a full branded set of event and promotional materials and some design support time for adjusting the collateral to their needs.
The new programme follows the success of last year's grants scheme, which allocated a total of £100,000 across 18 organisations, each of which received between £1,000 and £10,000. This year the Design Fund will be focusing on supporting a smaller number of initiatives with larger grants enabling them to achieve even wider reach, greater impact and longer lasting legacy.
"Through this Fund we are reinforcing our commitment to the design sector infrastructure and supporting closer collaborations between business, technology and design," said David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council. "This follows our recent Design for Growth summit, and our ongoing work with the government to ensure design is at the heart of its forthcoming Innovation Strategy."
Proposals will be judged by a panel of specialists, chaired by economic regeneration expert Pam Alexander, a Trustee of the Design Council.
"We are not just looking for proposals that inspire innovation; we are looking for innovative ways of connecting up design with science, technology and business," Pam Alexander commented. "We want to see some new collaborations and exciting ideas that bring industry and design together to stimulate tomorrow's business success stories."
Deadline for applications is September 2, 2011.