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Apply for a share of up to £800,000 for early-stage, human-centred design projects. Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £800,000 to fund early-stage, human-centred design projects through the Audience of the Future Challenge Fund.

The aim is to support early-stage projects to create ideas that meet customer needs, using research and human-centred design principles.

Your proposal must have clear ideas ready for further research and development (R&D) and find insights about the problem space.

Projects must also explore opportunities in one or more of these themes:

  • designing for Net Zero.
  • design for Build Back Better.
  • design for Cross Sector Immersive Projects.

Projects must include work packages that:

  • find out about client wants and needs.
  • define the problem statement and pinpoint what is needed to make solutions desirable and fit for purpose.
  • deliver verified ideas through fast, low-cost mock-ups, ready for further R&D.

The competition is open to single applicants and groups for projects with total costs between £25,000 and £50,000. To lead a project, your organisation must be a UK registered business. You must involve at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

See: Competition overview – Audience of the Future – Design Foundations 2 – Innovation Funding Service (