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Impacting Business by Design

A collaboration between Nottingham Trent University, De Montfort University and Brunel University to provide funded design innovation for your business.

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What is Impacting Business by Design?

Impacting Business by Design (IBbD) is a Research England funded initiative to support businesses with the commercialisation of their design innovation activities. The IBbD project has been set up to specifically address government objectives of improving business productivity and competitiveness by transforming their ability to commercialise design innovation and bring new products to market.

Our approach

research england

The IBbD approach is to work closely with businesses in partnership on design innovation projects.

We will help you to resolve technical issues and improve your design innovation capabilities by introducing knowledge, skills and network contacts (technical and financial) that can help achieve better results – now and in the long term.

IBbD aims to encourage and reduce the business risks of technically challenging design projects by operating on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, using a ‘repayable advance’ model. For example, we only charge our fees when the new product generates four times the value of our support in revenues.

Our support is available for the ‘experimental development’ stage of new product design – from the moment we start to add value to your design thinking, to the moment we deliver a working prototype. At the end of the project, we will provide you with information and advice that will help you embed an improved ability to bring further successful design innovations to market.

Core Principles

The holistic and patient support for your design innovation projects offered by IBbD is only possible due to the Connecting Capability Fund (CCF) grant from Research England. With any funding grant comes fundamental principles of the initiative, these are as follows:

  • We can only enter design research collaborations with businesses that are interested in improving their capability, as well as resolving a technically challenging design problem.
  • Our business partners need to help produce the technical solution – you cannot just rely on us, this is a partnership.
  • You will need to agree to repay us the cost of our input to the project, plus minimal interest, when the product successfully launches and produces four times the value of our support in revenues. If by any chance the new product is not commercially successful (within an agreed timeframe), the ‘repayable advance’ counts as a grant from Research England, and nothing is owed.
  • The value of your contribution to the project is likely to be between 45% and 65% of overall project costs – depending on:
    • The nature of the project
    • The support you need from us
    • The size of your business (legislation allows us to give more support to smaller businesses).
  • All your investment in the project, as well as ours, needs to be accounted for and recorded on our files for at least 10 years after the IBbD scheme closes.

Get in touch

For more information on the terms and conditions of our support, and the project management process, please do not hesitate to contact us at We are more than happy to discuss your ideas and help however we can.