Product Innovation

Turning an idea into a scalable, commercial product is a challenge that faces many entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs. Developing a new product, new functionality or new customer experience can be difficult and success may not always happen. 97% of hardware startups fail (compared with 70% of tech start-ups).

The UK has world class University research and an outstanding track record when it comes to funding early stage research and innovation. We recognise that by turning more great ideas into products could have significant advantages for our economy and society.

In addition to the usual challenges associated with innovation, start-ups with products that require manufacturing face some additional hurdles such as:

  • A diverse range of skills and experience
  • A dependence on relationships across the supply chain, with designers, contractors and third parties
  • The up-front scale of investment required is significant. Risks must be well managed and the business case compelling.

Having awareness of the key challenges and a strong network  are fundamental to success. We can help you find the right people to complement your skills and experience, forge the right connections and act as a critical friend to challenge your thinking through the design to manufacture journey.

To start your journey, read our Navigating The Design to Manufacture Guide.

Related Opportunities

Innovate UK Smart grants: January 2024

Opens: 18/01/2024 Closes: 24/04/2024

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25m for game-changing R&D that can significantly impact the UK economy.

More Information

Innovation Exchange: Towards Net Zero Fibre Bottle Challenge

Opens: 05/04/2024 Closes: 10/05/2024

The Net Zero Catalyst is supporting Pulpex to find a provider to analyse recycled paper fibre and alternative biomass sources for a fibre bottle moulding process.

More Information

Global Incubator Programme: Canada - Advanced Manufacturing

Opens: 10/04/2024 Closes: 28/06/2024

Innovate UK seeks up to 8 innovative companies in the Advanced Manufacturing sector to join their programme in Canada.

More Information

Related Events and Recordings


Accelerating Hardware Innovation with HAX mentor Alan Clayton

11.30 - 12.30 | Online

Watch Now
See all events

Related News

Innovation Alley: a great place to test your digital technology product


Innovation Alley: a great place to test your digital technology product

Running through the heart of Smart Factory Expo, Made Smarter Innovation Alley is home, each year, to 50 of the UK’s most disruptive, innovative technology companies in the manufacturing sector.

Read more
Women in Innovation 2021/2022 Success Stories


Women in Innovation 2021/2022 Success Stories

Read the success stories of our 2021/22 Women in Innovation and the personal journeys they’ve been on since winning their awards.

Read more
More News

Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.