Product Development Centre

SWMAS designed and delivered the £2M ERDF funded Product Development Centre across the South West of England. The centre provided unique and tailored support to small and medium sized manufacturers developing their own products and new processes.  In the period October 2012 to March 2015 our team of innovation specialists worked with over 600 different businesses, delivering the following outputs:

• In depth support and funding for 300 businesses with product and process development challenges
• Supported over 250 new products to reach market
• Introduced and brokered collaborations and partnerships between 160 businesses and universities and centres of excellence
• Helped businesses create and register 50 new pieces of intellectual property

As part of the project, which has now closed, we created a knowledge hub, a legacy which lives on within SWMAS, continuing to connect businesses with product designers, prototyping and small batch production facilities and links into the regions universities and research centres.

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Two of the companies that were supported by the  Product Development Centre were Ecoegg and Stewart Golf


Having developed an innovative Dryer Egg product, Ecoegg needed assistance during the design phase and were keen to secure funding to enable it to be manufactured in the UK.  Through the Product Development Centre SWMAS awarded the company with a grant to fund the design and development of a new injection moulding tool. More ...




Stewart GolfStewart Golf

Stewart Golf, which has been designing and manufacturing remote-controlled electric trolleys for more than a decade and buying-in premium three-wheeled push trolleys from overseas since 2010, was able to get funding from the Product Development Centre. The funding was used to assist both in the initial design of its all-new R1 Push trolley and the design and development of the manufacturing process. More ...



Context and funding information

The product development centre was ERDF funded as two separate projects, one for Convergence (Cornwall) and one for Competitiveness (South West) to provide a single service across the South West.

We developed an innovative SME match model which used the SMEs product development costs as part of the programmes match, a model now widely used in ERDF funded business support programmes.

Our final evaluation gave excellent feedback from the businesses engaged in the centre and we successfully completed article 13 and article 16 audits to demonstrate full ERDF compliance in the programme operation.

Please note that this project is now closed.  If you require further information or support please contact the SWMAS team.