Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) are making a significant investment in supporting Dorset businesses. The £2 million project, match-funded by AUB and ERDF, helps SMEs, Social Enterprises and microbusiness undertake Research and Innovation projects to develop new products and services.

How can we support your business?

Access Vouchers allow businesses access to AUB’s world-class facilities including SLS 3D printing, CNC routing, 3 and 5 axis CNC milling for prototyping and testing.  They also enable businesses to work with our talented staff and students on solutions to their design problems.

We also facilitate match-funded Innovation Vouchers which support businesses undertaking Research and Innovation projects. Recipients can claim back up to 50% of their financial investment in small research projects.

Vouchers are supported by our workshop events that allow businesses to develop new skills, experiment with new equipment and make contacts with like-minded businesses across the region. For example, our Meet the Maker workshops are run in conjunction with local business and focus on applications of technology and design theory. Such as the Introduction to 3D printing in collaboration with industrial designer Studio Wood and experts at AUB’s Museum of Design in Plastics. You can explore more workshops below.

Industry workshops

We have also launched a new series of Innovate & Test (IT) workshops.

Start-it: For those who have an idea but need a grounding in design process and advice on how turn that idea into reality.

Make-it: For those that are ready to go into development and need support with manufacturing.

Design-it: For those that want to take things to the next level, a masterclass lecture series of the latest thinking in design from a range of disciplines.

All these workshops are exclusively for Dorset based professionals and businesses.

To-date, we have supported over 100 Dorset businesses with a mix of access, funding and research collaboration.  Many of these projects are under wraps but you can read about some of them on the Case Studies page.

If you would like to learn more, please contact Daniel Cox Knowledge Exchange Manager and Lucy Devall Innovation Manager


This project is supported by the England European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. This fund was established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development. This investment will help to support innovation, businesses, skills and employment to improve local growth and create jobs. For more information visit