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Innovation Studio

Industry-engagement and our strong maker culture puts collaboration at the heart of everything we do.

Supporting Dorset Business

We have recently been successful in attracting a £1.2m investment from the European Regional Development Fund to support research and innovation projects with Dorset Industry and £1.4 million from the Dorset Growth Deal to develop an Innovation Studio to support start-ups in the region.

How can we support your business?

Access Vouchers allow businesses access to our world-class facilities, which include 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 our 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 to 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

European Regional Development Fund

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:

Explore the Innovation Studio

Innovation Studio, photographed by Richard Bryant


The Innovation Studio operates as a lab for creative technologies, a nucleus for start-ups and enterprises, and an industry engagement hub.
Animation of a pink and blue bird, watching a sunset


Take a look at some of our recent collaborative projects with external partners and businesses
Creative Exchange

Collaborate with us

There are many ways to work with us – we can give you access to our equipment and expertise
Sunseeker employee working on schematics of a boat

Associate Programme

Our Associate Programme offers membership of our Innovation Studio to regional businesses seeking research and development support.
People gathering around a table with models and photographs

Residency Programme

Our Residency Programme offers membership of our Innovation Studio individuals, start-ups and SMEs developing new products or services.
Innovation Studio, photographed by Richard Bryant

Industry-standard resources

The Innovation Studio features state-of-the-art equipment and digital resources, and the latest manufacturing technology.