The Design Fund's aim is to strengthen the knowledge, employment opportunities and value creation in the field of design and architecture with direct financial support and consultation. The Fund also supports promotional and marketing activities abroad, which promotes increased exports of Icelandic design. The Fund is overseen by the Iceland Design and Architecture center which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Industries and Innovation. The fund is divided into four categories with different emphases: development and research grants; project grants; marketing and promotional grants; and travel grants. The categories are interlinked in such a way that a project could receive funding at multiple different stages of development and promotion.
Development and research grants support innovation through funding the research and development of new designs and ideas. With a developed idea, project grants may be applied for to implement the idea. Marketing and promotional grants may be applied for once a product has been implemented, to support fully developed projects in entering the market. Travel grants are intended to increase the opportunities that designers and architects have in terms of collaboration and participation in promotional projects overseas, such as exhibitions, events, conferences, or business meetings.
The board of the Fund is comprised of five individuals, one nominated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, three by Iceland Design and Architecture and one appointed without nomination. The board reviews applications to the Fund with consideration of the quality and status of the project; the professional background of applicants; that the financial basis of the project is satisfactory; and the value and importance of the project for Icelandic design and architecture.
Since the Fund was established in 2013 it has provided various projects with numerous grants. The Fund's website displays information regarding projects funded. In 2013, the Fund received 200 applications to the amount of 2,929,115 USD. In total, that year 29 grants were approved and 285,589 USD provided to those projects. The amount of grants approved each year has risen, with 174 applicants in 2019 and 97 projects receiving funding.
Since its establishment, the Fund has supported numerous projects in various sectors of design. The Fund provides a well-structured environment for designers and architects to seek and receive fiscal support at all stages of idea creation, supporting innovation and diversity in the industry.
In 2019, the Fund allocated a total of 382,250 USD (52.2 million ISK) in all four categories of grants.
The Fund planned to allocate a total of 366,139 USD in 2020. This amount is being doubled due to a government stimulus plan as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far 183,070 USD have been allocated of a total 732,278 USD (100 million ISK) planned for 2020.
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
Ministry of Industries and Innovation