Published 07th December 2020 | Articles, FAQs

Cambridge Design Technology FAQs

Where can I get investment/funding? 

This is the most common question we get asked at Cambridge Design Technology, but often can be the most difficult to answer. Funding is available from a variety of sources, though most will need to see your business plan before committing to any funding: 

  • Crowdfunding (Equity/Reward Based) 
  • Private Investors 
  • Government stimulus schemes 
  • Innovation Grant Schemes 
  • Local and regional business networks, innovation hubs and Federation of Small Businesses etc sometimes offer grants 
  • Banks 

Can you offset your fees against future product earnings? 

CDT is not in a position to offset design fees against a product’s future earnings, nor are we able to retain percentages of people’s businesses or intellectual property. We are specialists in product development and are a turnkey product design consultancy. We do however have a specialist who can assist with equity based crowd finding – see our article here 

Please see our extensive areas of expertise below and how we can help you: 

How do I protect my design IP? 

We work with our clients under a Non Disclosure Agreement. We have our own NDA template available on our website that you can download here or we are happy to review the terms of our client’s NDA if they wish us to use theirs. In general we recommend our clients also do the same with other 3rd parties, if they wish to disclose anything sensitive. Once this has been signed and agreed, we would be delighted to talk to you about your idea. 

Long term protection requires patents and other protection, for full details, read our new website article here: Intellectual Property Protection: Why, Where, When & How
 

Will my design get ripped off if we manufacture in China? 

The simple answer is no if you work with CDT. In the last 20 years, there has been a cultural shift with Chinese companies; due to the realisation and appreciation of business ethics. We have always found sourcing components and tooling from China to be cost effective, safe and conducted with honour.

Typically, if your product is of a certain level of complexity and has a specific market place, the effort of reverse engineering, manufacturing and marketing to that marketplace is often not worthwhile to an oriental factory. This is compared to a low cost simple commodity product like a generic phone charger with an enormous global audience.

At CDT we do, however, have a small network of quality suppliers – with a proven track record – who are reliable partners for our manufacturing. Whilst we are great advocates of “Made in Britain”, commercial pressures, labour rates, volumes and skillsets unavoidably require us to source in China. If you feel that legal advice is required please contact Tom Gaunt our specialist for professional legal advice. 

How long will it take? 

It really depends on the project and your requirements. We have been working on some complex medical device projects for over two years, whereas other projects can be designed, sent to our prototyping 3D printers, and delivered to you within 48 hours. We are not prescriptive about how or at what stage we get involved in a project.

Sometimes we get involved in concepts only, or after prototyping to convert to production, and other times we value engineer existing products.  

If you give us a call on 01223 662300 or email info@cambridge-dt.com we will arrange a meeting and talk you through the process; planning out timescales, deliverables and the highly anticipated question ….the cost. 

How much will my product design project cost? 

Cost is always a difficult subject. All of our development projects are broken down in small phases – each phase having a set of deliverables, timescales and a cost. Our cost structures are fixed prices, not hourly rates. And only committing to small phases at a time, financial exposure and visibility are completely in the control of our clients. 

It’s best to see the product design aspect of your overall product development and launch as laying the foundations for a future business or income that could potentially yield a significant return. To begin with, you’re making an investment in that future return, and you need to be certain that you are getting the best possible start. 

When you ask Cambridge Design Technology for a price, we will use our decades of experience in product design to give you a fair and competitive estimate based on your brief. We will, if necessary, help you to develop your brief to start with.  

That price will cover not just the time it takes us to deliver your product design, but a huge amount of ‘added value’. What do we mean by that? 

Value – in addition to the design expertise involved in the physical delivery of your product design – includes many intangibles such as the decades of knowledge experience we bring to your project, our wealth of contacts to help you through the development lifecycle, including patenting, engineering, regulatory considerations, prototyping, branding and market launch.  

We also bring huge depth and breadth of knowledge which you can tap into in the form of advice along the way, mainly because you have regular access directly to the designer working on your project. These benefits are always worth considering when you make your decision. 

Having said that, Cambridge Design Technology is a small, focused and highly experienced product design house, and our pricing structure and cost base reflect that when compared to larger industrial product design consultancies. 

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