With Swindon and Wiltshire expecting to see three new business support projects launch in forthcoming months, the Digital Catapult's guide to launching hardware-based Internet of Things (IoT) products is very timely. 

By the end of 2019, local SMEs will be able to channel help from one of three new ERDF supported projects. Meanwhile, the Digital Catapult - the government's hub for driving innovation and growth from enabling technologies - has released a comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs providing an overview of the product life cycle from prototype to production and exploring the specific considerations that need to be made when designing and producing an IoT product.

This guide provides orientation for an increasing number of UK entrepreneurs, startups and scale-ups who are keen to launch hardware based IoT products and services. It provides guidance to navigate the entire process of IoT hardware production from the building of a basic prototype up to production at volume and end of product life.

The report highlights important considerations such as where to focus energy and provides a clearer understanding of the expectations that design and manufacturing partners may have, so an engagement with these can become more successful.

The SWLEP expects to launch its new business support project which will link start-up support and scale-up support to the Growth Hub in the new year, whilst there will also be a new manufacturing support project and a digital business accelerator offering a range of support.

Coupled with the Serco delivered workforce skills project focusing on leadership, management and digital transformation, the area is becoming known for its supportive, nurturing and creative business environment for emerging tech firms, industry 4.0 manufacturers and ambitious entrepreneurs.