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Frequently Asked Questions- Design-Business Collaboration Scheme(Application period for the DBCS has been closed after 31 December 2015)

 
  1. What is the Design-Business Collaboration Scheme (DBCS)?
  2. How to apply for the DBCS funding?
  3. Can a single applicant submit more than one application under the DBCS at any one time?
  4. Is there any quota on the number of projects to be supported by the DBCS?
  5. What is the chance of getting funding support from the DBCS?
  6. What sort of projects will not be funded by the DBCS?
  7. What are the funding criteria of the DBCS?
  8. What is the funding procedure of DBCS applications?
  9. What is the DBCS Assessment Panel?
  10. What should I do after the completion of DBCS projects?
  11. Who are eligible to apply for the DBCS?
  12. Are companies or organisations outside Hong Kong eligible to apply for the DBCS?
  13. What defines a local company?
  14. What defines an SME?
  15. Can a local company of non-Hong Kong origin apply for the DBCS?
  16. Can I apply for DBCS funding if another Government funding agency has turned down my project before?
  17. What is the appeal procedure for rejected DBCS applications?
  18. Must all the design work of a DBCS funded project be conducted in Hong Kong?
  19. Under the CSI, information on the eventual production of the deliverable(s) of DBCS projects is required on both the application and completion report forms. A new assessment criterion relating to the location of production has also been introduced. What is the implication of this change?
  20. When applying for the DBCS funding for branding projects, what information about branding is to be submitted by the applicants?

  1. What is the Design-Business Collaboration Scheme (DBCS)?

    The DBCS was one of the schemes set up under and funded by the DesignSmart Initiative (DSI), which was established by the Government in 2004 to strengthen Government’s support for design and innovation, and to promote wider use of design and innovation in industries. The DBCS provides funding support for design projects collaborated between a design company /academic institution and a small-and-medium-sized enterprise (SME). It aims to promote the interest and investment of SMEs in design, with a view to upgrading their products and services thereby helping them move up the value chain and increasing their competitiveness. The DBCS was placed under the CreateSmart Initiative (CSI) with effect from 24 May 2013. Applications under the DBCS received on or after 24 May 2013 are funded under the CSI.

    Application period for the Design-Business Collaboration Scheme has been closed after 31 December 2015.

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  2. How to apply for the DBCS funding?

    You can download the CSI Guide for DBCS (“Guide”) and application form template for the CSI DBCS from the Download Area of this website. Please submit your application by following the instructions set out in Tips for Application. For assistance in filling the application form, please contact the Help Desk of the CreateSmart Initiative (Design) Secretariat (“Secretariat”) at (852) 2737 2635.
    No application fee will be charged.

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  3. Can a single applicant submit more than one application under the DBCS at any one time?

    A single applicant can submit more than one application under the DBCS at any one time. Nevertheless, it should be noted that an SME is subject to a maximum funding support of $100,000 to be used in no more than four projects under the DBCS(counting all the approved DBCS projects of the SME, irrespective of whether the funding support is sourced from the DSI and/or the CSI).

    Example 1:

    If an SME has previously been approved one DBCS project with funding support of $30,000 under the DSI and another DBCS project with funding support of $20,000 under the CSI, it can still apply for up to two DBCS projects, of total funding request up to $50,000, under the CSI to use up its remaining balance.

    Example 2:

    If an SME has previously been approved four DBCS projects with funding support of $80,000 under the DSI, it will no longer be eligible to apply for the DBCS under the CSI as it has already used up its project limit of four projects under the DBCS.

    Example 3:

    If an SME has previously been approved one DBCS project with funding support of $50,000 under the DSI and another DBCS project with funding support of $50,000 under the CSI, it will no longer be eligible to apply for the DBCS under the CSI as it has already used up its funding limit of $100,000 under the DBCS.

    Apart from the above funding and project limits, in assessing each application, we will also consider the capability of the applicant in deploying adequate resources to complete the project taking into account the number of DBCS projects the same applicant is currently undertaking.

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  4. Is there any quota on the number of projects to be supported by the DBCS?

    An SME is subject to a maximum funding support of $100,000 to be used in no more than four projects under the DBCS (counting all the approved DBCS projects of the SME, irrespective of whether the funding support is sourced from the DSI and/or the CSI). For examples, please refer to Q3 above.

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  5. What is the chance of getting funding support from the DBCS?

    It is difficult to provide any generalised answer. Each application will be assessed on its own merits. Approval of an application will only be given if the DBCS Assessment Panel is convinced that the application has sufficient merit for approval having regard to the set criteria. Please refer to the Guide for the criteria.

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  6. What sort of projects will not be funded by the DBCS?

    DBCS is not a venture capital or investment fund. It is neither a loan scheme for private companies, nor a start up fund. As such, projects seeking support of this nature will not be funded.

    Also, projects of the following nature are normally not supported:

    • design of exhibition booth for specific fair(s)/ trade show(s);

    • design of advertisement and materials for sales and marketing promotion;

    • design of website for basic business communication or on-line shop/platform;

    • software writing / system maintenance;

    • technical engineering work; and

    • production / construction.

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  7. What are the funding criteria of the DBCS?

    In considering an application, due consideration will be given to the following factors, wherever applicable:

    • to what extent the project can help integrate design into business process;

    • to what extent the project can help transform design activity into tradable deliverables, be it product or service, that manifests exploitation and deployment in the form of intellectual property, which may comprise patent, copyright, know-how or industrial design;

    • to what extent the project can add value to the products or services concerned and increase their competitiveness;

    • to what extent the project can help commercialisation of new products or services and finding pathways to market;

    • whether the applicant design company/academic institution or the applicant SME has been funded by the DBCS before and the amount of funding already granted for such previous projects;

    • the overall planning and organisational structure of the project and capability of the project team i.e. the project team members’ expertise, experience, qualifications, track record, and the resources available for the project;

    • whether the proposed budget is reasonable and realistic, and whether the project has been funded or should be funded by other sources;

    • the extent to which the products will be produced or the services provided in Hong Kong ; and

    • any other special factors which are relevant and contribute towards the aim of the DBCS and the objective of the CSI to support initiatives which are conducive to the development and promotion of creative industries in Hong Kong.

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  8. What is the funding procedure of DBCS applications?

    In general, upon receipt of an application, the Secretariat will first examine the application to determine if the applicants are eligible and whether the information in the application is clear and sufficient. In case more information is required, the Secretariat will e-mail the applicants for more information. The onus to provide information per the request of the Secretariat lies with the applicants. They run the risk of delay in the processing if they fail to respond promptly.

    After screening, the Secretariat will submit the application together with its comments to the DBCS Assessment Panel for consideration.

    At the application stage, both applicant design companies and applicant SMEs are obliged to attend DBCS Assessment Panel meetings to make presentations on their project as directed by the Secretariat. Failure to attend the Panel meeting twice will be taken as the applicants withdrawing their application concerned. If the applicants have genuine difficulty in attending the meetings, they should separately explain their difficulties and request in writing for another date to attend the Panel meeting. Subject to acceptance of the explanation by the Secretariat, arrangement will be made for them to attend another Panel meeting.

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  9. What is the DBCS Assessment Panel?

    The DBCS Assessment Panel assesses applications, makes recommendations, and monitors approved applications. It comprises officials, professionals, industrialists, businessmen, designers and academics.

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  10. What should I do after the completion of DBCS projects?

    The applicants are required to submit a completion report including details of the results, performance and evaluation of the project within four months from the project completion date. Failure to do so may result in the termination of project. The completion report should be submitted together with:

    • a financial statement on accrual basis on the final financial position of the project audited by a certified public accountant; and

    • evidence showing the contribution of the matching fund by the applicant SME.

    On completion of project, both applicant design companies and applicant SMEs may be required to make presentation of the outcome of their project to the DBCS Assessment Panel in accordance with the Guide and as arranged by the Secretariat.

    Should the applicants fail to attend the Panel meeting twice, it will be taken as the applicants withdrawing their application and completion report altogether. If the applicants have genuine difficulty in attending the meetings, they should separately explain their difficulties and request in writing for another date to attend the Panel meeting. Subject to acceptance of the explanation by the Secretariat, arrangement will be made for them to attend another Panel meeting.

    At the presentation, applicants have to bring along all relevant proofs/ information to demonstrate the work-steps/ design development process involved in the project to facilitate the Panel's assessment. Information on the business/ marketing plan of the project deliverables will also be required. Should the applicants fail to provide the information as required, the projects concerned may be deferred for re-consideration/ the approved funding may be trimmed down as appropriate/ the projects concerned may be terminated.

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  11. Who are eligible to apply for the DBCS?

    Local design company and local SME will be co-applicants in a project application under the DBCS. Either of them, with the consent of the other party, is eligible to lodge an application under the DBCS. The co-applicants should not be related in terms of ownership or management.

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  12. Are companies or organisations outside Hong Kong eligible to apply for the DBCS?

    No. Only local design companies and local SMEs are eligible to apply for funding support under DBCS as co-applicants.

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  13. What defines a local company?

    A local company is a company established or incorporated under the Hong Kong laws including the Companies Ordinance.

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  14. What defines an SME?

    An SME refers to-

    • a manufacturing business, which employs fewer than 100 persons in Hong Kong; or

    • a non-manufacturing business, which employs fewer than 50 persons in Hong Kong.

    The number of persons employed shall include individual proprietors, partners and shareholders actively engaged in the work of the company; and salaried employees of the company, including full-time or part-time salaried personnel directly paid by the company, both permanent and temporary, at the time of submitting applications.

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  15. Can a local company of non-Hong Kong origin apply for the DBCS?

    As long as the applicant is a company established or incorporated under the Hong Kong laws including the Companies Ordinance and has substantial connection to Hong Kong, it is eligible to apply for the DBCS.

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  16. Can I apply for DBCS funding if another Government funding agency has turned down my project before?

    The Government has set up different funding schemes with their own objectives and eligibility criteria. Projects rejected by others do not necessarily mean they would be rejected by the DBCS. They will be assessed having regard to the assessment criteria of the DBCS.

    However, applicants would be required to disclose in the application form whether they have attempted/are attempting to seek funding support from other funding sources.

    In general, funding support will not be given to an application which has received funds from other Government sources.

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  17. What is the appeal procedure for rejected DBCS applications?

    A declined application may be re-submitted if it has been revised substantially or it has been able to produce new evidence to address the comments made by the DBCS Assessment Panel. Subject to the circumstances of the case, it will be put up to the DBCS Assessment Panel for re-consideration.

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  18. Must all the design work of a DBCS funded project be conducted in Hong Kong?

    In general, the core design work funded by the DBCS shall be conducted in Hong Kong unless otherwise approved.

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  19. Under the CSI, information on the eventual production of the deliverable(s) of DBCS projects is required on both the application and completion report forms. A new assessment criterion relating to the location of production has also been introduced. What is the implication of this change?

    The DBCS aims to encourage SMEs to utilise design for upgrading their products and services. Design is the focus of the DBCS. The information on the production location provides an additional parameter for the consideration of the Assessment Panel, as production in Hong Kong will bring jobs to Hong Kong and hence is a positive factor which the Assessment Panel should take into account. Nevertheless, production in Hong Kong is not a prerequisite for DBCS applications. In assessing an application, the Assessment Panel will take into consideration various factors per the set of assessment criteria, and design will remain to be the focus for assessing an application.

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  20. When applying for the DBCS funding for branding projects, what information about branding is to be submitted by the applicants?

    When applying for the DBCS funding for branding projects, applicants are to submit information regarding the branding concept, strategy, positioning, and to provide elaborations on how the branding project could help differentiate the SME’s product(s) and/or service(s) from other similar offerings in the market.

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