Research

SME Case Studies

Ontario is a hub for small business innovation and for design. But there was no infrastructure to connect innovation-focused entrepreneurs to designers to improve commercialization success. That is why DIAC launched the Design Advisory Service (DAS) in 2009. The program is supported by the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).

The program provides a limited number of qualifying companies with a design audit and a one week strategic design project led by a senior designer from one of the six design disciplines (industrial, interior, graphic and fashion design, architecture and landscape architecture). The Design Advisory Service team supervises the projects and documents the process and the results in a series of case studies.

For further information about the Design Advisory Service please contact: strategy@diac.on.ca.

DIAC Design Advisory Service Case Studies:

AURELLE
The Aurelle portable toothbrush is ideal for brushing away from home. But the company needs to upgrade packaging to reach mass market retailers.
Read more…AURELLE: “The Marketing Aesthetics of Oral Hygiene”

AVNAN
Transferring OEM capability to own brand products can create sustainable advantage.
Read more…AVNAN: Can Electronic Equipment Manufacturer Add Value by Design?

BOTHWELL-ACCURATE
Solar and green roof installations are placing stress on the traditional roof but Bothwell-Accurate has a solution.
Read more…BOTHWELL ACCURATE: “Show, Tell, Commercialize”

CREATIVE EDUCATION
Kids costumes build self-esteem while company builds growth.
Read more…CREATIVE EDUCATION: “Children’s Costume Manufacturer Explores New Options for Growth”

GESTURETEK
The presence of cameras in consumer electronics paves the way for new ways to communicate with hand gestures.
Read more…GESTURETEK: “Design Research Identifies Guidelines for a Standard Gesture Language”

iSILS
The skills of designers from various disciplines are needed to develop adaptable living spaces for our aging population.
Read more…iSILS: “Design Helps Seniors Stay In Their Homes”

iSPAN TOTAL JOIST
Designing an Informed Marketing Pitch for Innovative Building Technology.
Read more…iSPAN: “Designing an Informed Marketing Pitch for Innovative Building Technology”

MORGAN SOLAR
Many green technology entrepreneurs find it difficult to demonstrate the value of their innovations at an early stage. The Morgan brothers faced this challenge twice!
Read more…MORGAN SOLAR: “Design Team Sees Potential in Solar Window Concept”

NU-CO PLASTICS
A third tier automotive supplier ponders the question: what else can we make?
Read more…NU-CO PLASTICS: “Beyond Autoparts”

ON THE WATER DESIGNS
New Seasonal Opportunities for Muskoka Dock Manufacturer
Read more…ON THE WATER DESIGNS: “New Seasonal Opportunities for Muskoka Dock Manufacturer”

PROTEK PAINTS
Protek Paints can own a white space in its market sector (not being addressed by larger competitors).
Read more…PROTEK PAINT: “Brand Plan Can Help Small Paint Manufacturer Compete”

SCHWANK
Education and training series can reinforce market leadership positioning.
Read more…SCHWANK: A Simplified Approach to Brand and Communications Design

SHERWOOD INNOVATIONS
As a supplier of dash-trim kits, Sherwood Innovations must adapt to frequent changes in automotive design and consumer tastes.
Read more…SHERWOOD INNOVATIONS: “New Directions for Dash Trim Kits Keep Pace with Lifestyle Trends”

VERTICIEL
The inventor of an ingenious moss tile planting system faces challenges in bringing the innovation to market.
Read more…VERTICIEL: “Delivery Concept Brings Moss Tile Planting System Closer to Mass Market”

WOODSCAPE ARTKITS
For niche manufacturers in Ontario, a strategic design approach is just as important to marketing and distribution as it is to new product development.
Read more…WOODSCAPE ARTKITS: “Bringing Design Innovation to Point of Sale”

XYZ INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
Like many technology startups, XYZ Interactive wants to demonstrate a compelling application to attract licensees.
Read more…XYZ INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGIES: “Imagined Products for a Hands-Free Future”

ANONYMOUS
Design Research can help to develop a multi-faceted approach to drug-induced sexual assault.
Read more…ANONYMOUS: “A Holistic Design Approach to Counter Drink Tampering”

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