What is Design Clinic Scheme?

The Design Clinic Scheme has been developed by the National Institute of Design (NID) for easy percolation of design thinking, philosophy and application among micro, small and medium enterprises for quality up gradation of their products, processes, operations, services and business through design intervention. 

The objective of the Scheme is to bring MSME clusters and design expertise to a common platform for solutions on real time design problems.


Who all come under MSMEs?

Any manufacturing/service enterprises defined under the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006 and based on the limit for investment in plant and machinery/equipment for manufacturing/service enterprises as notified from time to time fall under MSMEs. The Scheme applies to enterprises within the clusters/industrial clusters approved by the DC MSME.


What is the relevance of Design and how can Design help MSMEs?

Design, innovation and growth are inter-linked to improve/diversify products for everyday use.  Application of design solutions and process helps MSMEs in increasing productivity, reducing costs and acceptability of products. Design as an innovative discipline helps MSMEs to sustain and grow in competitive market and provide new business opportunities.


What are the broad areas of Design Clinic Scheme?

The following 3 modules are used for delivering the Scheme for design expertise to the MSMEs:

(i) Design Awareness Seminars for design sensitization of MSME clusters

(ii)Design Awareness Programme consisting of (a) Design Need Assessment survey of MSME clusters for developing appropriate design intervention strategies and (b) addressing the design needs of the clusters through a Design Clinic Workshop to provide spot consultancy for design problems.

(iii)Addressing specific design needs of the MSMEs through Design Consultancy Projects (either by Design Experts or young (student) Designers) depending upon the need of the MSMEs.


What is Design Awareness Seminar? How to organize the same?

The seminar is organized by the MSME cluster Associations for their members to interact with the Design experts/subject experts.  The interaction is intended to design sensitize the MSME clusters by providing opportunity to the participants to understand design methodology and benefits of design.   The Seminar is for 1-day (4-6 hrs) in which the faculty introduce participants to the Scheme, generate design awareness through case studies and good design practices and develop a design intervention strategy for the design needs of the clusters.

For organizing the Design Awareness Seminar, the concerned MSME cluster Associations may register with the Design Clinic Scheme in the prescribed format for faculty/subject expert services. Financial assistance up to Rs.60,000 will be reimbursed from the Scheme to the Association for meeting the expenses of the Seminar.  Detailed guidelines on organizing the Seminar are available on request and or can be accessed from the official website of the Scheme (www.designclinicsmsme.org)


What is Design Awareness Programme?

The Design Awareness Programme consist of

(a) Design Need Assessment Survey of the clusters and

(b) Provide spot solutions for the design problems and needs of the clusters in general.

(a)Why Need Assessment Survey?

In order to understand the design needs and design problems of the cluster, the expert Designer conduct an intensive design research to map the present scenario and opportunities for design intervention in the clusters through interactive learning, guidance and training.  This serves as a base for addressing the general design needs of the cluster and working out design solutions in the following design Clinic Workshop.

(b)How do MSMEs benefit out of Design Clinic Workshop?

In the interactive workshop conducted by the Expert Designer, the cluster members learn the creative problem solving techniques/design process to explore opportunities and develop breakthrough solutions. Through interactive discussions and workshop activities, remedial solutions are generated.   The workshop could be for 1-5 days depending upon the need of the clusters and the number of units covered under Need Assessment Survey.

(c)How to arrange a Design Awareness Programme and what is the financial and other assistance available to MSMEs?

Either the Cluster Associations can directly contact the design expert who conducted the design awareness seminar or select one of the empanelled designers of the Scheme for working out a proposal for assistance under the Scheme and enter into an agreement with the Association.


The Scheme reimburses 75% of the actual expenses to the Association subject to a ceiling of Rs.3 lacs and the balance expenses will have to be met by the Association either on its own, through sponsorship, or through contribution from the participating members of the cluster. Detailed guidelines on organizing the Design Awareness Programme are available on request and or can be accessed from the official website of the Scheme (www.designclinicsmsme.org)


How can MSMEs get professional design assistance?

The Scheme provides for Designers support and financial assistance for addressing specific design development needs of the MSME unit/s.  The Design professionals are expected to work closely with the MSMEs in their specific domains to develop concepts of design solution, design detail and develop prototype of the suggested design solutions either for developing new products or for improving the quality and marketability of existing products/services and/or diversify products and services through design intervention.

The Scheme provides a financial assistance to the tune of 60% of the actual expenses for achieving the deliverables of the design projects subject to a ceiling of Rs.9 lacs for a single/group of 3 MSMEs and upto to Rs.15 lacs for group of 4 or more MSMEs.  The allowable costs include designer's fees and expenses, material costs, prototyping costs etc.


Who makes the design project proposal and in what form?

The Design Project Proposals are made jointly by the Design Expert and the MSME unit/s concerned detailing the design problem and domain, scope and expected design interventions. The MSME unit can also entrust the task of making the design project proposal with budget details to the Design Expert and endorse the same before sending the same for assistance under the Scheme. The standard format for development of the Design project proposal is available on request or can be downloaded from the website www.designclinicsmsme.org

As for Student Design Projects, the MSMEs may draft the services of final year design students to study their design related problems.  The Student will take up the same as a diploma/thesis paper the design intervention needs of the MSME.  It could also be a class room project for the student with a faculty guide.  The MSME may get the services of a student to prepare project proposal with budget details and forward the same to the Design Clinic Scheme for approval. Alternatively, the Student may develop a project proposal with required budgetary support and submit the same through the selected MSME who has agreed to bear 75% of the actual costs,  for approval.

In both the Design Project proposals, the brief should highlight the salient features of design intervention proposed and how the proposed design interventions would  benefit the MSME.


 What are the procedures for getting design project proposals cleared?

                Once the design project proposal is received in the standard format, the same is subjected to a preliminary scrutiny. Any details required/missing are sought for from the MSME/Designer concerned.

                The proposals are examined by two/three independent eminent designers as to the relevance of the project for the MSME, whether the same fall under the scheme, whether the proposed design intervention would benefit the MSME to improve the quality of products/services, reasonability of cost estimates etc.

                Proposals with observations of the independent design experts are placed before the Project Assessment Panel (PAP).  The Panel examines in detail all such proposals and selected proposals are placed before the Project Monitoring and Advisory Committee for approval.  In case of observations/clarifications, the same are communicated back to the MSME/Designer concerned for rectification/clarification/revision etc. and on getting the requisite information, the proposals are again placed before the PAP.

                Once the design project is approved, the same is communicated to the MSME/Designer concerned with a request to execute the Tripartite Agreement (MSME Unit/Designer/NID). The MSME/Designer may commence working on the project since then.

                Financial Assistance under the scheme is released as per the Tripartite Agreement at such agreed stages after the MSME releases/actually spends its share of 40% and submit bills/vouchers/receipt etc.  In case the 60% share of the Design Clinic Scheme is to be released to the Designer directly, a request thereof, with proof of having paid 40% share to the Designer, needs to be submitted to the Design Clinic Scheme.

                The Assessment Panel/NID may inspect the progress of work of the Design Project at such stages as may be felt necessary and the release of assistance will be subject to such inspection/assessment and reports thereof.

                The final instalment will be released only after successful completion of the project and delivery of the prototype to the MSME and submission of all documentation to the Design Clinic Scheme.

For more details, refer to the guidelines available on web www.designclinicsmsme.org


Where does one get more information and assistance?

                All details of the scheme, including details of empaneled designers, approved clusters, guidelines for seminars/need assessment survey/design clinic workshop/student projects/design projects by design professionals/budgetary support etc are available online at www.designclinicsmsme.org. Nevertheless, the Design Clinics Scheme team of National Institute of Design (NID) is at your service just on a phone call/fax/mail, the details of which are given below.


For details visit: www.designclinicsmsme.org,

www.nid.edu or Contact Regional Centres:



National Institute of Design

Paldi, Ahmedabad–380 007


Direct No.: 079-2662 1109



NID-ITPO-Showcase Design

Hall No.19, 1st Floor,

Pragati Maidan,

New Delhi–110 001


Ph.: 011-2337 9645 / 46



National Institute of Design

12 HMT Link Road, Off Tumkur Road
Phone:+91 80 2337 6314 (Direct).
+91 80 2337 3276, 2337 3006.

Extension: 109, 112

Fax: +91 80 2337 3276




A-404, Greenshire
67- Dr. Suresh Sarkar Road
Kolkata-700014, West Bengal


Mobile: 098307 05055 / 098360 89616