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How we help ideas come to life

Our project development process goes from the initial idea through to completion and reporting on the results. Our hubs are developing at different speeds, with their own target industries and academic communities, so the process may vary depending on which hub sponsors your proposal. The normal timeline to full approval is around 3-4 months, but proposals for smaller projects (less than £50k) can be assessed more quickly. For more information, contact Business Pipeline Manager


  • What’s your idea?
  • What makes it a DDI project?​
  • Will it deliver TRADE outcomes?​

View assessment criteria.

Discuss your idea

Hub confirms idea can proceed

Complete short proposal

Download proposal form.

Hub assesses proposal

Hub confirms proposal can proceed

If unsuccessful, get feedback from hub on whether it can be improved and resubmitted.

Complete business case

Relevant hub works with project lead to refine proposal’s alignment with DDI objectives. Complete full business case and submit to DDI office via hub.

Programme Delivery Board and City Deal Executive Governance Group assess proposal and fit with programme portfolio​

  • We want projects to deliver a range of social and economic impacts agreed with government.
  • Proposals will be considered against the existing portfolio of projects, looking at outputs, sector, risk and score against assessment criteria.

Proposal approved

If unsuccessful, get feedback from the DDI Office on whether it can be improved and resubmitted.

Set up and deliver project!

  • Agree any final changes.
  • Receive budget​.
  • Set up project board​.
  • Identify how results will be measured​.
  • Deliver project​.
  • Report on progress​.
  • Agree announcement and communications plan with DDI office.

Close project

  • Final report.
  • Finalise outputs delivered​.
  • Pass on lessons learned.