How to develop an innovative game changing grant fundable project
Innovation game changing grant funding involves a competitive and often time-consuming application process.
To ensure a successful approach you need to have a defined project before commencing the bid writing process. By doing this, you’ll make certain the proper grant fit for your venture whilst maintaining a consistent narrative and alignment to your wider corporation strategy, catching the interest of the assessors and enhancing the high-quality of the proposition.
In this blog, our grant writing crew has put together 5 key focal point areas to assist you improve a grant fundable project, think of it as a pre-bid sanity check!
Outcomes and objectives
For your challenge to be regarded an investable, credible commercial enterprise opportunity worthy of funding, your outcomes and goals need to be properly defined. The first factor an assessor will be looking to establish is whether or not there is a clear and researched commercial enterprise opportunity, and a consistent link between the problem you are looking to solve and the solution you are proposing to address.
Be certain to additionally encompass up-to-date market research to define your approach for market entry: What does the present day market look like? Is it growing? How fast? What trends affect it? What is the competition? What are the obstacles to entry?
Next, reflect onconsideration on how you will generate industrial returns from your project. Include sensible outputs and how you’ll execute them, together with your sales/service model and growth plans. If you can’t provide an explanation for how your project will be commercialised you could be marked down.
Agile or Waterfall ???
Your project goals and management method should determine how the project will be executed. Typically, two kinds of project management methodology are used, Agile and/or Waterfall. Agile is an incremental, iterative approach that separates a project into sprints. Waterfall is a linear and sequential strategy that divides a project into phases.
Both are acceptable, however, projects usually need to present a GANTT chart or a comparable visualisation. You ought to be confident that you can present your preferred approach, linked to overall project objectives, in the layout the funder requires
Top suggestions for growing outcomes and objectives:
- Start with a well-defined plan to assist your grant funding application
- Make your commercial enterprise opportunity crystal clear- What is your product or service need?
- Complete your market research thoroughly
- Define your market opportunity and how you are going to generate revenue
Team and resources
A common misconception when it comes to the project team and resourcing is that all organization personnel want to be working on the project 100% of the time. You should instead align the skills and abilities of your group contributors with each area of your project to deliver the proposed outcomes. Assessors prefer to see that you are in a position to achieve the goals you’ve set out in an efficient manner.
Collaborating with partners can also add value to your project and instil further confidence in the success of your objectives. You can benefit from a vast range of skills, experiences, and practical tools that further enhance your project outcomes. Partners can provide a new or distinctive viewpoint to your product, process, or solution and potentially offer extra time to consider the problem and published literature.
The key to finding the right partner for your venture is:
- Take the time to examine and evaluate multiple opportunities
- Use your outcomes and objectives to be clear on the support you need. Is it help with the technological know-how you’re looking for? Or with design? Or with exploitation?
- Create a collaboration agreement that identifies who is responsible for what, how the intellectual property will be shared, how each collaborator benefits, and how they will be in a position to take advantage of the technology being developed
- Monitor your success
Project Costs £££
Project costs and finances will be under scrutiny from assessors. They will seek evidence that your project can provide suitable cost for money.
Your costs need to align with the size and complexity of your project. You can be marked down for costs considered too low as well as too high.
Different funds have different requirements and thresholds for funding amounts available and the share of costs that can be claimed. For example, Innovate UK generally defines its funding levels primarily based on both project maturity (Feasibility Study, Industrial Research or Experimental Development) and company size (micro/small, medium and large).
As it is the defined project that is funded you need to work out the specific project costs required, rather than, for example, all costs that the organisation is incurring. A good example is personnel salaries (through PAYE). A technical lead on the project may also be costing the organisation £60k p/a however only spend half their time on the particular grant project. Their value to the venture would be £30k. However, a technician or developer may be involved in the project for 80% of their time, as it is the primary venture they are engaging with.
You should be cautious that the predicted costs are as practical as possible as they will outline your project. If successful you will have to provide a spend profile that takes the overarching costs and defines them by quarter and month.
Guidelines for costs:
- Work from the floor up, how much funding do you want to obtain the MVP of your ambitious idea, rather than “how do we create a project that is at the maximum threshold of the funding allowed”
- Ensure costs are appropriate however also not undersold
- Check the eligibility and nuanced guidelines around costs (e.g. amortisation rules) to keep away from falling foul of ineligible costs
Make sure you clearly outline how project outputs will be protected, making sure that IP will not be lost, and therefore potential commercial returns substantially reduced or even eradicated entirely.
Top hints for IP:
- Seek guidance from IP specialists
- Explore all varieties of IP protection, not simply patents
- Consider what project outputs would need to be protected to facilitate industrial exploitation
- Review existing registered IP to ensure no infringements
- Project Management
Once you’ve been notified of your project’s success, made it thru the due diligence stage, and begun project activities, you will need to continue to be compliant with the funders reporting requirements.
During the project, there are set reporting intervals with required documentation and milestones such as:
- Progress Reporting- Provision of an up to date document set, GANTT chart, and growth report relating to the activities of the previous quarter
- Financial Reporting- Identification of incurred project expenses to date and up to date forecasts for the the rest of the project
- Independent Accountant’s Report (IAR)- Submission of an IAR to verify project expenditure, aligning with costs in the financial report (an IAR is generally no longer required for each and every reporting period)
- Project Change Request- Should you require a change in the project cost profile or the scope of work, a formal Project Change Request needs to be completed. This needs to be supported by a suitably updated document set.
- Accurate reporting is imperative to the cash flow of a grant-funded project. Seeking the advice of a expert grant project manager will free up your time, and enable you to focus on delivering the project results stated in your successful application.
Top suggestions for Project Management:
- Set up your task correctly
- Take action on Project Change Requests
- Comply with reporting requirements
- Make a good impact with your Monitoring Officer
- Seek recommendation from a expert in grant project management if you feel overwhelmed by the reporting requirements
Capti Innovation has operated in the non-dilutive funding areas for over 10 years. Over this time period, we have seen R&D grant funding scoring thresholds proceed to increase and the quality of projects dramatically advance. To step up to the competition you need to have a strong mission plan of your own creation. You can use our weblog to guide you!
As grant & bid writing experts this is something we can advise on. We can take your project plan and make it a grant fundable application and manage the reporting of your successfully grant-funded project. However, we do not have to deliver the project described in your application, so the preliminary plan needs to come from you.
If you have a disruptive enterprising project or innovation, why not contact us for bid writing? A brief chat with one of our innovation consultants will help you determine whether grant funding could get your project off the ground.
Why use grant funding experts?
Although there are many benefits to seeking grant funding, the thought of applying can be confusing, time-consuming and stressful. Using the creative and technical skills of a professional Innovation grant writing consultancy will strengthen your business in translating technologies and business models into a language and format assessors understand; increasing the chance of success. If you have a disruptive ambitious project or innovation, why not contact Capti Innovation.