FTO – A freedom-to-operate (FTO) search lets you check if your IP will likely infringe on prior intellectual property.
GRL™ – Our innovative scoring mechanism that provides your projects with a Grant Readiness Level enabling quick identification of project readiness and comparison to funds.
IP – Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP Rights allow protection and revenue generation from the intellectual property created.
LOIs – Letters of interest can be provided, commonly by potential customers, to show their interest and will to adopt the solution once it’s commercialised, thus demonstrating genuine market pull.
LOS – Letters of support are typically issued in the name of a company or institution to show a non-binding intention of commitment or in-project collaboration, for example from an external testing partner.
MVP – Minimum Viable Product is the first release of your product that has only the minimum features required to satisfy your early adopters and validate a product idea.
Scale-up – A company with a proven product-market fit and rapid revenue growth scaling operations, hiring, and expanding its customer base.
Start-up – A company in the first stages of operations with minimal or no revenue seeking initial funding from investors or founders’ resources with high potential for innovation.
TRL – Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) is a type of measurement system used to assess the maturity level of a particular technology.
Work packages – Work packages consist of tasks, milestones, deliverables, resources, budgetary requirements, dependencies and timings to build a clearly defined work plan.
What is grant funding?
A grant is typically a sum of money given by one entity (e.g., company, foundation, or government) to an individual or company to facilitate a goal or boost performance.
Research & Development (R&D) grants support high growth potential, high-risk, technology projects. R&D grants reduce the financial risk of your project, whilst increasing return on investment and subsequent business growth, all without releasing any equity. The government, or other organisations, gives a sum of money for a specific purpose or project to achieve a given aim.
The simple answer is it varies. Every grant scheme has its own criteria so there’s no standard grant available. Typically grants range from £25k up to several million pounds, depending on the grant scheme you’re applying for, your project maturity, and the size of your business.
Grants are typically paid in arrears of actual costs being incurred so you won’t receive any money until the end of the first quarter after your project has begun.
How long does it take to write a grant funding application?
We recommend a minimum of six weeks to develop a grant funding application (allowing plenty of time for reviews and edits). Post-submission, it typically takes 1.5-3 months, depending on the funding competition, to find out whether you’re successful or not.
How will my grant funding application be assessed?
Once the competition deadline has passed, applications are checked against the eligibility criteria of the competition. The applications which pass eligibility will then pass to the assessment phase.
Applications are assessed by independent assessors who can be experts from business and academia. The assessors are allocated based on the skills and expertise in the area relevant to your project and the assessment process is managed in a secure and confidential manner.
Typically, questions are scored by the assessors and they may have the option to provide detailed application feedback.
What happens after my grant funding application is successful?
The funder will want to ensure certain conditions are met prior to legally starting the project. For your project to start, you’ll need to receive and secure your Grant Offer Letter (or equivalent), which is issued after going through several Due Diligence checks.
This process ensures that the company has the capability to carry out the project. It also ensures that organisations involved are financially viable and that the costs comply with the funding competition.
There are several stages to the due diligence process, including but not limited to:
Submitting project and applicant details
Submitting bank details
Providing initial project documents such as Exploitation Plan
What happens if my grant application is unsuccessful?
Grant applications are highly competitive, and rejection is not uncommon, even for strong proposals, so stay persistent.
Firstly, review the feedback (if made available by the funder) and reasons for the rejection to understand why the application was unsuccessful. We’ll run through the available feedback and provide more specific insights into what aspects of your proposal could be improved.
Depending on the funder and the competition scope, you may have the opportunity to resubmit your application in the future so be sure to follow guidelines or timeframes specified for resubmissions.
What happens if I’m invited to an interview?
Some competitions have an interview stage. Following the assessment phase, the highest-ranking applications will be invited to interview, where you will need to present to the assessment panel within a specified time limit and respond to a short Q&A session.
Applicants will then be reviewed and winning applicants notified shortly after.
R&D Tax Relief
What is R&D tax relief?
Research and Development (R&D) tax relief is a corporation tax relief available to any company that invests in innovation through science or technology (new products, processes, or services; or enhancing existing ones). There are different types of R&D relief, depending on the size of your company and if the project has been subcontracted or subsidised.
If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible to make a claim, get in touch with our specialists today.
What qualifies for R&D tax relief?
You might be surprised to learn what is eligible for R&D tax relief. Overcoming technological uncertainties that are not standard whilst improving on the current state of the art generally fits the definition of R&D HMRC is seeking. To qualify, you need to complete certain R&D activities that meet the requirements:
Seeking to achieve an advance in science or technology
Where seeking to achieve an advance in science or technology requires the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty
To which the answers to the above scientific or technological uncertainties are not available or readily deducible by a competent professional in the field
For example, these can relate to development or improvements in:
Waste reduction technologies
Energy & Transport
Drug Discovery, Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals
The tax laws around R&D tax relief are complex, and the criteria are not always straightforward. Get in touch with our specialists today to discuss your claim.
How do I claim R&D tax relief?
To make a claim that aligns with HMRC’s guidelines, you’ll need to provide:
Additional documentation, such as the summary of the project, the field of advance and any scientific or technological challenges that you regard as non-standard in your field
Description of work done
Costs of R&D undertaken
Our R&D tax relief specialists develop your claim alongside your technical and finance staff to maximise your potential claim value. We can quickly and accurately identify what HMRC class as qualifying research & development expenditure.
To ensure the claim meets the requirements of your company, you’re able to review the technical report with your accountant. Your accountant will then be able to submit the final claim as your registered tax agent and trusted tax advisor. We will also deal with the new Additional Information Form requirement.
How far back can you claim?
You can make a claim for R&D carried out within the last two financial years. So, if you’ve already been carrying out R&D activities such as developing new products or processes for some time, you could be eligible to claim this back.
Grant Project Management
What are Innovate UK’s project reporting requirements?
Once you’ve secured your grant, the list of reporting requirements from the funder doesn’t stop there. The funder needs confirmation that you’re delivering the project stated in your successful application. This often means reporting monthly, quarterly and at the end of the project.
During the project, there are set reporting intervals, with required documentation and milestones.
Progress Reporting- Provision of an updated document set including a Progress Report, Exploitation Plan, Project Plan, and Risk Register, relating to the activities of the previous quarter.
Financial Reporting- Identification of incurred project costs to date and updated forecasts for the remainder of the project.
Independent Accountant’s Report (IAR)- Submission of an IAR to confirm project expenditure, aligning with costs in the financial report (an IAR is typically not required for every reporting period).
Project Change Request- Should you require a change in the project cost profile or scope, a formal Project Change Request needs to be completed. This needs to be supported by a suitably updated document set.Find out more about our Project Management Service.
What happens after my funding application is successful?
For your project to start, you’ll need to receive and secure your grant offer letter, otherwise known as a GOL, which includes several due diligence checks. The process ensures that your company can carry out the project, as well as making sure the organisations involved are financially viable and that the costs comply with the competition.
Once all of these steps have been approved by the funder, the GOL is made available, and your project can start.
What happens when my project is ready for kick-off?
Once your project is ready for kick-off, you will be assigned a monitoring officer (MO) from the funder. The role of the monitoring officer is to ensure you’re delivering the project as stated within your successful grant application in line with the funder’s compliance.
You’ll meet with the monitoring officer every quarter, along with all project partners and the project manager, to present your progress. Ahead of this meeting, you will be expected to prepare a quarterly progress report covering the following:
Key achievements and challenges of the quarter
Progress against plan
Milestones and deliverables
Financial cost information
Updated project plan
Updated risk register
Updated exploitation plan
What are the benefits of Project Management support from our team?
We’ll take care of the demanding reporting requirements so that you can focus on your project.
With your input, we’ll draft the required documentation ahead of the quarterly review meetings. This will ensure you address the terms set out by the funder and avoid any delays to your reimbursement.
Access to our extensive experience – we’ll bring the right tools and approaches to help you navigate your project to a successful conclusion.