What is an innovation grant?
An innovation grant is a sum of money given by the government or other organisations to help accelerate the development of your game-changing idea. Securing an innovation grant is a highly competitive and often time-consuming application process. If your application is successful, however, the benefits mean you secure funding without taking on any debt or releasing any equity within your business.
A grant can help you accelerate your product development, access new partners, and validate your innovative approach, but first, you’ve got to apply.
What’s involved in an innovation grant application?
The specific details of an application depend on the funding body you’re applying to, but each will cover the same basic questions. There may also be multiple phases to an application, including an interview following the submission.
A grant application typically includes three main elements:
- Administration of your application (e.g., managing your online portal account and inviting partners, etc.), plus a background summary of your innovation.
- Application questions – this is the key focus area and is scored by assessors.
Typically questions include:
a. The problem – the current market problem/challenge that has led you to develop an innovative solution.
b. Your solution – your innovation details, including the unique selling point of your product or service which determines how the specific need or challenge you specified above will be addressed, over and above what others do. You must demonstrate you stand out from competitors.
c. Your commercialisation and marketing strategy – who is your target market (well-defined customers) and what is the business model you will use to exploit your innovation? “Route to market and commercialisation plans must demonstrate business skills and planning, the potential for early revenue generation, de-risking the path to significant Return on Investment, and how commercial viability will be achieved” (Innovate UK).
d. Your project plan (or work package table) – a work plan articulates and outlines the steps needed to achieve the goals and objectives of your project. A work plan should be organised in Work Packages, weaving in tasks, milestones, deliverables, resources, budgetary requirements, and dependencies and backed with a timeline known as a GANTT chart. Watch this Agony Grant clip to find out more.
e. Your project team – who is the team that will build and test your innovation including details of any consortium members, subcontractors, and trial partners? Find out how to assemble the right team in this Agony Grant clip.
f. How the project offers the taxpayer value-for-money – ensuring your project’s costs are competitive and reasonable. Consider the value-for-money you’re providing for your customers and wider society and/or the environment, and how you’re going to provide a reliable return on investment for the taxpayer.
- Finances. Project costs and finances will be under scrutiny by assessors – you’ll need to detail how much your project will cost, typically including labour costs, overheads, materials, capital usage, subcontractor costs, travel and subsistence, and any other costs (such as workshop usage or training costs). Grant Consultant Michael goes into more detail in this clip.
How long does it take to complete an application?
We recommend a minimum of six weeks to develop an innovation grant funding application (allowing plenty of time for reviews and edits). Post-submission, it typically takes 1.5-3 months to learn if you have been successful, depending on the funding competition (a little longer if an interview stage is also required).
Benefits of using Granted Consultancy
To maximise your likelihood of securing funding, our in-house team of experts can work with you to write a compelling grant application. We provide end-to-end grant writing consultancy services helping companies select suitable funding options for your project, grant writing and full management of the funding application process.
If the Grant Writing service is of interest to you, get in touch with us today.