A guest post from non-dilutive funding experts Granted Consultancy, as part of the StartUp Studio Insight blog series.

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R&D grant funding is 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 ensure the right grant fit for your project whilst keeping a consistent narrative and alignment to your wider company strategy, which will catch the attention of the assessors and improve the quality of the proposition. In this blog, our grant writing team has put together 5 key focus areas to help you develop a grant fundable project.

Outcomes and objectives

For your project to be considered an investable, credible business opportunity worthy of funding, your outcomes and objectives need to be well defined. The first thing an assessor will be looking to establish is whether there is a clear and researched business opportunity, and a consistent link between the problem you are looking to solve and the solution you are proposing to address it.

Top tips for developing outcome and objectives:

  1. Start with a well-defined plan to support your grant funding application.

  2. Make your business opportunity crystal clear- What is your product or service need?

  3. Complete your market research thoroughly.

  4. Define your market opportunity and how you are going to generate revenue.

  5. Beware the small percentage of a big market, this always gives a big commercial return! Instead validate your statements by ensuring your commercial resourcing and approaches fit with identified growth aims

Team and resources

A common misconception when it comes to the project team and resourcing is that all company staff need to be working on the project 100% of the time. You should instead align the skills and abilities of your team members with each area of your project to deliver the proposed outcomes. If you feel there is a certain skill set lacking, collaborating with partners can also add value to your project and instill further confidence in the success of your objectives. Assessors want to see that you are able to achieve the goals you’ve set out in an efficient manner.

The key to finding the right partner for your project is:

  1. Take the time to examine and evaluate multiple opportunities.

  2. Use your outcomes and objectives to be clear on the support you need. Is it help with the technology you’re looking for? Or with design? Or with exploitation?

  3. 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 able to exploit the technology being developed.

  4. Monitor your success.

Costs

Project costs and finances will be under scrutiny from assessors. They will seek evidence that your project can provide suitable value 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.

Top tips for costs:

  1. Work from the ground up, how much funding do you need to achieve the MVP of your ambitious idea, rather than “how do we create a project that is at the maximum of the funding allowed”

  2. Ensure costs are appropriate but also not undersold

  3. Check the eligibility and nuanced rules around costs (e.g. amortisation rules) to avoid falling foul of ineligible costs

Intellectual property

Make sure you clearly define how project outputs will be protected, ensuring that IP will not be lost, and therefore potential commercial returns greatly reduced or even eliminated entirely.

Top tips for IP:

  1. Seek guidance from IP specialists

  2. Explore all forms of IP protection, not just patents

  3. Consider what project outputs would need to be protected to facilitate commercial exploitation

  4. Review existing registered IP to ensure no infringements

Project Management

Once you’ve been notified of your project’s success, made it through the due diligence stage, and begun project activities, you will need to remain compliant with the funders reporting requirements.

Accurate reporting is critical to the cash flow of a grant funded project. Seeking the advice of a professional grant project manager will free up your time, and allow you to focus on delivering the project outcomes stated in your successful application.

Top tips for Project Management:

  1. Set up your project correctly.

  2. Take action on Project Change Requests.

  3. Comply with reporting requirements.

  4. Make a good impression with your Monitoring Officer.

  5. Seek advice from a professional in grant project management if you feel overwhelmed by the reporting requirements.

Get in touch!

If you have an R&D project in mind, contact Granted Consultancy on info@grantedltd.co.uk

 

Granted Consultancy is an expert partner for the Tech South West StartUp Studio. Find out more about the programme at techsouthwest.co.uk/startupstudio