So you have decided to apply for an Innovate UK grant and need help to write and complete their application process.
Yes, it does appear daunting to start with, however by simply following a few rules, you can increase your chances of success.
The first and yes most obvious thing you need to do is look at the scope tab – you need to ensure you fit with what they are asking for. This is the first point at which you might fail to even get your application read. Ensure you read if it’s a single entity or a business led group who are working together.
Need / Challenge
Find relevant statistics that will provide a motivating need for your innovation. If you have done previous work that is relevant and applicable, then include that fact and how you are improving/using that knowledge to drive your new innovation forward. You need to give a compelling yet clear view of what it is you are offering and what challenge it conquers.
List the main innovation and risks remembering that graphics or diagrams can be included in the appendix. You need to evidence how your innovation is different from others, mentioning its commercial benefits or technical differences. If you have existing IP or are applying for patents, remember to include this information as well.
Team / Resources
List expertise and past achievements where relevant to justify why your application is the best. Key personnel’s experience/education background need to be mentioned for all. Then you need to mention resources – so what you have that will be used or how you intend to get it to complete it. If you are in a collaboration, give them confidence and state if you have worked together so confirm that you won’t have issues.
You need to describe the market and your approach to it. So market size, what drives this market, if its new or unexplored. Include secondary markets as well if relevant. Identify possible routes to market and don’t take for granted that Innovate UK will know this without you mentioning it.
Describe your target market, your target audience and what value your innovation will bring to this market. Explain how you will generate profit from it and also mention the growth you would expect as well. Be realistic with sales targets and financial forecasts.
This is where you explain how supply chain is affected by your innovation, how customers will react to it and also the wider environment. If you are making a claim re regional impacts, include your figures to back up this. If you can see a negative, don’t hide it, address it and include how you can overcome it.
This is where you list deliverables, research and lead partner and a cost for each one. You will need to explain how you will do the basics of management, ie meetings. Importantly though, add a Gantt chart in the appendix for them to realise you have worked it out and its not just lip service.
List the key risks of the project in a detailed manner. You need to list also critical inputs to the project and detail any conditions or other things that will affect the projects outputs.
You need to state a case for the difference funding will make to the project. If you have applied for or thought of alternative sources of funding, you need to list them with an explanation of why they have not been used.
Costs and Value for Money
When putting down your costs if you have multiple, you need to detail what those costs are covering. Ie wages of X will cover X days of the project. You also need to explain if applicable how each partner will finance their part, and if you are using subcontractors, their costs need justifying and explaining.
Any application is something that needs planning and working on and if you need support from others then certainly go there.
If in doubt, Innovate UK has a YouTube channel which also helps with their process in this, and they have Business Growth Advisors who will also support you.
We hope you found this brief article on how to write an Innovate UK application of use.
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