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BioProbe Diagnostics (BPD) is a biotech company from Galway established in 2017.);
It’s been very positive
It’s been very positive. It’s been rewarding. It’s been a team effort. It’s been eye opening as well because it really made us look at how we go about looking at grants in a very different way, understanding that it is a team effort to get these things written and that sometimes you do need to reach out and get that expertise externally.
BioProbe Diagnostics (BPD) is a biotech company from Galway established in 2017. It has been established to commercialise novel Nucleic Acid Diagnostics (NAD) proprietary technologies for the detection and identification of microbial contaminants associated with the environmental and industrial sectors.
The team is currently focused on the launch of the companies’ initial NAD product, namely Bio-Lp-1, which will add novel capability to Legionella testing.
In order to fund this project, BPD applied for and succeeded in two grant proposals from the European Union’s H2020 programme. In the following case study, we spoke with Dr Kate Reddington, Chief Scientific Officer to discuss working with Myriad to prepare their application, what it takes to prepare a good grant application and her advice to other businesses looking to do the same.
In 2017, BioProbe Diagnostics (BPD) applied for an SME instrument Phase 1 grant from the EU. Whilst they were ultimately unsuccessful, they had done OK in terms of scoring. At the time they were involved in a MedTech accelerator and were referred to speak with Marc Greatrex to help with their revised SME instrument phase 1 application. Their goals were to improve their overall score and get a different perspective on the application from specialised and highly successful grant bid writer.
After a brief call, Marc gave his thoughts on the application and whether he could offer any assistance in helping the application succeed.
”Once we met with Marc, it became obvious that he had a lot of experience in this field…. You felt like you were working with someone and even though it was OUR grant, OUR proposal, and it was for OUR company, you felt he was invested in it…. he became, and still is, someone that we sit down and plan grants with and plan various tasks, and you get the feeling he’s very much nearly part of the company in writing”
Marc assisted BDP with their SME instrument phase 1 application and helped BDP secure the highest scoring application in Ireland and 2nd overall in Europe in that round.
So, what did Marc bring to the table that BDP didn’t have? Dr Reddington believes Marc’s experienced helped immensely…
“He obviously has a lot of experience in reviewing these (applications) and knowing what the EU look for. Marc is also very a personable person, so you could have a conversation with him, he gets it, he is very open to ‘maybe these are things you should explore, these are things that were a little bit weak’ and it becomes very obvious that he is someone who understands exactly what the EU are looking for….”
Following their first success, BDP then asked Marc and Myriad for their help with a Fast Track to Innovation application, the collaboration helped BDP team achieve the highest score in Ireland and fourth overall in Europe.
“Marc just had little ideas that really helped to make sure you got all the marks that were going.” Said Dr Reddington. “I think what you really learn is there is a certain way that these grants need to be written…. the experience that Marc has is invaluable. He’s written so many of these, he’s been so successful in so many different European grants – whether that be SME Instruments, whether that be EICs, FTIs, even other grants. And for someone to have that knowledge of the evaluation procedure it’s really important, and as I said, I’m a very technical person. I have a technical background. I’d love to spend that 30 pages writing about the technology, but no one’s going to give me £2.8million to do that. So, it was really good to have Marc there to go, “Yeah, that’s really good, Kate, but that’s not going to get you marks”
At this point I ask Kate what her recommendations would be to anyone considering working with Myriad Associates and the grant writing team in particular “For me, it’s really important to work with people that I can trust and feel will pull their weight, They also need to be involved in what you’re doing and understand what you’re doing.…Marc had those characteristics. We all plan to have these (grants) written with loads of time to spare, the reality is that it’s often last minute. It’s late evenings. It’s working weekends, and Marc was always available. He was flexible to what worked for everyone, so that was very useful. And getting along with someone is important because there is a certain amount of stress in these things…. we got on very well with Marc and he was very useful to us and we’ve strongly recommended Marc. He has that expertise, knowledge and willingness to help. For any company, it’s a huge advantage to bring that experience in.”
Dr Reddington’s final thoughts on working with Myriad to prepare their grant applications
“It’s been very positive. It’s been rewarding. It’s been a team effort. It’s been eye opening as well because it really made us look at how we go about looking at grants in a very different way, understanding that it is a team effort to get these things written and that sometimes you do need to reach out and get that expertise externally. So it’s been a very positive and rewarding experience for us. We are a very small startup company and without getting this FTI we would have been in a lot of trouble in the next couple of months to continue, and Marc really helped to drive that to get that successful application over the line.”