Helping businesses secure and maximise R&D tax credits and grants

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What Are The Most Important Aspects of A Successful Grant Application?

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Businesses looking for project financing may have heard of Innovate UK and Horizon 2020 amongst others, as sources of grant funding for innovative projects.

When working with clients to prepare their grant bids, I always get asked the same questions -  What is the difference between the 2 competitions? How do I write this grant application? What areas should I focus on? What area is of most importance?

I’ve have been working in the public funding space for nearly fifteen years now, and I was thinking about these questions last week when I was writing an application for a new funding competition.

Then it dawned on me.

It doesn’t matter who the fund award body is, it doesn’t matter if you are a university, SME or Large Enterprise – we must never forget that when companies apply for grants, they are applying for public money. This is money from taxation that could have been spent elsewhere, for example on hospitals, social care and national infrastructure.

So, if you ever think “what is important in this grant application?” please remember where this money could be spent and the impacts it could have on those areas.

OK, now that we’ve cleared that up, you’re probably wondering “but what is important?”

In my 15 years of experience I find it’s always the same:

  • You are satisfying an identifiable currently unmet need
  • You have developed or are developing a solution that matches this need
  • You can demonstrate the impacts on society as a whole
  • You go beyond what is currently available
  • You have the team and skills to deliver the project or you have a plan to acquire them
  • There is a sound business case behind you
  • The project has high degrees of novelty and innovation and with this comes with a high degree of risk

Should you be interested in applying for any grant competitions, feel free to get in touch and I’ll be happy to give you a call back to discuss your application in more detail.


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