Applying for Grant Funding can be daunting and intimidating. You’re up against a lot of companies, and a lot of great ideas, so how do you make sure yours stands out? We’ve put together a few tips below that we hope will help you with your application.
We’re also running a free Grant Funding Masterclass on 11th December where you can learn effective tools and techniques for writing a proposal and put together a worked example with the help of our experts. We will be focusing specifically on the Innovate UK Open competition application process, although the content will be applicable to other competitions. But in the meantime…
- Leave yourself a lot of time, and then some
Allow plenty of time. It’s going to take you longer than you think, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to put your application together.
- Seek advice
It’s always good to talk. As mentioned in step 1, writing a proposal is a long process and can become quite tedious and stressful. However, there are people who can help you. Seek advice from professionals who know what the funders are looking for. Whether you want to know what to include and what not to include, want someone to sense check your proposal for you, or just reassure you that you’re not going insane, we can help.
- Why does the world need your innovation?
Define your market, demonstrate that you have done your research. Identify current limitations of the market, compare and contrast other existing solutions to yours and highlight what makes yours unique. Facts and figures are key and you should always include references.
- Have well-defined objectives
How do you define success? How will you know when you’ve achieved it? You should create specific goals and well-defined measures to quantify success, and keep it succinct. What is each experiment, or each piece of research going to deliver to help you address that grand challenge? What is your route to market? How are you going to achieve the results you want? Keep things S.M.A.R.T.
- Be clear with your hypothesis
Why are you doing what you’re doing? Be clear with your justification. Don’t be afraid to take on a problem and show some ambition, but be sure to explain why and ensure your application convinces that you’ve got a good chance of success. Demonstrate the knowledge gap, explain how you intend to close it and show why your approach is unique.
- Writing Style
Bear in mind how many applications the assessor has to read through, have pity and make their job as easy as you can by keeping your application easy to read (this could earn you some brownie points!). Remember, you are passionate and knowledgeable in this topic, but they are not, so avoid ‘waffle’, jargon and technical terms by keeping things clear and concise.
- How much?!
Are the costs for your project realistic and justified? Do they present good value for money and will your project provide a good return on investment to the grant provider?
- Prove it
It is not enough to say that your innovation is the ‘best of the best’. You explain how and why it is the best, why it’s different and why it stands out. Back up your statements with information and data.
- Don’t stress
If you follow step 1, this one should be pretty easy to follow. Owning a business can be stressful without the added pressure of applying for funding, so don’t let the application process wear you down. Take your time, keep it simple, reach out to the help that is available to you and stay calm!
Well, we think that just about covers the basics! If you want more great advice along these lines, remember you can come along to our free Grant Funding Masterclass in Leeds on 11th December and learn more about how to write a successful application, and have your questions answered by our funding experts.
This event is part of the Access Innovation programme, which aims to teach innovative companies proven tools and techniques that will support their quest for growth. Through events, workshops and one to one support. To sign up and access a wealth of beneficial business workshops, click here.
We run a variety of free business support events like this one across the North, so keep an eye out on our events page for other up coming events in your area, or for bespoke 1-1 business support, get in touch.