When it comes to grant deadlines, there are no extensions and no second chances if you don’t get your application in on time.
That’s why it is so important to be grant ready even before an opportunity for funding comes calling. If you think grant funding will unlock your next R&D project, start getting your ducks in a row.
First you need to do your research and understand what grant funding is available and how much the funding bodies, such as Innovate UK, BEIS and the National Lottery, typically offer for projects like the one you are considering.
This first step is pretty easy. Grant consultants like Catax offer a free grant finding service. Once you’re on our radar, we constantly scan the market for the latest grant calls to match your needs.
Even if there are no live grant calls open for you to apply for, if grant funding is part of your strategy then you need to invest the time early. Getting grant ready can take longer than you think. Preparing answers to key application questions now means more time can be spent polishing the submission later.
You’ll need to pull together a rough idea of how long the project will take and how much it will cost. You should also start thinking about where your idea sits among other existing technologies, where you’d like to take your innovation by the end of the project and what your IP and patent strategy is.
Even at this stage, you need to consider the practicality of receiving the funding. Do you already have the staff you need to work on the project or would you need to hire? Grant funders will want to be satisfied you know how you will successfully resource the project.
Consider sales and growth projections — how much will the project increase revenue in the five years after its completion? For this, you’ll need to think about the size of the market, and who your potential customers are.
You may need to scope out other companies or academic institutions you want to collaborate with, as having project partners can strengthen a bid. Applications will also need to identify your subcontractors.
By having a clear vision of how you will answer these questions from the outset, the more time our team can spend enhancing your grant application making sure it is what the assessors are looking for.
It is a fiercely competitive process. By being grant ready you can be sure you will have a strong application that will stand out from the crowd.