31 Oct 2018

Trick or Treat

Matt Symonds


BE FRIGHTFULLY EARLY! Our first recommendation is for you to attend the briefing event for your chosen Grant Funding competition and register to apply into the competition. By attending the briefing, you will get first-hand information about the competition and what the funding body are looking for, additionally, this gives you the opportunity to meet other people who could be possible collaborators. By registering to apply for the competition early, that gives you access to the application forms, so you can get familiar with what information you need to provide and begin planning your application.

BE A FANG-TASTIC MATCH! We advise that you read and understand the scope and eligibility fully. You need to make sure that your project fits the bill, including costings, your projects position in the product development life cycle e.g. feasibility study, industrial research, demonstrator. We advise that if you are not 100% sure, you check with an expert, whether that be TBAT, Innovate UK or KTN.

CHECK THE SPELL-BOOK. Thoroughly check what is needed for your application. Some themed competitions not only require the standard application form, but also require you to provide additional documentation. For example; the latest Audience of the Future competition asks for 2 minute video clip demonstrating your immersive technology, and the Innovation Loans need additional accounts information, e.g. projections for x amount of years that you will be repaying the loan.

SQUAD GHOULS! Make sure you have the resource available to deliver the project; this includes considering whether your internal team have the technical know-how and time to perform all the R&D work and whether you will need to employ subcontractors/additional resource.

IF YOU’VE GOT IT, HAUNT IT! While writing your application, the best advice we can give to clients, is to follow the guidance and ensure you answer all the questions and address all the bullet points within each question.

USE BLACK MAGIC. To fit your answers into the tight word limits. You need to make sure you include all the relevant information that the assessors are looking for, while not going over the limits provided. This is a ‘DARK-ART’ that our Consultants have mastered!

MAKE SURE NO-BODY IS DOING THE SAME THING. You need to be able to demonstrate that you have freedom to operate in your market and that you are not going to infringe on any existing patents or IP. Consider engaging a Patent Attorney so you can provide a statement to show you are on the CUTTING edge of your field.

TREATS (Don’ts)

LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTLED! Don’t leave it until the last couple of weeks before the deadline to start writing! We typically give 4 weeks to write a full application and start planning around 2 weeks before that to ensure we have all the documentation together before we start writing.

BE THE BEST PUMPKIN IN THE PATCH. Don’t rush to get a project in for this ‘round’, if your project is not ready. A lot of Grant Funding competitions such as the Open Grants and Bio-medical Catalysts will have future rounds; so, take your time! If your project needs more planning and the technology needs more work to be at the right stage, plan to put your application into the next round. We can help identify whether your project is ‘ready’.

MONEY IN THE BLOOD BANK. Don’t expect the grant money straight away. Once you have your project start date confirmed, you are required to pay upfront for the first 3 months of the project. You then make your first claim against the grant and 1 month later, the money will be paid.

CREEP IT REAL! Don’t apply for more money than required for the project. When you submit your project costings, all costs need to be related to the project, reasonable and justified.

DON’T BE A BONE-HEAD! Don’t use acronyms and high-tech jargon. The assessors reading your application are not necessarily experts in your field, so use language that can be understood.


If you would like more information on our Grant Funding services, including writing and reviewing of applications, please get in touch with us today via our contact form, phone or email.

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