How to prepare the best application for grant competitions

Posted on: 24/05/2018

Key features of a good proposal and ’10 top tips’ revealed in KTN’s new Good Application Guide, available to download and keep.


KTN’s Access to Funding and Finance team have produced a Good Application Guide which aims to support prospective grant applicants to submit high quality proposals, giving them the best chance of success. Much of the advice contained in the guide is transferrable across other grant programmes.

“You need to put in effort into presenting the most compelling case that your grant application is a better option than all the other applications that are being assessed,” says Ian Tracey, Head of Access to Funding and Finance.

Many of the questions that are asked by the grant application process are similar to the questions that investors or potential customers might be asking about your opportunity.

Compare the time required with seeking sales opportunities or other investment to further the project.

The guide advises applicants to consider four fundamental questions on which Innovate UK base their investment decisions:

1. Is it a big enough market? Does it represent value for money compared to the investment requested?

2. Can the innovation be world leading? Is the idea sufficiently distinctive and strong to be successfully exploited in the UK and globally?

3. Is it at the right stage of development? It must be market driven, rather than predominantly a research project.

4. Why should public money be used? Why not use company funds or raise additional finance via VC investment or a bank loan?

The document also gives details on what to include and focus on in an application. Some of the key features of a good proposal include alignment to the competition scope, innovation, creating a strong business case and a convincing value proposition. These are backed up with a credible plan for R&D and a clear need for support.

Above all, says Ian, make sure you write an application that excites and inspires!

The document is available to download for free, and KTN will review applications for first time applicants to Innovate UK.

Download the free guide and read the 10 top tips.

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