All businesses need to grow. If you are not growing, then you are dying. There are two ways to grow; do more of what you currently do or do something new. Doing what you currently do is what you know best and is what generates your income. Doing something new is risky. It might not work and finding out will cost you money. But doing something new can create a step-change in growth. Governments know this, which is why they fund innovation.
The UK’s main funding body is UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) which has an annual budget of £6 billion. Innovate UK, now part of UKRI, has a budget of about £2bn and focuses on innovation in small-to-medium-sized-enterprises (SME’s). While budget cuts may be inevitable in the current climate, the need for growth post-Brexit and post-pandemic, means innovation funding is likely to remain a government priority.
At COMT2Drones we want to help our members benefit from this opportunity, which is why we created the post of Funding Manager. Anyone who has been involved in writing a bid will know how time consuming it can be. Not all organisations have the resources and experience needed to submit a convincing case. We can help identify funding opportunities and project partners for our members and provide the support necessary for them to make the best possible applications.
Anyone who has ever had to review funding bids will tell you how poor most of them are. Although competition is fierce, many are eliminated for reasons that are entirely avoidable – like not meeting eligibility criteria or not addressing the stated aims. Most applications do not fail because the idea is not good enough; they fail because the application fails to make it clear just how good the idea is.
Ironically, it is often easier for someone less familiar with your business to write a good bid. Things that are obvious to you may not be obvious to those assessing your application. While assessors are usually chosen for their expertise, they are unlikely to be domain specialists. Overestimating what they know will increase the chance of them underestimating the merits of your application.
And it is not just about knowledge. Remember that assessors are human beings. They are actively looking for reasons to support your application, so make it easy for them to find those reasons. Answer all the questions that are being asked clearly and succinctly. Avoid burying information in reams of text. Imagine yours is the twentieth bid they have reviewed that day and is being read at 2am. In many cases, that will not be far from the truth.
For more information on how we can help you succeed, email us using the contact page