Grant funding for your R&D strategy| Pipette & Chart
The potential of breakthrough technologies is unmet in many cases. Our client had a bold ambition in exploring new use cases for his technology in an entirely new segment. He intended to derisk the validation of early-stage concepts by seeking support in EC grant schemes. However, our client had no previous experience with grant schemes, it was not only difficult to navigate and find a well-fitting call for them but also to identify the right topic and focus of the proposal.
Grant projects should not detract from core business. Therefore, we clarified what milestones need to be reached in the client’s current pipeline and in what timeframe. We set basic thresholds for the need for co-financing, availability of funds, eligible activities and costs, plus other indicators to determine which grant programmes were a good fit for the company. We envisioned grant funding as one of the pillars for developing the R&D strategy. Hence, we designed an investment path based on different actions and grant schemes to cover the entire R&D strategy. This gave us enough insight to begin short-listing the right schemes (EIC Accelerator, Eurostars, specialised incubators, etc).
Since our client’s solution was of world-class quality and boasted strong IP protection, we opted for a programme supporting technology demonstration – the riskiest and costliest phase of product development for SMEs. Following submission of this competitive proposal, we applied for further specialised grants, including those supporting international roll out and market research – another costly and hard-to-access business activity for SMEs.
We closely collaborated with our client to design the approach of the grant project, find the right partners and subcontractors to assist in carrying out activities outside of the client’s core competence, and develop the proposal alongside this.
This ambitious grant proposal was written within 6 weeks, though the optimal time to deliver this type of proposal should be 12 weeks to ensure a balanced workflow. It very quickly transformed into an internal business plan presented to investors and key stakeholders.
The effort invested in building the grant proposal resulted in additional positive ‘spillovers’. The project proposition led to new strategic partners with nonprofits, peer-tech companies and enterprises intrigued by the vision and R&D strategy. Consequently, it helped accelerate business development efforts in this new segment.
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