• Hannah

Needle in a haystack

Innovation grants – wow there are loads of them, tonnes of different providers and a wealth of opportunities for a cash starved business with innovative new business ideas to develop.

The challenge is though how to find out about the right grant. There are specialist providers who say they monitor the landscape, but I don’t see much being done outside of the obvious Innovate UK, H2020 and other government departments so you must resort to mailing lists, tweets and reviewing websites. How on earth is a time poor start up supposed to keep track of it all?

Since I’ve been involved in innovation grant writing I have been amazed at the variety of grants available and for all the many varied industry sectors they cover. I still regularly uncover new sources of grants weekly. Coupled with this though I remain perplexed as to how anyone who is a busy founder of an innovative company is supposed to keep up with all the opportunities, find them, qualify them and that is even before you start to think about filling in the application form.

What help is there out there?

As I’ve said there are websites out there that claim to show you available grants, but I believe they barely scratch the surface and quote Innovate UK, a few H2020 opportunities and the odd other government department. There is no one easy place to locate all of the information that you need.

How do I do it?

I have developed a list of over 40 different sources of innovation grants and add to this list weekly as I uncover new providers or new programs are launched.

For several of my clients I search across this list of grant providers for innovation grants suitable for them to apply to. As you can appreciate this is a time-consuming process but ensures that my clients are remaining aware of the opportunities out there. When I locate an opportunity I firstly qualify it to make sure that it fits with their objectives and future development plans and if so I send my client the relevant information.

That is the best way that I can think of doing this right now. I am working on developing a more automated system and hope to bring that to market in 2019, but until then I offer my innovation grant monitoring service for £400 plus VAT per quarter.

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