In this section, answers to these questions are scored by the assessors. Following assessment, you will receive feedback from the assessors for each question.
Please ensure that your answer to each question does not exceed 600 words. Do not include any URLs in your answers unless we have explicitly requested a link to a video.
Question 1: What is the healthcare need that this project addresses and what impacts will your solution have? (Minimum expected score: 7)
Describe the healthcare challenge or issue that your project addresses. Give evidence that the healthcare need is real and explain how your project will address it. Define the market that will generate demand for your proposed solution. How will the project outputs and/or the innovation lead to a commercial opportunity for your business?
You should describe or explain the nearest current state-of-the-art technology, including those near market or in development, and its limitations.
How will the outputs of the project meet the healthcare need? Give any input you have from healthcare professionals, patients or representatives of the onward supply chain.
Measure the potential positive impact on socio-economic factors and healthcare at a patient and community level. Detail the number of anticipated users and the benefits your solution will provide, with estimated timescales. Our Horizons tool can help with this.
Question 2: What is the underpinning scientific evidence to support your solution? (Minimum expected score: 7)
Detail all relevant experimental and technical evidence linked to the proposed study.
Outline any preclinical or clinical work conducted to date and the outcomes. You may provide an appendix to present relevant figures such as chemical structures, graphs or schematics, with relevant descriptions. This appendix should be a PDF no more than 2 pages long and 1MB in size. This should not be used as an overflow for answers to the application form questions.
Question 3: What is innovative about your idea? (Minimum expected score: 6)
Identify the extent to which the project is innovative, from a commercial, scientific and/or technical perspective. Refer to existing products and practices that are currently in use and those known to be under development both in the UK and internationally. Discuss the benefits and shortcomings of these (both technical and commercial) compared with your solution. This could include the results of competitor analyses, literature surveys and so on.
In evaluating this section assessors will also consider whether:
- you have provided evidence that it will push boundaries over and beyond current leading-edge world science and technology
- it is looking to apply existing technologies in new areas and, if so, what the challenges are in doing so
- it could be innovative in the area of application
The timeliness and novelty of your research and/or proposed innovation should be highlighted and explained in an industrial and/or academic context.
Question 4: What technical approach will be adopted and how will the project be managed? (Minimum expected score: 6)
Please provide an overview of the technical approach including the main objectives of the work.
Describe where you are now and where you want to be at the end of the project (‘deliverables’). Describe the stages of the project (‘work packages’) and link the main areas of work together with their resource and management requirements.
Identify milestones and go or no-go points.
Note: projects may be approved subject to interim review at key decision points.
The assessors will also consider whether:
- the technical and methodological approach is appropriate to the needs of the project
- the innovative steps are achievable through your proposed approach
- the project plan is sufficient in comparison to the complexity of the project. For example, have you provided enough detail to allow assessors to understand the tasks involved and the resources required?
- any study design is robust
- the timing of the main milestones is realistic
- you have committed enough resource commitment and the ability to undertake the project
- clear management reporting lines have been identified
If relevant please compare and contrast alternative research and development (R&D) strategies and describe why your proposed approach will offer the best outcome.
Please provide justification for the use of animals or human subjects and the numbers of animals, samples and so on tested.
You can submit one appendix with a detailed Gantt chart and information on your study design, protocol and approach, such as experimental detail. This should be a PDF no more than 2 pages long and 1MB in size.
Question 5: Do you have freedom to operate? (Minimum expected score: 6)
Detail any existing intellectual property (IP) which may affect or which is relevant to project delivery and exploitation. State the ownership of IP and, where necessary, how rights have been assigned. Provide evidence that you have freedom to operate without infringing other patents by summarising the results of patent searches and so on.
Detail the intellectual property that you expect to be generated as a result of your project.
Describe your strategy for protecting the knowledge resulting from the project. If it is a collaborative project, how will you assign IP rights to project partners?
Question 6: How do you intend to exploit the opportunity? (Minimum expected score: 6)
How will the outputs of this project take you nearer to your objectives, and what will the steps be in this journey?
Describe how these outputs will be exploited including, where applicable:
- the route to market
- reconfiguration of the value system
- changes to business models and business processes
- other methods of exploitation and protection
Provide evidence that the proposed solution would be commercially viable for the target market (consider cost of manufacturing at launch and at scale, pricing and so on). You should describe the size of the market opportunities that this project would create, including details of:
- the current nature of the targeted markets, such as whether they are characterised by price competition among commoditised suppliers or dominated by a single leading firm, and what the channels to market are
- the dynamics of this market, including measuring its current size then actual and predicted growth rates
- the projected market share for the project outcome, taking into account possible restrictions on market access and entry, including any potential competitors
- what the biggest obstacles will be to the exploitation and commercialisation of your innovation
- what impact the project outputs will have on the business’s and non-academic partners’ forecasts for annual turnover, profit, exports and R&D spend (as a percentage of turnover if appropriate) and employment (in FTEs) for 1, 3 and more than 5 years after project completion
Question 7: What are the technical, commercial and environmental risks to project success? What is the project’s risk management strategy? (Minimum expected score: 6)
Innovate UK recognises that projects of this type are risky, but we ask that the project has adequate arrangements for managing this risk. Please focus on:
- identifying the main risks and uncertainties of the project and providing a detailed risk analysis for the project content and approach. Include the technical (including regulatory), commercial, managerial (such as managing stakeholders) and environmental risks, as well as other uncertainties, such as ethical issues, associated with the project
- developing a risk register, identifying the main risks as high, medium or low (H, M or L)
- discussing the potential impact of these scenarios
State how the project would mitigate all significant and relevant risks.
Identify project management tools and mechanisms that will be used to minimise operational risk. This should include the arrangements for managing the consortium where applicable.
Question 8: Does the team have the right skills, experience and access to facilities to deliver the project and exploit it? (Minimum expected score: 6)
Please detail the expertise and track record of the project participants, including collaborators and subcontractors, to show your ability to deliver the project and exploit the output.
In evaluating this, the assessors will also consider whether:
- the project builds the UK supply chain and addresses end-user needs
- for collaborations: the consortium’s formation objectives are clear, extra benefit such as increased knowledge transfer is gained from the collaboration, and the consortium is greater than the sum of its parts
- the work is being conducted internally where possible and, if subcontractors are being used, there is adequate justification for the choice made
- the project has access to the appropriate facilities
If you are planning to use subcontractors outside the UK then you must provide evidence that no UK alternative exists or give strong justification to support your choice of non-UK contractor.
You can upload a risk register as an appendix in PDF format no larger than 1MB and up to 2 pages long.
Question 9: What are the resources required to deliver the project and their cost? (Minimum expected score 6)
Indicate the anticipated project cost, making clear the level of contribution from any project participants and the level of funding required.
This information should complement the financial summary table in the application form.
Please use this section to detail the resources needed to carry out the project, including materials, capital equipment, infrastructure and people. Fully break down the costs and justify them, for example by giving quotations to prove value for money. This should include all internal and external costs.
Costs must be consistent with the category of R&D being undertaken. Please see our funding rules guidance for more information on the rules for the various categories.
In evaluating the costs, assessors will consider whether:
- the budget breakdown is realistic and justified for the scale and complexity of the project
- it is clear how costs are being allocated
- the financial support required fits within the limits set by the specific competition
- the funding request provides value for public money
- a financial commitment from other sources is demonstrated for the balance of the project costs
- funding will be available to cover cash flow pending quarterly reimbursement of costs from Innovate UK
Read detailed guidance on eligible and ineligible project costs in our project costs guidance.
Note that where individuals have roles in 2 or more participating collaborative organisations, costs will be closely scrutinised.
Question 10: How does financial support from Innovate UK and its funding collaborators add value? (Minimum expected score: 6)
Could this project go ahead in any form without public funding? What difference would public funding make, such as a faster route to market, more partners or reduced risk? Describe the likely impact of the project on the businesses of the partners involved.
Tell us why you are not able to wholly fund the project from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding. In other words, what would happen if the application is unsuccessful?
Explain how failure to secure public funding for this project would change the nature of the R&D activity the collaborating partners would undertake, and the related spend profile.