In this section, answers to these questions are scored by the assessors. Following assessment, you will receive feedback from the assessors for each question.
Question 1: Need or challenge
What is the business need, technological challenge or market opportunity behind your innovation?
- describe the main motivation for the project; the business need, technological challenge or market opportunity
- describe the nearest current state-of-the-art (including those near-market or in development) and its limitations
- describe any work you have already done to respond to this need. For example is the project focused on developing an existing capability or building a new one?
- identify the wider economic, social, environmental, cultural and/or political challenges which are influential in creating the opportunity for example, incoming regulations. Our Horizons tool can help
Question 2: Approach and innovation
What approach will you take and where will the focus of the innovation be?
- explain how you propose to respond to the need, challenge or opportunity identified
- explain how it will improve on the nearest current state-of-the-art identified
- indicate where the focus of the innovation will be in the project (application of existing technologies in new areas, development of new technologies for existing areas or a totally disruptive approach) and the freedom you have to operate
- explain how this project fits with your current product/service lines/offerings
- explain how it will make you more competitive
- describe the nature of the outputs you expect from the project for example, report, demonstrator, know-how, new process, product or service design. How will these will take you closer to targeting the need, challenge or opportunity identified?
You may submit a single appendix as a PDF no more than 1MB and up to 2 pages in size to support your answer.
Question 3: Team and resources
Who is in the project team and what are their roles?
- describe the roles, skills and relevant experience of all members of the project team in relation to the approach you will be taking
- describe the resources, equipment and facilities required for the project and how you will access them
- provide details of any vital external parties, including sub-contractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
- (if collaborative) describe the current relationships between the project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
- highlight any gaps in the team that will need to be filled
You may submit a single appendix as a PDF no more than 1MB and up to 4 pages in size to support your answer.
Question 4: Market awareness
What does the market you are targeting look like?
Specify the markets (domestic and/or international) you will be targeting in the project and any other potential markets.
For the target markets, describe:
- the size of the target markets for the project outcomes, backed up by appropriate references where available
- the structure and dynamics of the market such as customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates within clear timeframes
- the main supply/value chains and business models in operation and any barriers to entry
- the current UK position in targeting this market
For highly innovative projects, where the market may be unexplored, explain:
- what the route to market could or might be
- what its size might be
- how the project will seek to explore the market potential
For other markets, briefly describe the size and main features.
Question 5: Outcomes and route to market
How do you propose to grow your business and increase your productivity into the long term as a result of the project?
- describe your current position in the markets and supply/value chains outlined for example, if you will be extending or establishing your market position
- describe your target customers and/or end-users, and the value proposition to them (why would they use/buy it?)
- describe your route to market
- tell us how you are going to profit from the innovation (increased revenues or cost reduction)
- explain how the innovation will impact your productivity and growth in the short and long-term
- describe how you will protect and exploit the outputs of the project for example, through know-how, patenting, designs, changes to business model
- outline your strategy for targeting the other markets identified during or after the project
- for any research organisation activity in the project, outline your plans to disseminate project research outputs over a reasonable timescale
- if you expect to use the results generated from the project in further research activities, describe how you will do this
Question 6: Wider impacts
What impact might this project have outside the project team?
Identify, and where possible measure, the economic benefits from the project to those outside the project (customers, others in the supply chain, broader industry and the UK economy) such as productivity increases and import substitution.
Identify, and where possible measure, any expected social impacts, either positive or negative, for example:
- quality of life
- social inclusion/exclusion
- jobs (safeguarded, created, changed, displaced)
- public empowerment
- health and safety
- any expected impact on government priorities
Identify, and where possible measure, any expected environmental impacts, either positive or negative.
Identify any expected regional impacts of the project.
Question 7: Project management
How will you manage the project effectively?
- outline the main work packages of the project, indicating the relevant research category and lead partner assigned to each, and the total cost of each one
- describe your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms that will be used to ensure a successful project outcome. Highlight your approach to managing the most innovative aspects of the project
- outline the management reporting lines
- outline your project plan in sufficient detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones
You may upload a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix in PDF format no more than 1MB in size and up to 2 pages long.
Question 8: Risks
What are the main risks for this project?
- identify the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks. Highlight the most significant ones, providing a risk register if appropriate
- explain how these risks will be mitigated
- list any project inputs on the critical route to completion such as resources, expertise or data sets
- is the output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical or other similar issues? If so how will you manage this?
You may upload a risk register as an appendix in PDF format no more than 1MB in size and up to 2 pages long.
Question 9: Additionality
Describe the impact that an injection of public funding would have on this project.
- tell us if this project could go ahead in any form without public funding and if so, the difference the public funding would make such as faster to market, more partners, reduced risk
- describe the likely impact of the project on the business 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 (what would happen if the application is unsuccessful)
- explain how this project would change the nature of research and development activity the partners would undertake, and related spend
Question 10: Costs and value for money
How much will the project cost and how does it represent value for money for the team and the taxpayer?
- justify the total project cost and the grant being requested in terms of the project goals
- explain how the partners will finance their contributions to the project
- explain how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer. How does it compare to what you would spend your money on otherwise?
- justify the balance of costs and grant across the project partners
- justify any sub-contractor costs and why they are critical to the project