Part 1: The business proposition
(10 points per question = 40 points in total). Answers are limited to 600 words for questions 1 and 4 and 400 words for the other questions.
Question 1. What is the business opportunity that this project addresses? Give a clear outline of the business opportunity. What does the project team need to do to successfully address it within the proposed timeframe and cost? Describe the potential issues facing you and/or your potential customers and how the intended outputs of the project will address these.
Supporting evidence for this question can be uploaded in PDF format entitled ‘Appendix 1’ no larger than 10MB and up to 3 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 2. What is the size of the market you are targeting?
Describe the size of the market opportunities that this project might open up, adding supporting evidence of:
- the current nature of the specific markets you are targeting, for instance, is it characterised by price competition amongst commoditised suppliers? Is it dominated by a single leading firm? Give its geographical location, and possible export value
- the market dynamics including its current size, actual and predicted growth rates
- outline your strategy for targeting the projected market share, with justification in light of any potential competitors
If your technology is being purchased by an original equipment manufacturer outside the consortium then give details on who the buyers will be. Submit any evidence of future purchasing commitments such as letters of support.
For highly innovative projects where the market may be unexplored, explain:
- what the route to market could or might be
- what the barriers to entry might be
- what the market size might be, making clear any calculations and assumptions
- how the project will look to explore the market potential
Supporting evidence can be uploaded in PDF format, entitled ‘Appendix 2’ and up to 3 pages long with a maximum file size of 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 3. How will the results of the project be exploited and disseminated?
List or describe the potential outputs of the project that can be exploited such as:
- products or services
Describe how these outputs will be exploited by partners including, where applicable:
- route to market
- how your project will target commercialisation at the end
- protection of intellectual property rights
- supply chain engagement and opportunities
- reconfiguration of the value system
- changes to business models and business processes
- other methods of exploitation and protection
Where helpful to the exchange of best practice and not damaging to commercial interests, the results from this work should be made public on a voluntary basis. You must include a strategy for disseminating generic outputs from the funded project. Read more about dissemination in our funding rules.
Supporting evidence for this question can be uploaded in PDF format, entitled ‘Appendix 3’ and up to 3 pages long with a maximum file size of 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 4. What impact might this project have both inside and outside the project team?
Identify, and where possible measure, the economic benefits from the project to those inside and outside the project. This could be in the form of productivity increases and import substitution. You need to clearly demonstrate how your project benefits the long term UK supply chain. You could include benefits to customers, broader industry and the UK economy.
Make a clear distinction between benefits inside and outside the project team in your answer. The highest marks will be given to projects that provide the strongest evidence on anchoring and growing the UK supply chain. You should show:
- how the grant requested by the consortium members leverages additional investment in the UK supply chain, within the project partners and the wider economy, such as new facilities or machinery
- the bill of materials’ value, its sourcing location and the percentage split across these in the UK
- when these impacts are likely to start and how long they will last for
Identify, and where possible measure, any expected social and environmental impacts, either positive or negative, on for example:
- the number of jobs safeguarded, created, changed or displaced
- your ability to hire new employees, including where you will recruit from, how skilled the roles will be and the demand you expect for these roles
- education, upskilling or reskilling of your employees
- your UK-based competitors
- carbon dioxide emissions, beyond those mandated by regulation, broken down by each piece of technology where appropriate
- air quality improvements
- fuel savings, and how these will work for customers
- value-added benefits for the UK and/or the European Economic Area (EEA) and how long those benefits will last compared to the technology’s life span
- health and safety
- quality of life
- government priorities
Where will you be located and why? Discuss the phasing of the project and of the intended manufacturing locations of the technology or technologies developed. For UK based manufacturing, justify why this would occur in the UK, and identify any expected regional impacts of the project. If you have any evidence of your intention for manufacturing in the UK, for example letters of intent, please include these in the appendix for question 4.
Where possible you should reference relevant studies, reports, data or previous projects.
Supporting evidence for this question can be uploaded in PDF format, entitled ‘Appendix 4’ and up to 3 pages long with a maximum file size of 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Part 2: The project details
(10 points per question = 40 points in total). Answers are limited to 400 words.
Question 5. What technical approach will be adopted and how will you manage the project effectively?
- the main work packages of the project, indicating the lead partner assigned to each
- your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms that will be used to ensure a successful project outcome
- your approach to managing the most innovative aspects of the project
- the management reporting lines
- your project plan in sufficient detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones
- how your project will enhance the manufacturing maturity of the technology
- rival technologies and alternative R&D strategies and how your proposal will offer a better outcome
Supporting evidence for this question can be uploaded in PDF format, entitled ‘Appendix 5’ and up to 3 pages long with a maximum file size of 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 6. What is innovative about this project?
Identify the extent to which the project is innovative both commercially and technically, for example:
- whether your project pushes boundaries over and beyond current leading-edge world science and technology
- whether your project is looking to apply existing technologies in new areas
- why and how are you confident that you have freedom to operate, and that your IP is free from restriction and able to be readily exploited
Highlight and explain the timeliness and novelty of the research aspects of the project in an industrial and/or academic context.
Detail evidence that the intended work is innovative. This could include the results of patent searches, competitor analyses, literature surveys and so on. If applicable, you should also outline your own background intellectual property rights, as related to the project.
Supporting evidence for this question can be uploaded in PDF format, entitled ‘Appendix 6’ and up to 3 pages long with a maximum file size of 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 7. What are the main risks (technical, commercial and environmental) to project success?
- identify the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks
- highlight the most significant ones and provide a risk register
- explain how these risks will be mitigated
- list any project inputs on the critical route to completion such as resources, expertise or data sets
- explain whether the output is likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical or other similar issues, and if so how you will manage this
Risks can include but are not limited to:
- funding gaps
- investment needed for production facility
- future sales risks
- carbon dioxide savings
- supply chain capacity and original equipment manufacturer purchasing
For UK based manufacturing, please justify why this would occur in the UK and identify any risks to this occurring. Describe the follow on investments needed and risks associated with achieving those investments.
Supporting evidence for this question can be uploaded in PDF format, entitled ‘Appendix 7’ and up to 3 pages long with a maximum file size of 10MB. Include a risk table as part of this appendix. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 8. Does your project team have the right skills, experience and access to facilities to deliver your project?
- the roles, skills, track record and relevant experience of all members of the project team in relation to the approach you will be taking
- the resources, equipment and facilities required for the project and how you will access them
- details of any vital external parties, including sub-contractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project, explaining why these roles cannot be filled within the consortium
- the current relationships between the project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
- why the project partners came together and what benefits you each bring to the project
Supporting evidence for this question can be uploaded in PDF format, entitled ‘Appendix 8’ and up to 3 pages long with a maximum file size of 10MB. This should include details of the specific expertise and track record of each partner and subcontractor to address this question. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Part 3: Funding and added value
(10 points per question = 20 points in total). Answers are limited to 400 words.
Question 9. What is the financial commitment required for the project?
What is the anticipated project cost? Describe the level of contribution from any project participants and the level of grant funding required. This information should be provided in the financial summary table in the application form.
Give supporting information and an explanation for project costs. It must be consistent with the category of research and development undertaken within each work package.
If the project spans more than one type of funding, for example, because significant work packages are in both fundamental and industrial research, you must describe and justify the breakdown of costs between them. For example:
- is the budget realistic for the scale and complexity of the project?
- does the required financial support from APC fit within the limits set by the specific competition?
- have you demonstrated a financial commitment from other sources for the balance of the project costs?
- has a realistic budget breakdown been provided?
- have any work package breakdowns been described and justified adequately?
Detail the total investment needed to bring the technology to production. You should distinguish between the APC funded project and the overall investment. What is the proposed investment in R&D, skills, capital and training?
List and assign a proportion for the source of private sector investment by:
- retained earnings
- external debt
- equity investment or
- other source
Where the source is retained earnings, describe the decision making process in allocating this R&D spending. Is the R&D spending internationally competitive and/or found from UK company budgets?
List any other public funds, including any tax relief, that the consortium has applied for, or received, that relate to this project or application. Indicate the size of the funding, the relevant body, and details on the type of funding and conditions.
Describe and clearly quantify the return on investment that the project could achieve. Provide relevant source data references.
Supporting evidence for this question can be uploaded in PDF format, entitled ‘Appendix 9’ and up to 3 pages long with a maximum file size of 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 10. How does financial support from APC and its funding collaborators add value?
You should describe or explain:
- the total project cost and the funding being requested in terms of the project goals
- why this specific level of funding is required, giving supporting evidence in the appendix to this question, such as business cases, internal rate of return analysis, or other comparison analysis of with or without APC funding
- what will happen if the application is not successful (project scaled back, delayed, moved abroad or not occur) and why? Provide supporting evidence in the appendix such as business cases, internal memos showing decision making processes, cost comparisons for alternative locations, or other comparison analysis of with or without APC funding how APC funding would allow you to undertake the project differently (sooner, more quickly on a larger scale) and why this is beneficial to the UK
- how the partners will finance their contributions to the project and other sources of funding already considered
- why this project cannot be funded internally or through other private sources, giving supporting evidence in the appendix of funding sources which were considered, including evidence of the outcome of these, for example proof of declined credit
- whether there will be R&D investment or spend as a result of this funding
- how successful delivery will increase total spend on R&D in the UK
- the collaboration benefits of the project including proximity, multiple sectors and work with other research organisations
If the project could not go ahead in the UK without APC funding, then where would it be located and why?
Include information on:
- the current type and size of operations in these locations
- the expected size and growth of the local or regional market
- expected cost structure, including wages, building, transport, energy
- any existing infrastructure or financial support available
- the quality and availability of equivalent workforce and science and research base in these alternative locations
- the potential to create value-added benefits for the UK and/or the European Economic Area (EEA)
- how long the value added benefits will continue for in terms of the technology’s life span
You may be asked for additional financial information that relates to your bid or organisation. This could be specific to both the project and consortium members. This requirement will vary across applications. It will depend upon the nature of the application, and the specific argument for support around which you have structured the application. The decision to seek additional financial information will be taken by BEIS and will be communicated to you.
Supporting evidence for this question can be uploaded in PDF format, entitled ‘Appendix 10’ and up to 3 pages long with a maximum file size of 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Economic assessment: value for money (questions 11 to 16 )
Download the value for money (VfM) worksheet, complete tabs 11 to 16 and upload as an appendix to question 11.
Guidance for the worksheet tabs 11 to 16 is provided within the spreadsheet. If you do not upload the completed spreadsheet your application will be marked as ineligible. For each question, please use the notes section in the worksheet to demonstrate how your numbers have been derived.
Supporting information for the VfM worksheet can be provided in text format in your answers to questions 11 to 16. If you are not providing supporting text information please indicate this in the relevant text box by typing “Not applicable”. Supporting diagrams, pictures or graphics may be uploaded as a PDF appendix at question 16, clearly stating which question the supporting evidence is for. The maximum file size for appendices is 10MB.
All data needs to be entered into the grey cells in the worksheets, or by selecting an option from a list in a drop-down menu (these cells are coloured brown). Cells coloured yellow are title cells which cannot be changed. Worksheets are protected so that data cannot be entered into incorrect cells.
You can add additional rows in the jobs worksheet. This is so jobs can be defined separately for each project partner for the required number of NVQ levels. To preserve formatting, additional lines should be inserted in the middle of rows of input cells. Blank lines can be used to title project partners and group the jobs according to your preferences.