The assessors will score your answers. You will receive feedback from them for each one.
Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long.
Question 1: What is the business opportunity that this project addresses?
Outline the business opportunity and what the project team needs to do to successfully address it within the preferred timeframe and cost.
Describe the nature of the international development challenge or issues facing you and/or your potential customers. How will the intended outputs of the project respond to these challenges and issues?
Question 2: What is the size of the market opportunity that this project might open up?
Describe the size of the market opportunities that this project might open up, including details of:
- the current nature of the specific market or markets the project is targeting, including whether it is characterised by price competition among commoditised suppliers or dominated by a single leading firm
- the dynamics of the market, including measuring its current size, and actual and predicted growth rates
- the projected market share for the project outcome, with justification in the light of any potential competitors
- the potential to add value to the economy of the developing country organisation and any secondary benefits to the UK or European Economic Area (EEA)
Describe and clearly quantify the return on investment that the project could achieve. Provide relevant source data references.
Where possible provide evidence for your statements about the target market for project outcomes. Outline your strategy for developing market share.
For highly innovative projects (see question 7) 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 explore the market potential
Question 3: How will the results of the project be exploited and disseminated?
List or describe the potential exploitable outputs of the project such as:
- products or services
Then describe how these outputs will be exploited including, where applicable:
- the route to market
- protection of intellectual property rights
- reconfiguration of the value system
- changes to business models and business processes
- other methods of exploitation and protection
- how they will deliver international development impact
Where it is helpful to the exchange of best practice, and is not damaging to commercial interests, we expect you to make public the results from this work. You must include a plan for the distribution of generic outputs from the funded project.
Question 4: Why is the project eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding?
To be eligible for DFID and GCRF funding, you must clearly explain and give evidence for why and how your project fits within scope for Official Development Assistance (ODA).
Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliance
You must explain how your project’s main objective will be to promote the economic development and welfare of people in developing countries. Benefits to the UK and UK partners must be secondary.
Describe the benefits to project partners and to those people outside the consortium (in the developing country, particularly people in poverty and underserved groups). Make a clear distinction between the two. Be clear about what stakeholder groups in the developing country you expect to benefit from this project. Avoid making generic statements.
Describe any expected socio-economic impacts, either positive or negative on, for example:
- quality of life
- social inclusion or exclusion
- jobs, such as safeguarding, creating, changing or displacing them
- public empowerment
- health and safety
You must explain how the project will, or has the potential to, deliver outcomes and impact in agriculture and food systems in Africa. Particularly, how will it help the poorest members of society, including women, girls and other disadvantaged groups? Explain what those benefits are and who will benefit. Be clear about how you will make sure there is a clear route to impact after the project has ended.
You must show you are eligible for ODA by providing further information in the appendix, including a basic logic model. The appendix must be a PDF and can be up to 2 pages long and no larger than 10MB. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Only applications that meet the eligibility, scope and ODA requirements of the competition will be sent for assessment. You will be notified if your application is not sent for assessment with an explanation as to why.
Question 5. How is your project compliant with the International Development (Gender Equality) Act 2014?
How is your project helping to promote gender equality and social inclusion?
Your answer is a mandatory requirement for all GCRF programmes under the International Development (Gender Equality) Act, 2014.
Successful applicants will be expected to attend a workshop on gender equality and social inclusion to discuss good practice and share experiences. Innovate UK will separately reimburse expenses for attending this workshop. We expect one person per project team to attend.
Who is involved?
To make sure that your innovation has the highest chance of being successfully adopted, you will need to understand the cultures, attitudes and other context specific factors in the African country you are focusing on.
In order to deliver the desired economic and societal impacts, you will need to take into account gender equality and social inclusion issues by:
- highlighting any relevant diversity and social inclusion experience or expertise within the core project team and their businesses
- providing information on any partner organisations you are already working with and their role and expertise related to gender equality and social inclusion, such as community groups, NGOs or government stakeholders
- identifying where you see the need to build new links with partner organisations and why
How will you factor this into your project plan?
- how your project will address gender equality and social inclusion issues, including for poorer consumers, disabled people and older people
- how you will measure this
- how this will feed into the overall project plan in question 6
What is the potential?
Describe your current understanding of:
- the expected outcomes of your project and benefits of your innovation on gender equality and social inclusion
- the potential negative effects of your project and innovation, and how you plan to mitigate against these
Describe any gaps in your current understanding and how you intend to address these.
Question 6: What technical approach will be adopted and how will the project be managed?
Provide an overview of the technical approach, including the main objectives of the work. Describe the main areas of work together with their resource and management requirements. State who will be the technical lead and why they are suitable.
In evaluating this the assessors will consider whether:
- the technical approach and methodology are appropriate to the needs of the project
- the innovative steps are achievable through the proposed approach
- the project plan matches the complexity of the project, including whether there is detail to understand the tasks involved and the resources required
- the main milestones are realistic
- it demonstrates enough resource commitment and capability to undertake the project
- you have identified clear management reporting lines
Describe rival technologies and alternative research and development (R&D) strategies and describe why your proposed approach will offer a better outcome.
You must submit a project plan as an appendix. It must include a chronological schedule of project activities presented in graphical form (such as a Gantt chart). It must be a PDF and can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
In your project plan:
- clearly indicate the estimated time required for the completion of each main task in addition to milestones
- identify specific participant assignments for each task in the project plan, even if this information was provided elsewhere
- separately identify and describe all task assignments for subcontractors and consultants, along with the location of all work include a work breakdown structure (WBS) detailing the start and end dates and planned time commitment for each task
If you are successful and offered funding, you will be required to submit a more detailed project plan that will be used to monitor project progress.
Question 7: What is innovative about this project?
Identify the extent to which the project is innovative, both commercially and technically.
In evaluating this section, assessors will consider whether your project:
- pushes boundaries over and beyond current leading-edge world science and technology
- is looking to apply existing technologies in new areas
Highlight and explain the timeliness and novelty of the research aspects of the project.
Your project will not be eligible if it is primarily designed to support a commercial investment.
Describe any evidence you have to support your belief that your intended work is innovative. This could include the results of patent searches, competitor analyses, literature surveys and so on. If applicable, outline your own background intellectual property rights related to the project.
Question 8: What are the risks (technical, commercial and environmental) to project success? What is the project’s risk management strategy?
Innovate UK recognises that projects of this type are inherently risky, but we look for assurance that the projects we fund have adequate arrangements for managing this risk. In your answer, focus on the arrangements for managing and mitigating risk by:
- Identifying the main risks and uncertainties of the project and providing a detailed risk analysis for the project content and approach. Include the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks as well as other uncertainties (for example ethical issues) associated with the project. The main risks should then be rated as high, medium or low (H/M/L).
- Stating how the project would avoid these main risks. You should tackle all significant and relevant risks and their mitigation.
- Identifying vital project management tools and mechanisms that will be used to help minimise operational risk and promote a successful project outcome. This should include arrangements for managing the project team and its partners.
You can submit a risk register as an appendix. It must be a PDF and can be up to 2 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 9: Do the project team have the right skills, experience and access to facilities to deliver the identified benefits?
Describe the track record of the project team members in undertaking and exploiting the results of R&D projects. Highlight your capability to develop and exploit the technology.
Describe or explain:
- the track record of the project team members in undertaking and exploiting the results of R&D projects
- the roles, skills and experience of all members of the project that will enable you to deliver the project successfully
- your formation objectives
- whether the team would have been formed without investment from this competition
- the additional benefits that will come from the collaboration, such as increased knowledge transfer
- the details of any vital external parties, including subcontractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
You must submit an up-to-date working draft of your collaboration agreement (CA) as an appendix. It must be in PDF format and up to 2 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
If your application is successful, the final CA must be signed by all consortium members in the developing country and the UK before the grant is confirmed. Please see the Lambert Toolkit for example formats.
UK and developing country organisations are free to develop alternative formats for their CA, but they must include clauses on IP management, dispute resolution and governing law.
Question 10: What is the financial commitment required for the project?
Detail the estimated project cost, making clear the level of contribution from each partner and the total level of funding you require. Provide this information in the financial summary table in the application form.
Explain your project costs. These must be consistent with the category of R&D being undertaken within each work package. Please see our general guidance for further details on our categories of research and development.
If the project spans more than one type of funding (for example because significant work packages are in both mid stage industrial research and late stage experimental development), you must describe and justify the breakdown of costs between them in your answer.
In evaluating your answer the assessors will consider whether:
- the budget is realistic for the scale and complexity of the project
- the financial support required from this competition fits within the limits set by the specific competition
- a financial commitment from other sources is demonstrated for the balance of the project costs
- a realistic budget breakdown has been provided
- any work package breakdowns have been described and justified adequately
Find out more about eligible and ineligible project costs.
Make sure that all vital finance information you wish the assessors to consider are included in the main body of your application form, as the assessors will only see a high level view of your finance form.
Question 11: How does financial support from Innovate UK and its funding collaborators add value?
What impact would an injection of public funding have on the partners involved?
Describe or explain:
- if this project could go ahead in any form without public funding and if so, the difference the public funding would make, such as a faster route to market, more partners or reduced risk
- the likely impact of the project on the businesses of the partners involved
- why you are not able to wholly fund the project from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding, and what would happen if the application is unsuccessful
- how this project would change the nature of R&D activity the partners would undertake, and the related spend