The assessors will score your answers to these questions (except question 1, which is not scored). You will receive feedback from them for each question.
Your answer to each question can be up to 600 words long. Do not include any website links (URLs) in your answers unless we have explicitly requested a link to a video.
Question 1. Equality, diversity and inclusion (not scored)
We collect and report on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data to address under-representation in business innovation and ensure equality, diversity and inclusion across all our activities.
You must complete this EDI survey (opens in a new window) and type ‘EDI survey completed’ within your answer. The survey will ask you questions on your gender, age, ethnicity and disability status. You will always have the option to ‘prefer not to say’ if you do not feel comfortable sharing this information.
Question 2. Healthcare need and impact (Minimum expected score: 7/10)
What is the healthcare challenge that this project addresses and what impacts will your solution have?
Give evidence that the healthcare challenge is real and sizeable. Explain how your project will address it. Define the market, both nationally and internationally, that will generate demand for your proposed solution.
How will the project outputs and/or the solution lead to a commercial opportunity for your organisation?
How will the outputs of the project meet the healthcare challenge?
Give any input you have from healthcare professionals, patients, potential partners 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.
Question 3: Scientific evidence (Minimum expected score: 7/10)
What is the underpinning scientific evidence to support your solution?
Detail all relevant prior experimental or technical evidence which can explain how the previous results link to the proposed study.
Outline any preclinical or clinical work conducted to date and the outcomes.
You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF and can be up to 4 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 4: Innovation (Minimum expected score: 6/10)
What is innovative about your idea?
Identify the extent to which the project is innovative, from a commercial, scientific and/or technical perspective. Refer to existing products, current gold standards and practices that are currently in use and those known to be under development both in the UK and internationally. Comment on how this innovation will fit into the current standard of care.
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.
Highlight the timeliness and novelty of your innovation and explain it in an industrial context.
Question 5: Technical approach (Minimum expected score: 6/10)
What technical approach will be adopted and how will the project be managed?
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 in terms of the deliverables. Describe the stages of the project (the work packages) and link the main areas of work together with their resource and management requirements.
Identify milestones and go or no-go points.
The assessors will also consider whether:
- the technical and methodological approach is appropriate to the needs of the project. Are the innovative steps achievable, in the timescale, 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. Is the timing of key milestones realistic?
- you have committed enough resource and have the capability to undertake the project
- clear management reporting lines have been identified
If relevant, compare and contrast alternative research and development (R&D) strategies and describe why your proposed approach will offer the best outcome.
Provide justification for the use of animal or human subjects and the numbers of animals, samples and so on to be tested.
You can submit a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix to support your answer. You can also include a study design/protocol/approach. It must be a single PDF and can be up to 4 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 6: Freedom to operate (Minimum expected score: 6/10)
Do you have freedom to operate?
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 (FTO), who conducted the FTO, and that you can work 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, and who will own it.
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 7: Exploit the opportunity (Minimum expected score: 6/10)
How do you intend to exploit the opportunity?
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, channel, geographies
- reconfiguration of the value system, such as who will benefit or pay
- changes to business models and business processes for the payor, provider or patient
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.
Describe the size of the market opportunities that this project would create, including details of:
- the current nature of the specific markets at which the project is targeted
- the dynamics of this market including measuring its current size then actual and predicted growth rates, providing references to sources
- the projected or target market share gains over time for the project outcome taking account of possible restrictions on market access and penetration, including any potential competitors
- what impact the project outputs will have on the business 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 5+ years after project completion
Question 8: Technical, commercial and environmental risks (Minimum expected score: 6/10)
What are the technical, commercial and environmental risks to project success? What is the project’s risk management strategy?
Innovate UK recognises that projects of this type are risky, and organisations that succeed focus on key risks, but we ask that the project has adequate arrangements for managing these risks. Please focus on:
- identifying the main risks and uncertainties of the project and provide a detailed risk analysis for the project content and approach
- including 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/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. Identify ownership of each of the risks.
You can submit a risk register as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF and can be up to 2 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
Question 9: Skills and experience (Minimum expected score: 6/10)
Does the team have the right skills and experience and access to facilities to deliver the project and exploit it?
Detail the expertise and track record of the project participants, including collaborators and subcontractors, to show your capability to deliver the project and exploit the output. Explain whether you have worked with them before and on what basis.
In evaluating this, the assessors will also consider whether:
- the project builds the UK supply chain and addresses end-user needs
- for collaborations: are the consortium’s formation objectives clear, is extra benefit gained from the collaboration, for example, increased knowledge transfer, and is 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, resources, tools, equipment and human capability.
If you are planning to use subcontractors outside the UK then you must provide evidence that no UK alternative exists or strong justification to support your choice of non-UK contractor.
Question 10: Resources required (Minimum expected score 6/10)
What are the resources required to deliver the project and how much will they cost?
Indicate the anticipated eligible project costs, making clear the level of contribution from any project partners and the level of funding required.
This information should complement the financial summary table in the application form.
Detail the resources required to carry out the project (e.g. materials, capital equipment and people). Fully break down the costs and justify them (for example 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.
In evaluating the costs, assessors will consider the following questions:
- is the budget breakdown realistic and justified for the scale and complexity of the project?
- is it clear how costs are being allocated?
- does the financial support required fit within the limits set by the competition?
- does the funding request provide value for public money?
- is a financial commitment from other sources demonstrated for the balance of the project costs?
- will funding be available to cover cash flow pending quarterly reimbursement of costs from Innovate UK?
Question 11: Financial support and added value (Minimum expected score: 6/10)
How does financial support from Innovate UK and its funding collaborators add value?
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 wider 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? Tell us what avenues of alternate funding you have explored and the responses.
Explain how failure to secure public funding for this project would affect which R&D activity the collaborating partners would undertake (and related spend profile). Tell us your alternate plan should public funding not meet any or all of your request.