The assessors will score your answers to all these questions except questions 1 and 2.
Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. Do not include any website links (URLs) in your answers.
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 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. Scope (not scored)
Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope it will be immediately rejected and will not be sent for assessment. We will give you feedback on why.
Question 3. Proposed idea or technology
Set out the challenge you are looking to address and how it relates to a sustainable recovery from the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Provide a brief description of your proposed solution. How does it address the outcomes described in the competition scope?
Describe the current state of development or readiness of the solution.
You can submit a single appendix as a PDF containing images and diagrams to support your answer. It can be no larger than 10MB and up to 2 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
This question will be scored against this assessment criterion: ‘How well does the proposed challenge and solution meet the outcomes described in the competition scope?’
Question 4. Customer engagement
Describe or explain:
- how you are working with potential future customers to understand user needs and validate solution development
- why the identified potential future customer is well suited for this project
- the commitment you have received from the identified potential future customers to help you in activities throughout phase 1 and the planned phase 2
You will be required to submit a letter of support or commitment from a potential future customer with your phase 2 application. If you already have a letter of support or commitment you can upload it as an appendix in PDF format no larger than 10MB and up to 2 A4 pages long.
This question will be scored against this assessment criterion: ‘How far is effective engagement with appropriate potential future customers evidenced?’
Question 5. Technical project summary
Give a short background to the main technical challenges you are looking to address.
Describe or explain:
- what the innovation is
- the main technical deliverables
- the research and development that will prove the scientific, environmental and commercial merit of the project
- what might be achieved by deploying the innovation to address the selected challenge
- the positive impact your project will have on climate change and/or environmental sustainability, and how this will be achieved, maintained and measured
This question will be scored against this assessment criterion: ‘How valid is the technical approach?’
Question 6. Current state of the art and intellectual property
Detail other products currently available on the market and how the innovation of your proposed project differentiates itself from them.
Include details of:
- any existing intellectual property (IP)
- its significance to your freedom to operate
This question will be scored against these assessment criteria: ‘How innovative is this project? How much does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area?’
Question 7. Project plan and methodology
Describe your project plan and identify the main milestones.
The plan for phase 1 must be comprehensive. For phase 2 only an outline is required. The emphasis throughout should be on practicality. We are seeking evidence that the technology works, can be made into a viable product and can achieve the proposed benefits.
You should describe or explain:
- what resources will be needed to deliver the project
- what the main success criteria would be
- the identified project management processes that will ensure you achieve the milestones
- the main technical, commercial and environmental risks and what you will do to mitigate them
- how you would handle any IP issues which might arise during the project
Please ensure that if you are working with subcontractors you explain how you will maintain freedom to operate and fulfil the IP requirements detailed in the contract.
You must upload a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix in PDF format no larger than 10MB and up to 2 A4 pages long. Include a description and dates of milestones, deliverables, resources required, payment schedule and success criteria. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
This question will be assessed against these assessment criteria: ‘Does the proposal show a clear plan for establishing technical and commercial feasibility? Are the proposed project management processes appropriate? Is there a clear management plan? Will the main technical, commercial and environmental risks to project success be effectively managed?’
Question 8. Milestones
Download and complete the milestone template.
Your milestones must be:
- defined using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) criteria
- associated with the appropriate deliverables and payments
Once you have completed the milestone template it must be uploaded in a PDF format to this question. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
In phase 1, to simplify payment processing and make it easier for your project to adapt around the constraints of coronavirus (COVID 19), we plan to make 2 payments against milestones. The first payment (25% of the funding) will be related to the successful completion of the project kick-off meeting and the second (75%) on the submission of the project end-of-phase report.
This question will be assessed against these assessment criteria: ‘Are the milestones clear and appropriate to ensure the successful delivery of the project?’
Question 9. Technical team and expertise
Provide a brief description of your technical team. Include the expertise of each team member or subcontractor relevant to your application, outlining why they are critical to the project’s success and how much of their time will be spent on the project.
This question will be scored against this assessment criterion: ‘Does the applicant have the skills, capabilities and experience to deliver the intended benefits?’
Question 10. Costs and value for money
How much will the project cost for phase 1? How does it represent value for money for the team and the taxpayer?
Describe or explain:
- the total eligible project costs, including VAT, you are requesting in terms of the project goals
- how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer
- how it compares to what you would spend your money on otherwise
You should indicate your potential costs for phase 2. (Progression to phase 2 depends on your success in phase 1).
Costs quoted must reflect actual costs at a “fair market value” and not include profit.
Full economic cost (FEC) calculations are not relevant for SBRI competitions. SBRI is a competitive process and applications will come from a variety of organisations. Whatever calculation you use to arrive at your total eligible project costs your application will be assessed against applications from other organisations. Bear this in mind when calculating your total eligible project costs. You can include overheads but remember that this is a competitive process.
In the Innovation Funding Service, you will be asked if you are VAT registered before entering your project costs. If you are a VAT registered organisation you will not need to enter your costs inclusive of VAT as the Innovation Funding Service will calculate the VAT for you.
VAT is the responsibility of the invoicing business, and applications must list total costs inclusive of VAT. If you are VAT exempt then you can quote without VAT but you will not be able to increase invoice values to cover VAT later on.
You can submit a single appendix as a spreadsheet no larger than 10MB and up to 2 A4 pages long to support your answer. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.
The assessors are required to judge the application finances in terms of value for money. In other words, does the proposed cost for effort and deliverables reflect a fair market price? They will score your finances against this assessment criterion: ‘Are the budget and costs realistic, justified and appropriate for the aims and methods?’
Please note information from the finances section will be used to support the assessment of this question. Proposed costs stated in this section must match those entered in the finance summary on your application.
Question 11. Commercial potential
Describe how you will realise the commercial potential of your proposal and to what timescales, including a clear plan to deliver that and a route to market. Focus on your proposed customer’s needs but you may also mention the future commercial potential across the public or private sector and the international market.
How far is the challenge you are addressing shared across the public and/or private sector in the UK and further afield? Describe the competitive advantage that your proposal has over existing or alternative technologies that meet market needs.
This question will be scored against these assessment criteria: ‘Is there a clear commercial potential for a marketable product, process or service and a clear plan to deliver that and a clear route to market? How significant is the competitive advantage of this technology over existing technologies that meet the market’s needs?’