A business that wants to apply for grants from government bodies must ensure that its application is made correctly and that it contains all relevant information. The enterprise must know which activities qualify for the grant.
Information on grants
Information about government grants and loans and how to apply for them may be found on websites such as Direct Gov and Business Link that provide UK government information for businesses. It is also worth consulting the websites of organisations that arrange the grants such as the Technology Strategy Board or the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). The application details may differ according to the grant funding required.
When applying to get a grant from the Technology Strategy Board in respect of innovation, research or development, the business know the type of activity for which the grant is given. There are grants for different activities and the application must demonstrate that the business qualifies for the type of grant being offered. The application should include as much details as possible about the project and its potential benefits to the business, showing that it falls into the category of project for which the relevant grant is given. It would be wise to emphasise the precise category of the project that is being undertaken, for example, whether it is pure research, applied research, development or some other innovative activity. The activities to be conducted during the course of the project and the cost of each element of the project must be set out. The experience of the directors or owners of the business should be described and if it is helpful, the enterprise should include its business plan as part of the application. Where an application form is necessary, this should be completed adequately and cross-referenced to other documents to ensure that no details of the application are overlooked. It may be helpful to obtain professional advice on preparing the application and business plan. The business must bear in mind the criteria that will be used in taking a decision on whether to give a government grant. Where the extent of innovation is one of the criteria, the innovative aspects of the project must be emphasised in the application. The government may also take into account the enterprise’s approach to the project, the experience of the directors and the significance of the technology that is being developed. The extent of the need for funding may be taken into account. All these factors should, therefore, be highlighted in the application. The enterprise should also demonstrate that the necessary financing for the project, in addition to the government grant, is being put in place.