Success within the SMART competition is challenging, with only the best applications obtaining grant funding. One the key criteria for a successful application is cutting-edge innovation.

At TBAT, we see a lot of applications, and while applicants may believe they are developing cutting-edge and disruptive technology, for higher scores this must be evidenced within an application.

Questions to ask yourself when compiling an application.

What is the competitive landscape?

If you can identify your closest competitor, can you explain the differences between your products or services? Why is the approach or solution they offer limited regarding the needs of the target market? If you are not aware of competitors, usually a relatively simple internet search will identify a number of similar companies from around the world. You should then review the information available to determine how your offering will compare.  It may be that the closest competitor is relatively far removed from you. It is still important to reference this as it supports claims that you are leading the market.

What is being developed in research?

Do you have an awareness of similar products or services in development by companies or researchers? Use online resources such as google scholar to identify relevant research papers, and gateway to research or Cordis to search UK and European funded project databases. If you have research partners leverage their knowledge to understand the state of research in your area.

Do I have freedom to operate?

If you have a filed patent or one in application you will receive a prior art search opinion, if so, use the results to identify and discount closest prior art. As part of market studies you may have completed your own independent prior art search or white-space analysis. If patent protecting your solution or service is not part of your IPR strategy, explain what steps you will take and why you are confident this supports freedom to operate. Provide a summary of results to support your claims.

Why is my solution better?

Describe in detail why your technology delivers a step-change to disrupt your target industry. What level of confidence do you have that you will be successful? Do you have any initial tests, research reports to back up the statements you make?

How can TBAT help?

TBAT will take full ownership of preparing the grant application on your behalf.  As part of our process, we will host a one day deep-dive meeting with you and your team, to discuss all the commercial and technical aspects of the project, including assessment of the level of innovation and gap analysis. We take a quick look through public patent databases and the competitive landscape to look for existing IP as standard.  We will alert you to any prior art we find that may be of importance to you, and work with you to address the questions above.

Smart Grants: April 2019

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