Getting a technology grant – Case Study

Speech recognition technology provider Voxgen was awarded £214,000 business grant by the Technology Strategy Board.

Speech recognition technology provider Voxgen was awarded £214,000 business grant by the Technology Strategy Board, a business-led executive non-departmental public body that was established by the government.

These government grants are part of the Technology Strategy Board’s £8.5 million investment in 30 innovative research and development projects that will help accelerate the introduction of more secure and trustworthy information systems.

VoxGen will be working with its consortium partners, Mydex Data Services and Latitude Partners Ltd, to enhance the traditional approach to voice biometrics. Here, SmallBusiness.co.uk speaks to Voxgen CEO Simon Loopuit about the business grant.

What are the benefits of the business grant?

Our approach to the grant was not just that we wanted the money, an additional benefit is that it provides you with a framework to collaborate with another company where you might otherwise not have had the chance. It’s a super opportunity to validate that you’ve got a good line of R&D to pursue.

What are your tips for applying for the technology business grant?

One of the big mistakes companies make when applying is they don’t focus on exactly where in the cycle the grant is being targeted, and establishing this is key. For example, is it for basic research, applied research, is it validating that there is actually a market?

Also, make sure that the partners you want to work with are not competitive because otherwise you will find yourself investing a lot of time in protecting IP.

It’s best to go to them with a skeleton of what you want to do, why your plan is useful or novel, then get feedback and once you’ve got that you can write the detailed proposal with a justification on why you need that level of investment

Why did you pitch for £215,000 and not another amount?

There’s a cap on the monetary level for individual grants and by having a series of conversations with the Board you get a sense of what is in the zone of what they’re prepared to give.

You have to set a level for yourself. Don’t set the bar too high because these grants come with an overhead, and you’ve got to do work. It is a distraction from your core business if its not in fact going to lead to something interesting. Don’t view these grants as just a source of income to get you through this economically challenging time because it doesn’t work like that.

Further reading on business grants from small business

Advice and tips for small businesses on how to get government grants.

BUSINESS FUNDING OPPORTUNITY

Does your business turn over between £50,000 and £500,000? If so, you are eligible for the new Small Business Grants initiative from SmallBusiness.co.uk. We’re giving away £5,000 every month in a free-to-enter competition. Apply now by clicking here. Good luck!

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