Innovate 10 | Tuesday 12 October 2010 | Business Design Centre, London
Main Menu
Launch Pad
  Useful Info
  About us
  Contact us
Sub Menu
  About launch pad
  Time line
  The Judges
Innovate 10

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does the technology have to reside in a company (or could we transfer it from a university or the NHS to a company over the next month, or just have plans to do so?)

a. The company will have to be in a position to exploit the technology – this would apply to the “study” and what goes beyond. There could be several ways to do this as long as a suitable case is made - the guiding principal should be that this activity is targeted at business so that they can generate business benefit.


Q2. What type of quality video do you need for this, does it have to be a professional video (approx cost of this are £2k,) or will a talking head using a hand held videocam do?

a. The type and style of ‘video’ can be defined by the entrant and could even be from a webcam. This might be a straightforward “voxpop” to camera or a couple of power point slides and a voice over which ‘Jing Pro’ does perfectly for £11.

Q3. I have previously been in receipt of a TSB Feasibility Study Award in which under EU rules, I as eligible as a sole trader, ie the EU accepts that as a sole trader I am a microbusiness. I presume this eligibility holds for the above competition?

a. The “Disruptive Solutions” competition is open to micro, small and medium enterprises however we required the applicant to be a registered company to ensure that the de-minimis rules are met since this is a 100% grant. Please read the rules regarding the de-minimis declaration to confirm that you are eligible for this funding and have not exceeded any of the limits. The applicant will need to confirm they comply to the following declaration:

i. “Are you de minimis State Aid rules compliant (This competition will operate under de minimis State Aid rules (EC regulation 1998/2006), and projects can
be funded up to 100% of project costs (no greater than £100k). There is a ceiling of €200k (approximately £165k) for all de minimis state aid provided
to any one firm over a 3-year period. It is the responsibility of all participants to keep records of public funds received under de minimis state aid
regulations to ensure that they do not exceed the State Aid thresholds for this type of funding.)”


Q4. Is it possible for it to be assessed in private during the first round?

a. This is not possible, we have to keep everything public so that the rules are the same or everyone.


Q5. Please can you confirm if only companies with employees of 250 or fewer will be considered or this funding? At the moment our staff count is just above this, would our bid still be considered?

a. We can confirm that this competition is only for companies with 250 employees or fewer so submissions from companies with just over 250 employees are not eligible.
More guidance on what constitutes a micro, small or medium sized enterprise can be found at:


Q6. Why are you using youtube?

a. It is not uncommon for a large volume of applicantions to be received in the last hour before the competition deadline. By using youtube we benefit from their server capacity meaning that the competitioin can recieve video submissions up until the final minute before noon on Thursday 16 September.


Q7. We have a potential spinout company that would be a good candidate for this competition (not yet formed as a company) - would it be possible for us to submit a 2 minute pitch and then if we are successful then form a company?
a. No, the company needs to exist already.  Given the short timescales of the competition, we believe this is fairest to all applicants.


Q8. I would like to understand more about the confidentiality of the disruptive solutions competition – the video and subsequent process
a. Videos posted are not confidential (they're hosted on and the videos are posted on youtube) as stated in the competition paper. The video only needs to be 2mins maximum though so we believe it should be possible to pitch without giving away a critical piece of Intellectual Property.  However any applicant needs to be satisfied themselves that they are comfortable with the level of information they provide in the public video.
b. Anybody can see the videos and anybody can comment but the comments are only seen by us and our assessors. They will be used to help support the expert assessors in their role as judges.
c. The assessment process of the video and the submission and assessment of the stage 2 written process is all confidential. The stage 2 (confidential) process has all our usual level of independent (panel) review and due-diligence. It is at this stage that we would expect applicants to be more forthcoming in terms of specific Intellectual Property etc.


Q9. If we produce a video outlining our idea, how will this impact our ability to protect the idea afterwards?
a. It should be possible to communicate a good idea in a 2-minute conversation
without revealing crucial intellectual property.
b. Your pitch is publically viewable, so don’t give away crucial Intellectual Property,
however it will mean your video will reach the UK’s leading entrepreneurs,
innovators, and industrialists – potential future collaborators.
c. Remember, it’s a 2-minute video pitch maximum - that’s about 300 words. So focus
on the following questions to give you the best chance of reaching stage 2:
i. What is the challenge or opportunity being tackled?
ii. Why is it important?
iii. What approach will be taken?
iv. How will the solution be commercialised?
v. What impact it could have if successful?
vi. Why is the Technology Strategy Board investment needed?

Q10. Can you please tell me when the grant is paid? Do we have to pre-finance and claim in arrears or is the grant paid in a 100% lump sum advance payment?
a. The grant will be paid in arrears following submission and acceptance of completion reports etc.

Q11. Is it possible to submit an entry under more than one of the theme's?
a. The competition is limited to one application per company so it will not be possible
to submit under more than one theme. Please review the competition document
and decide where you fit the best and then make a case in your video submission.

Q12. I am interested in the Innovate 10 Launch Pad activities however as an overseas company although I meet all the requirements are we eligible as we are not UK registered?
a. You are not eligible for this competition - the research and development needs to be
conducted in the UK by a UK registered company.

Q13. I am a small business which is using existing technology but with an innovative business model to reduce costs and improve user experience. Will this project qualify for the competition given that the technology is not unique, but the way it is used is?
a. We are looking to invest in feasibility projects which will involve some development
work, if the product or solution already exists it will be harder to make a case for
investment to our independent expert assessment.

Q14. Please can you tell me if my idea meets the scope of the competition?
a. We're looking for solutions that address the scope defined in the competition
document and for novel solutions as to how to address them. It's not possible for us
to say what will or will not be in scope because the assessment will be performed by
independent experts.

Q15. Does funding received through the Collaborative Research and Development programme (run by the Technology Strategy Board) count as State aid Government funding?
a. As noted in the de minimis declaration that is available via the downloads section of
the Innovate10 website "You should have been made aware by other funding bodies
if their funds have been supplied under the De Minimis Regulation, but it remains
your responsibility to confirm this if you are not sure. It is only these specifically
notified awards which you need to declare – i.e. a grant for a Technology Strategy
Board Collaborative R & D project does not count towards the de minimis threshold."
b. So we can confirm that any grants received using our CR&D programme do not
count but of course it could apply if you have received other sources of funding
which have been specifically notified as de minimis.
c. Please review the full declaration for more information:
d. You don't need to fill this form in at the moment - just tick the box on the web-form.
If you are invited to the second (written) stage, the information will then be required
at that point.

Q16. Can you please elaborate in more on what type of deliverables do you expect should arise conducting from a 3 month and 6 month project?
a. The outcome is expected to be a demonstrator, early prototype or proof of principle
to demonstrate what has been achieved through the project as the basis for
securing further development investment.

Q17. Are there restrictions on where we can manufacture the product should we get funding? If so what are they in detail please?
a. We are looking to create wealth in the UK and the proposal should consider this
when making the case for the investment. We recognise that there are different
routes to market, each case will have to stand on it's own merits and compete with a
wide range of exploitation propositions.

Q18. Are there restrictions over the location of companies that can help us with the R&D to qualify for funding?
a. The R&D needs to take place in the UK.

Q19. Are there restrictions over types of expenditure the funding can be used for and if so what are they?
a. Please see the last page of draft written application form which is available in the
download section of the web-site

Q20. Are there rules over reporting requirements over types of expenditure incurred and a schedule for when the reporting must be done by?
a. We anticipate that a 3 month project will require a project plan to be submitted
prior to start (along with the signed offer letter). This would be followed by a short
interim report (circa two pages tbc) and a final report.

Q21. Will an auditor be appointed to check project progress and ensure expenditure is correctly used?
a. A monitoring officer will be allocated to each project to track the outputs described
in #20 above but it will not be their responsibility to audit your accounts. We
anticipate that a person with financial authority from the grant-receiving company
may be able to self-certify the accounts but this will be confirmed at offer letter
stage because it will depend on the level of grant (£25k vs £100k).

Book your ticket now  
    Follow us on: