Tech City UK Blog

In case you weren’t able to join us on July 21st for the London briefing and networking event, we’ve put together some quick highlights on the application process for the Internet of Things (IOT) Launchpad.

The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency and does an excellent job of providing funding for businesses of all sizes and stages, with the aim of driving technology innovation. This Launchpad 2 is providing funding specifically targeted at SMEs and micro-SMEs.

What kinds of projects are eligible?

The Technology Strategy Board is looking for Internet of Things projects that:

• May be too risky for companies to take forward without support
• May take companies into new innovative areas
• Are based in or the majority of whose activities are carried out in Cambridge and/or London (even if you are based abroad, you can partner up with a London or Cambridge company to apply)

 What are the key dates?

  • Register on the competition site before September 3rd
  • Stage 1: Submit a 2 minute video by midday on September 3rd
  • Stage 2: On September 22nd, selected applicants will be contacted
  • They will have until midday on October 23rd to submit a written proposal
  • Stage 3: Finalists will be invited to pitch on November 19th 
  • Winners will be contacted on November 28th and will be announced shortly afterwards

 How much funding will be granted?

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will fund up to 60% of eligible costs for industrial research projects. Businesses that don’t have any other sources of revenue cannot be funded via the competition. This means you have to be able to find the remaining 40% of funding elsewhere. Have a look here at the types of costs they consider to be eligible for funding.

The TSB expect applicants won’t initially have the funds available to cover the full cost of their projects, however it is expected that the applicants will assemble this finance within six months, from external sources, prior to starting their projects.

The Launchpad competition aims to help applicants access other sources of finance needed to complete their project funding via an event – at which successful applicants pitch to potential sources of private sector finance.

Some of the competition partners who presented at the briefing events might be able to provide assistance. Once you’re at Stage 2 you can request an introduction to the competition partners. (Slides from the Technology Strategy Board and partners from the briefing events are available here.)

How much money can I apply for?

The Technology Strategy Board will offer individual grants of up to £150k. The average project size should range between £50k and £250k.

Projects have to be completed within 12 months.

What should I say in my video?

You’ll have 2 minutes to address:

  • The challenge or opportunity being tackled and why it is important
  • The approach that will be taken and how it’s innovative
  • The relationship to the Cambridge and London IOT clusters
  • How the solution will be commercialised and what impact it could have if successful
  • Why the Technology Strategy Board funding is needed

What does Stage 2 entail?

If your business has been selected based upon your video, you’ll be invited to submit a series of documents.

You’ll need to provide an Application form (page 13 on the Guidance documents) which will include the following sections:

  • Summary of proposed project
  • Gateway question: scope
  • Section 1 – The business proposition (4 questions) 
  • Section 2 – Project details (4 questions) 
  • Section 3 – Funding and added value (2 questions) 
  • Public description of the project 
  • Other funding from public sector bodies 
  • Finance summary table
  • Additional project appendices & finance forms (described on page 19)

We hope this walkthrough gives you the information and impetus to apply for Stage 1!