So you won an Innovate UK grant? Congratulations! Get ready for the next step; due diligence.
For those who are wondering what it actually entails (or for those in the midst of it and struggling), here is some information about what the Innovate UK due diligence looks like and what is expected from you.
Firstly, once a project is successful, the Innovate UK platform will offer a new dashboard – “project set up”. This is what it looks like:
The different sections become available as you answer and complete them.
- Project information
The first 2 sections are confirmations of what you have already filled out for the application regarding project leadership, start date and location.
“Documents” consists of an Exploitation Plan that needs to be downloaded, filled out and resubmitted. This is a live document (of about 5-7 pages), that you will keep updating during the duration of the project. The focus is mainly on your exploitation and dissemination strategies, but you will need to repeat some information about competitors, intended developments, team and impacts.
Once the first three sections are submitted and accepted by Innovate UK, you will be attributed a Monitoring Officer (MO). They will get in touch with you and set up the first meeting. The MO will be your person of contact and will be, as the name suggests, monitoring your progress, financial claims, etc.
- Financial information
In the “bank detail”, set your business bank account details in order to receive the claimed payments.
The “finance checks” section comprises different queries that Innovate UK might have specifically for your project, around the financials you filled out during the application. Below are examples of questions, but they are individualised for every application. You will be able to answer them directly on the platform.
As advice, if you need a bit more time to answer any questions, tell Innovate UK that you do. Even though you have 30 days to fill all sections, Innovate UK expects you to be responsive and communicative. If you do not answer their questions, this can be a cause to withhold funding.
As this all unfolds, your MO will ask you to fill out and sign different documents (mainly terms and conditions) and will be asking for an audit of your finances. For this, you will need to hire an independent accountant, who will need to fill out an Independent Reasonable Assurance Report (or “Accountant’s Report”) and report back to your MO.
Your last hurdle is then the “Spend Profile”. You will need to provide a month-by-month detail of your spending accounting for labour, overheads, materials, capital usage, subcontracting, travel and other expenses. This will enable you to make your quarterly claims to Innovate UK. They will compare your predicted spend profile with the actual claim and discuss any discrepancies of more than 5-10% with you.
It is important to point out that during a project, if you need to reallocate funds you can do so but must “request a project change” (on the platform once the project is live).
- Grant offer letter and quarterly reports
The Golden Ticket is then unlocked; the Grant offer letter. With this, Innovate UK states that you are eligible to receive the funds you requested and can start your project. You will need to sign and send it back to them.
Remember that you can only reclaim funds quarterly. All claims must be backed by timesheets and receipts. The first and last claims will also need to be audited.
Still have questions?
If you need support with your due diligence or still have questions about what is expected, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or on social media. We can advise you on how to proceed.