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Top Tips To Successfully Secure An EU Innovation Grant

Looking for grant funding for your Irish business? Before you apply, check out our top tips for maximum chances of success.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

The devil is in the detail

No matter which EU funding grant you’re applying for, when putting together your application there are certain ways of doing it that will increase your chances of success.

EU funding grants typically work like a competition, where only the very highest quality, comprehensive applications will win.

At Myriad Associates we have nearly two decades of R&D funding experience behind us, and have helped hundreds of companies submit exceptional grant funding claims. This puts us in the perfect position to know what works and what doesn’t, so you can avoid the pitfalls. We’ve set out a few tips here for you.

1. Choose the grant programme carefully

We strongly recommend you do your homework and research to see which EU funding options for innovative businesses would best suit your needs. Of course, at Myriad Associates we’re happy to advise you on this if you need us - if you’re not sure about anything, just ask!

Furthermore, it’s well worth signing up for information feeds, finding out what the rules and parameters are and checking eligibility criteria carefully. After all, applying for a particular grant that turns out to be inappropriate is a waste of your time and effort.

2. Answer the questions

This one might sounds obvious but over the years we’ve seen it happen far too often; an applicant gets carried away in explaining something and totally forgets the question!

The fact is that the questions which make up the grant application are carefully worded and the assessors are looking out for very specific things. Don’t risk losing marks by not answering the properly, as once you’ve submitted your application you can’t revisit it.

3. Know your market and explain what the commercial opportunity is

Explain to the assessor who your innovative product or service is aimed at, and carry out thorough market research beforehand to back up your claims. What is the problem your product or service is looking to solve, and is there a gap in the market? How will your offering be better than that of any competitors, and what benefit will it bring to the user?

4. Make sure you have plenty of time

If you make a last-minute, rushed application it will stick out like a sore thumb. So it's well worth ensuring you meet deadlines with time to spare, to allow for a methodical approach and plenty of cross-checking.

5. Seek advice from R&D grants specialists, like us here at Myriad Associates

Going it alone is tempting, but the chances of successfully securing your much-needed EU grant are drastically reduced if you go ‘DIY’. This is particularly the case if you've never applied for a grant before, or if European innovation funding is new to you.

Applying for an EU innovation grant specifically isn’t always a straight-forward process. It’s essential that you describe in detail what you intend to use the grant for, whilst keeping it precise and using plenty of plain English. It’s also important to describe, define, and detail every aspect of your business clearly.

Funders mostly want to know why your innovative project deserves the funding over a different one. They need to understand your results and deliverables, and Myriad Associates can work with you to develop, define and differentiate your business so that all the best grant schemes are open to you. We will also help you put together project plans and strategies to get your business ‘funding-ready’.

What are the main EU innovation grant schemes available?

There are several key innovation grants open to businesses based in the EU, including the Republic of Ireland. These include:

European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)

A large proportion EU funding is administered via five European structural and investment funds (ESIF). Managed jointly by EU member states and the European Commission, each fund is designed to create sustainable jobs and boost the European economy.

Opening times and further details can be found on each of the individual websites:

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the largest of the EU research and innovation programmes, offering just shy of €80 billion in funding between 2014 and the end of 2020. It’s designed to take innovative ideas right through from testing to market, putting Europe’s best ideas on the map. From 2021 onwards, Horizon 2020 will give way to Horizon Europe. See the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe websites.

EUREKA Eurostars

EUREKA Eurostars is a European programme that helps innovative SMEs to engage in collaborative research from all over Europe and beyond. Enterprise Ireland supports Irish SMEs who are keen to be involved. You can find out more on the EUREKA Eurostars webpage.

The LIFE programme

This particular programme provides grant funding to support nature conservation, environmental projects and climate change work across the EU. Throughout the funding period of 2014-2020, LIFE will have contributed around €3.4 billion to projects that are helping to save our planet. Find out more about this grant on the LIFE programme webpages.

Why choose Myriad Associates to assist me with my EU funding application?

The Myriad Associates team consists of R&D specialists, advisors and accountants that work specifically in this field. Our role is to help you identify all the different types of funding and grants open to you, so that your innovative projects can be brought to life. Plus, not only can we discuss EU grant options with you, but also schemes such as R&D Tax Credits and other government, local and national funding sources too.

Our aim is for Myriad Associates to become your trusted expert in all things R&D, so you know where you come for support. We have teams based in Dublin and across the UK, and our knowledge around this particularly complex area is second to none. You can discover more on our R&D Grants page.

Ready to get the ball rolling?

Feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like any further advice on +353 1 566 2001. There's also our contact page if you'd prefer to send us a message and we'll be pleased to respond.

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