Five Top Tips for Knockout Bid Submissions

boxing gloves


Five Top Tips for Knockout Bid Submissions

  • Appoint one person whose only job is to make sure everyone else does theirs! – It is vitally important for there to be someone who is ultimately responsible for the bid, through whom every action flows. A good bid leader will drive the bid forward and coordinate a submission delivered on time and on target. Pick a good organiser and a popular team member to whom people will respond.
  • Ensure you have the right partners that will add value to the bid and have the right skills! – It’s rare for an individual to put together a large bid completely on their own. Utilise your team to build a wide-ranging team of specialists and your proposal will be completed with time to spare and resounding with confidence and knowledge
  • Brief well and set clear deadlines! – There is a period of time at the start of a bid submission where you will brief your collaborators on what is required of them and how long they have to do it. Handle this well and it will pay dividends later! Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to divide the workload. I suggest that you begin by reading the invitation documents in detail and assigning each question, section or task to a department or individual. One way to kick-start an effective and well-informed working team is to hold a group session where everyone can be briefed together, and ideas and suggestions can be shared among you.
  • Start a library (and keep it in good shape)! – Other than people a well written and well-tended content library is your greatest ally in preparing winning bids. BUT a bid comprising entirely of pre-written text is an impersonal and careless approach. A good content library if kept up to date with new and revised material, can contribute to as much as 80% of your bid, providing you and your team with more time to work on the essential and unique content that lies at the heart of every good submission.
  • Don’t count the days. Make the days count! – Channel your energies at the right time. Your energy, enthusiasm, clarity and creativity will all fluctuate wildly during the bid writing process. If you use this natural ebb and flow to maximise your most productive periods, your bid will be better for it.  Become adept at the art of timing and pacing and you’ll float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, not the other way round.

Keep an eye on progress and don’t be reluctant to send polite BUT persistent reminders as deadlines loom because when the bell goes your time is up, ready or not!

If you require bid writing support for commercial bids then please contact me at  or if you require support for research bids including Horizon2020 then contact the external projects team at









TSB Funding for Digital Media

The Technology Strategy Board is investing up to £15m in projects that stimulate innovation in the UK digital media sector by addressing convergence in digital technologies. This funding opportunity covers film and television, online video, animation and video games (including pre-production, production and post-production processes, particularly in visual effects technologies). 

Projects must be business-led but can involve collaboration with Universities. The competition will fund feasibility studies as well as collaborative R&D projects. Projects size is expected to vary according to need, ranging from £300K – £2million for R&D activity of up to 24 months and from £100k to £120k for feasibility studies lasting between six and 12 months. 

The competition opens on 23 September 2013. The deadline for registration is 6 November 2013, and the deadline for completed feasibility expressions of interest is noon on 13 November 2013. A briefing event for both strands will take place on 30 September 2013. This event will be filmed and turned into a webinar for applicants to refer to. 

 For further information click here or contact


Energy Generation and Supply – Lunchtime Webinar – KTP

Lunchtime webinar: Power Electronics – Developing a Resilient Energy System: Targeted Call for KTPs

Friday, 19 April 2013, 12.30 – 13.30 (GMT)


The Technology Strategy Board, Welsh Government and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are to invest jointly up to £1m to establish new Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) in the area of power electronics.

They are looking to support a cohort of up to 12 KTPs UK-wide for this thematic KTP competition, with up to three of these coming from companies based in Wales. Power electronics is considered key to enabling a resilient energy system for a future UK energy mix which will include a larger percentage of renewables, connectivity to a European supergrid, community energy systems, and electric vehicle charging.

This targeted call for KTPs aims to stimulate and support supply chain innovation in power electronics and the energy sector. It is part of a £5.4m programme and is running in parallel with a £4.4m Technology Strategy Board investment in power electronics. Typical annual project costs could be in the region of £60k with a third of this being contributed by the company, in the case of an SME.

This targeted call will encourage knowledge-sharing across projects, and will facilitate effective links to the UK research base, including the developing EPSRC National Centre for Power Electronics. This will give the businesses involved access to knowledge and expertise held by a range of academic groups with different perspectives on the high-level challenges facing the industry.

To help potential KTP applicants find out more about KTPs and the current £1m targeted call we have set up this webinar session where Christian Inglis, Lead Technologist – Energy Generation and Supply, and Wendy Mannix, the Technology Strategy Board’s KTP Portfolio Manager, supported by Regional KTP Advisers will give the background to the call and will be available to answer questions from potential applicants.

Dial in details and joining instructions will be sent to registrants 24 hours before the event.

Contact Viola Augstein, if you have any further questions.

Supporting Innovation in the UK Retail Sector – full briefing released

The ESRC and TSB have now released a full briefing document for ‘Supporting Innovation in the UK Retail Sector’, the new targeted call for KTP proposals aiming to “help retail managers address the major economic, social and environmental challenges that they face, leading to new opportunities and tangible outcomes for business”. The document can be downloaded at:

 The specific aims of this call are to:

o             increase knowledge exchange between retailers and economic / social scientists*

o             develop a greater understanding of the changing nature of the UK High Street and retail spaces to drive growth, innovation and efficiency within the sector

o             stimulate and support innovations in e-commerce, m-commerce and omni-commerce, to maintain and strengthen the UK’s position as a global leader in internet retailing

o             promote and enable innovations in the use of ‘big data,’ providing insights into consumer behaviour, increasing efficiency and growth within the retail sector

o             support other innovative projects, addressing one or more sectoral challenges

 *It’s well worth academics working outside of these disciplines submitting expressions of interest, though. As the briefing makes clear (p.4)  – if the ESRC doesn’t fund them, another KTP funder might (and see also the last of the five aims, above – “other innovative projects” will be funded). Interdisciplinary and cross-faculty approaches can also be considered.

 Partners should be businesses in the retail sector that:

  • need further support to understand and respond to the challenges facing the sector;
  • are looking to access social and economic science skills and knowledge (see above) to help them innovate in dealing with these challenges; 
  • want to build and improve their capability in innovation.

 The application process is essentially the same as that for a ‘normal’ KTP and the deadline for submission is 21st August, 2013. Please contact Dominic Collins (01785 353404 / )if you’re interested.

Technology inspired innovation

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £2m in technical feasibility studies to stimulate innovation across four enabling technology areas. This will help to ensure that small and micro businesses in the UK are well equipped to respond to market opportunities across a range of economic sectors.

TSB are seeking projects in the following fields: advanced materials; biosciences; electronics, sensors and photonics; and information and communications technology.

The competition is open to small and micro companies only, working either singly or in collaboration with one partner. Projects can last up to four months and total project costs must not exceed £33,000.

This is a single-stage competition. It opens on 18 February 2013 and applicants need to register before noon on 27 March 2013.The deadline for applications is at noon on 3 April 2013. Successful projects must be completed by 30 November 2013.

A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 21 February 2013.


Innovate UK

Save the date! Innovate UK: the UK’s largest innovation and trade event

Mon 11 Mar 2013 until Wed 13 Mar 2013 – Business Design Centre, London

Innovate UK is the leading networking, conference and exhibition event for businesses to meet other businesses, Government and academia with the aim of making innovation and trade happen – creating opportunity and growth for the future.

Hosted by the Technology Strategy Board and UKTI, Innovate UK is all about technology-enabled innovation, looking at the best of current technology, and future markets in a 3-30 year time frame and the new innovation and trade opportunities for business – creating a climate of innovation in the UK where great ideas can become commercial reality.

The TSB are currently working on the event programme so more information will be posted in the new year, if you are interested in the TSB and their activity and how Staffordshire University engages please get in touch with Naomi Arblaster at


Technology Strategy Board (TSB) – Technology Inpsired Innovation

 The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £10m in fast-track and collaborative research and development projects that stimulate innovation across the key enabling technology areas of advanced materials, biosciences, electronics, sensors and photonics and information and communications technology.

Additional funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) may be available for projects in line with the scope of this competition that contain a significant, high-quality academic research component and demonstrate added value by building on or being complementary to their existing research programmes and portfolios.

We are seeking innovative proposals that focus on projects that advance the development of a recent technological discovery or breakthrough in the context of significant and identifiable technological risk, which can be broadly applied across a wide range of market opportunities and needs.

Projects must be collaborative and business-led.

 For clarity please note that ESP stands for Electronics, Sensors and Photonics; ICT stands for Information & Communication Technologies.

 The competition has two strands:

Strand 1 is a single-stage fast-track process. Projects must be led by a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) and must last between six and 12 months.

Strand 2 is a two-stage competition. Consortia should include at least one SME partner and projects must last between 12 and 24 months.

The competition opens on 3 December 2012.

Open date: 03 December 2012

Registration close date: 23 January 2013

 Close date: 10 April 2013

For more Information please contact Naomi Arblaster on or call 01785 353519