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Applying for the Challenge Fund

We are pleased that you would like to apply for the Challenge Fund to drive your business forward, but are you ready?

The Challenge Fund Committee, made up of individuals with a wide ranging experience from financial and business to clinical expertise, meets approximately every 6 weeks to discuss applications. The panel review all application documentation and use a scoring criteria to reach a decision. To understand more about the application process, visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

The Committee is keen to support applications that demonstrate clearly how the applicants’ projects will address one or more of the challenge areas and that acknowledges any risks and includes clear explanations of how these risks will be mitigated.

Receivers of grants through the Challenge Fund will be monitored to the end of the project as agreed with the applicant. The SWAHSN will monitor progress of projects against agreed deliverables through regular check ins and brief update documents on the project’s progress. The EPIC team will also work with SMEs at the end of the Challenge Fund to celebrate, showcase and learn from projects.

Are you eligible for grant funding through the EPIC Challenge Fund?

Is your business based in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly?

Are you either a start-up, Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) or a social enterprise?

Have you registered with EPIC?

Does your project focus on the development of an eHealth product, process or service? Does this address one of our core challenges?

eHealth is a vast area, with many applications and end benefits. In particular for this phase of our project, we welcome ideas that:

  • Address difficulties of providing care in remote locations, such as telepresence or Internet of Things
  • Consider how to make technology more accessible to all; including differences in IT literacy, sight challenges, age or hearing loss
  • Innovations which address loneliness and isolation and the strengthening of support networks and community
  • Integrate with existing systems, to either improve user experience, strengthen their use or offer cost saving solutions to NHS trusts
  • Boost the tech sector in our region, including in robotics and devices

Do you have a clear idea of how you will deliver your project?

  • We really want to know what you would like to achieve with your project, and importantly how you will deliver it
  • It can be hard to identify which project you would like to pursue grant funding for, let alone plan the delivery of a project you haven’t yet received funding for!
  • We recommend focusing on what you would like to deliver through access to the Challenge Fund:
  • Is it a new program, or an existing one?
  • Which processes are most critical to solving the biggest problem?
  • Which project are ready to expand and continue?
  • How exactly will the project be delivered with the help of the Challenge Fund?
  • Are you and your team clear on what your project will deliver and achieve?

Have you planned your project budget and thought about how much you would like to apply for? Have you assessed how much match funding you could contribute?

  • Our challenge fund grants are available in varying amounts, to enable small viability studies, or much larger needs.
  • These amounts are typically between £4,000 and £26,500; many of these grants will have an element of match funding, but as each case is assessed individually there is some scope for small grants for businesses such as start-ups, to access feasibility funding that does not require you to contribute a match amount.
  • We would like to see that you have a clear idea on what you will spend the money on, to deliver your project. Have you planned the activities and purchases that your grant funding could make possible?
  • Need a hand? Our colleagues at Access2Finance are really helpful. They offer a free service funded by ERDF to support you to understand your own funding needs and can guide you through application and grant funded processes

Are you working with other organisations or forming partnerships to deliver your project?

  • Collaborating with other organisations, perhaps those uniquely placed within the eHealth ecosystem in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, could be an important part of managing your project.

Are you currently working with the University of Plymouth academic team to support your idea?

Have you considered how alternative support could make your application for funding stronger?

Are you working towards an expected timeline for your project?

  • Have you considered the different stages necessary to deliver your project, from planning to implementation and evaluation, as well as how your start date might be affected by our decision turnaround times and any potential hurdles with partners?

And finally, have you got all of the information you need to apply?

  • While each grant application is a little bit different, they tend to require similar documents, which will make the application process smoother if you gather these in advance. Your Challenge Fund application will require:
  • The budget for your project
  • How you plan to measure your project and what your planned outcomes are
  • The market for your product or service
  • Your state aid declaration
  • Information about your company’s finances
  • Evidence of your proposed match funding
  • Outlines of agreements with any organisations you are partnering with on your project

If you have already registered with EPIC for business support, book in with the challenge fund manager Ben Hugill, to discuss your idea and request an application form

If you have not yet registered your idea with EPIC, you can do so here, once you have submitted this Ben will be in touch.