Grand Solutions

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The Grand Solutions program invests in ambitious, cross-cutting research and innovation projects that can create new, concrete solutions to important politically prioritized societal challenges that create value to Denmark

Grand Solutions projects typically have a high risk profile and focus on ambitious results with high value creation, whether in the form of new knowledge, improved and/or new processes, systems, products or solutions to politically prioritized societal challenges.

Any legal entity (eg. A company, a research institution, a public institution etc.) in Denmark or abroad that has a role to play in the project work can be a project participant and receive funding from Innovation Fund Denmark.

The projects must create societal value and/or economic value in Danish public and private companies and/or with customers in society eg among citizens, state, regions and municipalities.

It can therefore be an advantage if the buyer(s) of the project's results and other core stakeholders are involved as active participant(s) in the design of and through the project. A buyer can be an end user of the innovation, but it can also be a public or private investor who is willing to invest in the project after the Fund's commitment has ended.

The breadth of Grand Solutions projects means that the scope and type of project participants varies significantly from project to project. Likewise, the size of Innovation Fund Denmark's investment will vary from DKK 5-40 million DKK. The projects are of 1 to 5 years duration.

The program
Who can apply?
Open section, Who can apply?

Any legal entity in Denmark or abroad can be a project participant and receive funding from Innovation Fund Denmark eg.:

  • Businesses
  • Research institutions
  • Public institutions
What can I apply for investment for?
Open section, What can I apply for investment for?

You can apply for funding for projects that create societal value and/or economic value in Danish public and private companies and/or from buyers in society, for example from citizens, the state, regions and municipalities.

A buyer can be an end user of the innovation, but it can also be a public or private investor who is willing to invest in the project after the Fund's commitment is completed.

It can be an advantage if the purchaser(s) of the project's results and other core stakeholders are involved as active participant(s) in the design of and through the project.

How much money can I apply for?
Open section, How much money can I apply for?

Grand Solutions projects will range from DKK 5,000,000 - 40,000,000

What can the money finance?
Open section, What can the money finance?

Co-financing of expenses for e.g. salaries, equipment, other project-related costs, external services, etc. (see section 1.5 in the Grand Solutions guidelines published end of January 2022 for further information)

The budget must include all direct project costs ie. costs that can be directly attributed to the project, regardless of whether the costs are to be covered by Innovation Fund Denmark or will be covered by the project participants themselves or another party.

For further details, see the programme guidelines.

How long does the project have to take?
Open section, How long does the project have to take?

The projects are of 1 to 5 years duration.

Application
How do I apply?
Open section, How do I apply?

Your application must be created and submitted via the electronic application system: www.e-grant.dk.

You must register as a user of the system with either a username and password or with NemID/MitID before you can create an application.

You create a new application by finding the correct call under "Search Options" and pressing "Start your application".

Note that the list of search options is sorted alphabetically and that the names of all calls from Innovation Fund Denmark start with "IF".

You must write your application in English.

You can find a guide to e-grant on the website of the Ministry of Education and Research

What must the application contain?
Open section, What must the application contain?

The application consists of an electronic application form designed in the electronic application system e-grant (www.e-grant.dk).

The following attachment is attached to the electronic form:

  • Budget: Excel file (required)
  • Appendix A: Figures, pictures, tables, etc. (optional)
  • Appendix B: Partner Motivation (Required)
  • Appendix C: Key persons (required)
  • Appendix D: Gantt diagram (required)

Download templates below or from the electronic application form in e-grant.

All texts in the application form and appendices are prepared in English.

The application must have an official title (max. 180 characters including spaces), which briefly describes the project for which investment is sought. An acronym must also be entered.

Documents
Evaluation
How does the assessment process take place?
Open section, How does the assessment process take place?
Who judges the application?
Open section, Who judges the application?

The application is assessed by Innovation Fund Denmark's Investment Officers and by international peers and external evalutors.

Assessments that are subject to consultation are forwarded to the applicant in a consultation procedure.

On the basis of an overall assessment consisting of internal assessments (employees at Innovation Fund Denmark), assessments from external professional experts (external evaluators and international peers), possible party consultation responses and an interview with the applicants, the Board of Directors of Innovation Fund Denmark decides which applications will be invited to investment negotiations. 

Applicants who are not invited to investment negotiation will receive a reasoned rejection via e-grant.

How is the application assessed?
Open section, How is the application assessed?

Applications for Grand Solutions projects are evaluated based on tre overarching decision criteria:

1. Quality of the idea

2. Impact

3. Quality of execution

The three overall desicion criteria are elaborated in the guidelines for Grand Solutions in section 3.3.

How do I get a response to my application?
Open section, How do I get a response to my application?

The Board of Directors of Innovation Fund Denmark makes the final decision on either rejection or invitation to negotiate an investment agreement is notified to the applicant via e-grant.

When will I receive a response to my application?
Open section, When will I receive a response to my application?

The aim is for the processing time from the application deadline to the decision to be less than 250 days.

 

From approval to start-up of project
What happens after my application is approved?
Open section, What happens after my application is approved?

An investment from the Innovation Fund Denmark is conditioned by the project parties investment agreement, which states that the organizing of the project must be made 60 days after the receipt of the written invitation to the investment negotiation.

The project must be started no later than 60 days after the investment agreement is signed by all parties.

Innovation Fund Denmark may demand repayment of parts of the investment if the agreed conditions are not met.

When can the project start?
Open section, When can the project start?

The project can start as soon as there is an approved investment agreement.

During the project
How is the investment paid out?
Open section, How is the investment paid out?

The payment is generally made twice a year and is handled in collaboration with Innovation Fund Denmark and the financial administrator appointed by the project.

Do I have to submit accounts or report during the project?
Open section, Do I have to submit accounts or report during the project?

Innovation Fund Denmark is an active partner in all Grand Solutions projects and engages in proactive interaction with the project for its duration. Specifically, Innovation Fund Denmark appoints one or more Investment Officer(s) to carry out this task.

The project follow-up will be evident from the Investment agreement.

What happens if I can't keep up with the plan?
Open section, What happens if I can't keep up with the plan?

Innovation Fund Denmark may terminate the investment ahead of time if the Fund considers that there is insufficient progress, the project proves aimless, or if the project is unable to achieve the objectives which the  Funds' investment to the project is based upon.

There will be an ongoing dialogue between the appointed Investment Officer from the Innovation Fund as well as with the steering group of the project about the progression of the plan.

What should I do when completing the project?
Open section, What should I do when completing the project?

At the project's last steering group meeting, the completed accounts are reviewed and the project's progress and results are evaluated.

Guidelines and General terms and conditions
Application is not currently open
FAQ
01
What is innovation?
Open section, What is innovation?

Innovation Fund Denmark defines innovation as the process that, through the realization of new ideas in practice, creates value from knowledge. It is essential that the ideas have an actual application, and projects that only create new knowledge are therefore not immediately innovation projects.

Innovation Fund Denmark can invest in projects located throughout the value chain. The division between basic research, strategic research and applied research can be difficult in practice, but Innovation Fund Denmark invests in research and development that creates value that will be implemented in society in the short or long term. It is important that the results are implemented either by the partners or a defined buyer, and Innovation Fund Denmark therefore emphasizes that there is a clear implementation strategy in the project, and that the buyer plays a significant role in the project.

Examples of concrete value creation are given in the specific calls.

02
What is the success rate for Grand Solutions, and how many come for interviews?
Open section, What is the success rate for Grand Solutions, and how many come for interviews?

It varies a lot from year to year and between the individual calls. The success rate based on the number of applications is approximately 10-20%.

It depends on the number of applicants and the framework for the call in question. Projects that are invited for interviews are generally of high quality. We expect those who are invited for the interview to have a success rate of approximately 40-50%. This means that if you are invited for an interview, there are expected to be great chances of obtaining an investment from Innovation Fund Denmark.

03
Who determines the size of the pool for each theme, and what themes are there next?
Open section, Who determines the size of the pool for each theme, and what themes are there next?

The investment framework and themes are in most cases politically decided and are typically determined in connection to the Financial Law. Therefore, the call text and the final framework can only be published when a political settlement is submitted. Innovation Fund Denmark will strive to be able to publish preliminary call texts or themes as early as possible. Within the politically decided investment framework and themes, the Board of Innovation Fund Denmark decides the final investment budget. In addition, the Board of Directors of the Innovation Fund can allocate funds to specific focus areas.

 

The themes and especially the investment framework can vary from year to year - but the biggest themes often recur. One can therefore make a qualified guess as to what general themes are coming up by looking at last year's themes. Often, new themes or sub-themes will derive from the traditional subject themes. The final calls will be announced as soon as the grant basis has been adopted.

04
Can the Fund invest in pure research projects that do not involve companies or other customers?
Open section, Can the Fund invest in pure research projects that do not involve companies or other customers?

We place great emphasis on the projects not stopping when our investment ends. We want the projects to lead to value creation for Denmark. This is most easily ensured by the fact that the project purchaser is an integral part of the project. For more information, see the answer to the question "What is innovation?".

05
What is Innovation Fund Denmark's preferred project management model for innovation projects?
Open section, What is Innovation Fund Denmark's preferred project management model for innovation projects?

First and foremost, the project's governance structure and organization must be balanced and reflect the project's challenges, complexity, budget and size. It is recommended that the steering group, which is the project board and has the strategic management, have representatives from the most important partners and those who benefit from value creation. In addition, the members must have sufficient decision-making power to be able to resolve, for example, resource conflicts in the project. It is important that the members of the steering group are not part of the day-to-day operations.

The project manager is the project director and takes care of the daily tactical management, both upwards and downwards, and communication with all stakeholders. Innovation Fund Denmark places great emphasis on the project manager's qualifications for effective management of people and management of stakeholders.

It is recommended that the project administrator comes from the most financially stable partner, for example university or GTS institute, and not from e.g. and SMEs.

06
Read the most frequently asked questions on how to prepare your application
Open section, Read the most frequently asked questions on how to prepare your application

Is it correct that one can get a quick negative response to his application?
This is correct. Innovation Fund Denmark will strive to be able to provide a quick response if the board has rejected an application - also within 250 days from the application deadline. This is done so that the applicant and the project group do not waste time and can move forward with a better application and / or project.

We have previously had an application rejected; can we apply again, or will we be quarantined by the Grand Solutions program?
If the project is improved, it is always possible to apply again. Innovation Fund Denmark has no quarantine period for rejected applications or applicants.

Therefore, you are welcome to submit a new and improved application on the same or another project next time there is a Grand Solutions call. It is the Innovation Fund Denmark's experience that several of our best projects have experienced a previous rejection and have since been improved and sharpened.

Is it an advantage if it is a university or a company that is applying?
It does not matter who the applicant is. It is the entire project, including the partners' qualifications, motivation and contribution, that is assessed by the Innovation Fund Denmark's board. However, it is important that the buyer plays a significant role in the project.

Should the project applicant and project manager be the same person?
There does not have to be a coincidence. It is important that the project manager has experience, qualifications and time for the specific project.

How do I insert references in the application?
It is possible to insert references in Appendix A.

Is it possible / necessary to enclose letters of recommendation with the application?
In general, "endorsement letters" or letters of recommendation will not be included in the evaluation process, and it is therefore not necessary to enclose one. Evaluation of the application is based on the content of the application, which is assessed on the basis of decision criteria as described in the guidelines.

"I have submitted the application form on e-grant but have not received a PDF-file with the complete application - now I am not sure if you have registered my submission"
After you have checked your application, you can choose to have the draft sent to you as a PDF-file. When you finally approve and submit (Submit) application, it is registered with a time code stamp immediately.

After the application form has been approved and submitted on e-grant, a single PDF-file is created. This may take several minutes. Very close to the application deadline, where there is a lot of activity, it can take up to an hour.

Subsequently, the submitted application can be read on e-grant. It will also be possible to have it sent to you by e-mail. The application can be reopened until the deadline, but you must remember to submit the latest version.

Guide to e-grant: https://ufm.dk/forskning-og-innovation/tilskud-til-forskning-og-innovati…

Technical questions about e-grant
Phone hours: 9 - 12, tel .: 3392 9190
Email: support.e-grant@fi.dk

07
If you are invited to an interview based on your Grand Solutions application, is it for a stand-up pitch like in "The Dragon's Den"?
Open section, If you are invited to an interview based on your Grand Solutions application, is it for a stand-up pitch like in "The Dragon's Den"?

No, it's a supplement to the application, not a TV-show. Applicants who are invited to the interview will be asked for a brief introduction of the project in 15 minutes, and then there will be a confidential conversation about the project with Innovation Fund Denmark's employees. Innovation Fund Denmark's management and board can also participate in the interview. The purpose of the interview is to clarify any ambiguities in e.g. goals, value creation and plan or discover additional potentials. The interview format is chosen to save the applicant's time and most effectively to have a comprehensive decision basis on the specific application.

08
Does the Fund only invite projects further (eg for interviews) that meet the requirements of the call precisely?
Open section, Does the Fund only invite projects further (eg for interviews) that meet the requirements of the call precisely?

It is important that the projects relate as well as possible to the specific call. At the same time, the Fund has its three overall decision criterias: quality of the idea, impact and quality of execution, that works independently of the specific calls. 

09
How to distinguish between "industrial research" and "experimental development"?
Open section, How to distinguish between "industrial research" and "experimental development"?

For "industrial research", the focus is on the acquisition of new knowledge, etc., and for “experimental development” the focus is on the utilization of existing knowledge.

The EU definition of industrial research and experimental development is described in the EU General Block Exemption Regulation: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32014R0651&… (definitions in paragraphs 85 and 86, Article 2, page 25).

10
We are a non-profit organization - what investment rate can we achieve?
Open section, We are a non-profit organization - what investment rate can we achieve?

As a starting point, all partners (business organizations, interest organizations as well as organizations and companies) that carry out economic activities, ie. provider of goods or services in a market, apply the budget rules for companies in Denmark and abroad under section 1.3 (Budgetary rules for enterprises) of the guidelines, including the maximum investment ratios.

11
Can Innovation Fund Denmark spend money on foreign partners?
Open section, Can Innovation Fund Denmark spend money on foreign partners?

Yes. The most important thing is that the results of the project benefit Denmark. International knowledge plays a very large and important role here, and it is essential that the project's ability to create growth and employment in Denmark is argued.

12
What is SSH?
Open section, What is SSH?

SSH is an abbreviation of " Social Science and the Humanities " (in Danish often called HUM / SAMF) and includes a large number of research disciplines or subject areas such as economics, politics, law, psychology, history, linguistics, media studies, pedagogy, philosophy, sociology , ethnography and many more.

Innovation Fund Denmark requires that there is a plan for the implementation of the solutions, and here SSH sometimes help.

Innovation Fund Denmark attaches great importance to Grand Solutions' projects focusing on solutions that are in real need of - and that can be implemented.

This often means that the projects from the beginning can advantageously integrate humanities and social science research and innovation. These disciplines can often contribute valuable knowledge related to eg behavior, incentives, regulation and market conditions.

This kind of knowledge can, for example, help to clarify how a given technology, idea or solution will affect the individual, organization or society in general and provide input on how any barriers to implementation can be overcome.

Contact
Contact information can be found on the page of the calls
Open section, Contact information can be found on the page of the calls

E-grant technical questions?

Contact e-grant support

T: +45 33 92 91 90
E-mail: Support.e-grant@ufm.dk

Weekdays: 09.00-12.00

If you have submitted an application or have a grant from Innovation Fund Denmark, please contact us via your case in e-grant.

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