Application deadline: 3 April 2020 at 12:00 CET and 14 April 2020 at 12:00 CET

Extraordinary Grand Solutions call: COVID-19

Who?

What?

How much?

Application deadline:
3 April 2020 at 12:00 CET and 14 April 2020 at 12:00 CET

Opens for applications
In the middle of week 14.

Budget for this call:
DKK 50 mill.

Note: To ensure quick processing of applications, we encourage the applicants with early and purely research-based projects to apply at other funds with urgent proposals, e.g. Lundbeckfonden or Novo Nordisk Fonden. Innovation Fund Denmark focuses on projects with corporate partners or projects aimed more near-to-market.

OBS: Here you can find the most frequently asked questions - and answers - about the COVID-19 call (in Danish).

Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD) invests in ambitious and targeted strategic research and innovation projects that create new solutions, technologies and valuable new knowledge. IFD is willing to share a risk with the project partners when the knowledge level, value creation, project efficiency and implementation of results are correspondingly high.

Objective

IFD’s objective for this thematic Grand Solutions call, with a very fast assessment process, is to support research and innovation projects at companies, universities or other public or private research institutions that specifically aim to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on citizens, the healthcare system or the social economy by means of diagnosis, management and/or treatment.

We are looking for the good ideas and knowledge-based and interdisciplinary innovation projects that have a tangible effect in Denmark and/or globally in the short term.

Investment strategy

Denmark is currently facing major challenges related to the rapidly global and national spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is furthermore expected, that the epidemic may hit Denmark in several waves within the next year.

Effective solutions are wanted to  reduce the harm to the population, healthcare system, businesses and the social economy and/or create value in society or in companies.

Therefore, targeted projects to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 coronavirus (COVID-19) must be able to be launched immediately and potentially produce significant impact nationally or globally within a short time frame.

It is crucial that the project partners themselves are able to deliver the result to the market or ensure implementation - or have identified investors who can invest in or take over the project after IFD’s investment period.

IFD is also positive towards projects that focus on broad value creation for society in dealing with the current COVID-19 crisis. In addition to health science and technology projects, IFD also invites humanities and social science projects that can contribute valuable knowledge related to e.g. behaviour, incentives, regulation and market conditions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Denmark.

Innovation projects within the COVID-19 call may support, among other things, the UN's World Sustainable Development Goals # 3: Good Health and Well-being.

Assessment criteria

The overall assessment criteria are:

  • Excellence - Quality of research and innovation
  • Value creation
  • Efficiency of project execution
  • Implementation of results

Specifically, applications will be assessed on the project's qualities in terms of research and innovation globally in relation to the specific needs of the COVID-19 crisis, state-of-the-art, directly competing or closely related scientific or technological solutions, scalability of the solution, technical, regulatory and market risks, project risk management and project feasibility.

Applicant does not need to explain in detail the size of the crisis. In this call, we are particularly focused on specific solutions.

In connection with applications for the Grand Solutions COVID-19 call, value creation is broadly understood as targeted activities that reduce the adverse effects of COVID-19 in Denmark and globally, including e.g.development of new treatments, prevention, products, emergency management and services. In the application, the partners must explain the specific value creation in the project.

Great importance is particularly attached to efficiency and development speed. In addition, efficient use of invested resources, managerial and professional skills and subsequent effective implementation of the project's results nationally and/or globally will be carefully assessed.

It will also be emphasized that the project's beneficiaries/end-users and core stakeholders either help in shaping the project, participate in the project or are otherwise directly involved in the project.

It will be considered a strength, if the project does not unnecessarily remove critical resources from the current COVID-19 contingency, and an advantage if the project's solution can be applied to other disease areas and globally.

It will be advantageous if the project, in addition to being able to reduce the effects of COVID-19, can also offer a general preparedness for the next time a global epidemic hits Denmark.

IFD would like foreign organisations with experience with Covid-19 treatment to be included in the project.

The value creation in the project will be assessed in relation to the size of the investment. In this call, IFD is willing to take an extra scientific and technological risk, if efficiency and development speed, implementation and impact for Denmark and globally are correspondingly greater.

The project must comply with applicable legislation, including that the project obtains statutory approvals. For example, health science research projects must be approved by a health research ethics committee, and clinical trials of human drugs and clinical trials of medical devices must also be approved by the Danish Medicines Agency. In addition, the use of health data for research must be approved by the data authority, and the use of patient record information for research must be approved by the Danish Agency for Patient Safety.

Please note that while the application form via e-grant offers the opportunity to provide very detailed information and explanations, applicants are encouraged to be as concise and accurate as possible, as this will also reflect the urgent and serious societal problem that is being solved. It is not necessary to describe general needs. However, the emphasis is on choice of solution and methods, value creation, efficiency and implementation.

In addition to these assessment criteria, please refer to "Guidelines for Grand Solutions" (published 12 December 2019). Allocation of funds is based on the Finance Act 2020.

Deviations from "Guidelines for Grand Solutions".

1. Applications are not submitted in international peer review, and applicants are not invited to interview at IFD.

2. Deviation from section 5.2 of the guidelines:

For investments exceeding DKK 5 million the IFD investment is conditional on the project partners ability to  enter into an investment agreement IFD on the project's planning as soon as possible and within 10 days from a written invitation to investment negotiation. For projects with multiple project partners, it is a requirement that the project participants have entered into a collaboration agreement within 10 days of the date of conclusion of the investment agreement. For investments under DKK 5 million the investment is granted by letter of approval.

Assessment process

Applications for this Grand Solutions call must be submitted via e-grant (www.e-grant.dk), IFD’s application system. The assessment process is outlined below. It is a single-phase application.

Time line:

  • The Board of Directors' decision on either rejection or invitation to negotiate an investment agreement is notified to the applicant via e-grant.
     
  • Project start as soon as possible after a short negotiation period.

Instructions - links

Contact:

Torben Rene Uhrenholt
M: 6190 5051
E: Torben.Rene.Uhrenholt@innofond.dk

Peter Aadal Nielsen
M: 6190 5064
E: peter.aadal.nielsen@innofond.dk

Lars Winther
M: 6190 5036
E: lars.winther@innofond.dk

Marlene Fredborg
M: 6190 5052
E:  marlene.fredborg@innofond.dk

Thomas Mathiasen
M: 6190 5063
E:  thomas.mathiasen@innofond.dk

International Coordination:

Jens Peter Vittrup
M: 6190 5023
E:  jens.peter.vittrup@innofond.dk

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?

The money can co-finance expenses for salaries, equipment, other project-related costs, external services, etcetera.

The budget must include all direct project costs, meaning 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, please 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?

The application process for the Grand Solutions programme consists of two phases.

In phase 1, all interested applicants submit a short letter of interest, outlining their project. On this basis, applicants will either receive an invitation for phase 2 or a rejection.

In phase 2, the invited applicants submit a final application, describing their project in detail. When Innovation Fund Denmark has assessed all applications, the fund makes a decision as to which projects will be invited to enter negotiations for an investment agreement.

The application material for both phases 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 material for both phases in English.

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

 

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

In both phases, the application consists of an electronic application form designed in the electronic application system e-grant (www.e-grant.dk), which you must fill out in English.

Your application must have an official title (maximum 180 characters including spaces), which briefly describes the project for which you seek investment. You must also enter an acronym.

In phase 1, the application is a letter of interest and must contain:

  • Official project title and acronym
  • Short summary of the project (maximum 600 characters)
  • Expected total budget and duration of the project
  • Requested total investment from IFD
  • Foundation and concept of idea (maximum 1,800 characters)
  • Quantifiable goals (maximum 1,200 characters)
  • State of the art and competition (maximum 2,400 characters)
  • Expected impact (maximum 1,200 characters)
  • Contribution for up to 5 core project participants (maximum 600 characters per participant)
  • Competences and experiences for up to 5 key persons in the project (maximum 600 characters per person)

In phase 1, the following appendices must be attached to the electronic form:

  • Appendix A: Budget overview (obligatory)
  • Appendix B: List of references (obligatory)

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

The content of the electronic application form for phase 2 and the corresponding appendices will be announced in the invitation to applicants who make it to the next round. You can find more information on which adjustments are allowed from phase 1 to phase 2 in the programme guidelines.

Documents
Q&A: Changes to Grand Solutions in 2024
Open section, Q&A: Changes to Grand Solutions in 2024

The programme text for Grand Solutions has been updated in February 2024. To learn more about the changes to Grand Solutions, visit our Q&A here.

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

The applications are assessed by four committees with members who convene and qualify evaluations on committee meetings. The committees have the competence to assess as well as make decisions and are thus the bodies in which applications are evaluated and decisions on investments are made.

The committees consist of 10-18 members, divided between established international researchers and impact specialist with extensive knowledge of Danish affairs.

In phase 2, the applications are also assessed by external evaluators, and evaluations that are subject to consultation are sent to the applicants as part of a consultation process.

Applicants who are not invited for phase 2 or to enter an investment agreement after phase 2 will receive a rejection stating why.

Special conditions in 2024:

In 2024, letters of interest for phase 1 of the application process will be assessed internally and by external evaluators (including a consultation process for applicants) and decided by Innovation Fund Denmark’s board of directors. The reason is that the new committees are introduced for the first time in 2024 and will not be functional until later this year. Applications for phase 2 will be evaluated by the new committees in the second half of 2024.

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

Applications for the Grand Solutions programme are evaluated based on three overall decision criteria:

  1. Quality of idea
  2. Impact
  3. Quality of execution

You can find further information on the three overall criteria and their sub-criteria in the guidelines for phase 1 and phase 2 of Grand Solutions. Please note that the sub-criteria for the two phases are not identical.

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

In phase 1, applicants will receive either a rejection as response to their letter of interest or an invitation for phase 2, in which applicants must submit a full application. The decision will be notified to you via e-grant.

In phase 2, invited applicants will receive either a rejection or an offer of investment and thus an invitation to negotiate an investment agreement. The decision will be notified to you via e-grant.

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

Applicants for phase 1 of Grand Solutions will receive a response in 7-8 weeks (11 weeks in 2024 however).

Applicants who make it to phase 2 can expect 9 weeks of processing time in this phase and a total timeline of 9 months from submitting their letter of interest in phase 1 and until they receive a final decision in phase 2 (however, please expect up to 10 months in 2024).

Q&A: Changes to Grand Solutions in 2024
Open section, Q&A: Changes to Grand Solutions in 2024

The programme text for Grand Solutions has been updated in February 2024. To learn more about the changes to Grand Solutions, visit our Q&A here.

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

An investment from Innovation Fund Denmark is conditioned by the project parties entering into an investment agreement with the fund on the organisation of the project no later than 60 days after receiving the written invitation to investment negotiations.

The project must be started no later than 90 days after this investment agreement has been signed by all parties.

Innovation Fund Denmark may demand repayment of parts of the investment if the agreed conditions are not met. You can find more information in the investment agreement and the document containing the general terms and conditions for the programme.

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 and it must start no later than 90 days after the agreement has been signed by all parties.

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

The payment is generally made two times 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 proactively with the project for its entire duration. Specifically, Innovation Fund Denmark appoints one or more investment officers to carry out this task.

The project follow-up and the requirements for accounts and reporting will be evident from the investment agreement that Innovation Fund Denmark enters into with each project.

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
Download guidelines and general terms and conditions
Open section, Download guidelines and general terms and conditions

Since publication in February 2024, the following clarifications have been made to the guidelines:

  • The overhead for hospitals and museums has been corrected to 3.1% and selected organisation types have been specified as Danish or non-Danish
  • It has been specified that there are no limitations on budget changes performed between core project participants
  • It has been specified that the main applicant is responsible for contact to IFD during the application process
  • Clarifications have been made to the time frame for investments covered by the de minimis regulation
Documents