Grand Solutions

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The Grand Solutions programme invests in ambitious, cross-cutting research and innovation projects that can create new, concrete solutions to important, politically prioritised societal challenges and generate value for Denmark in its entirety.

Note: 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 or download a recording of our webinar on the new model here. You can also access a preview of the application form for phase 2 here.

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 or new processes, systems, products, or solutions to politically prioritised societal challenges.

Any legal entity (for instance a company, research institution or public institution) 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 or economic value in Danish public and private companies or for customers in society, for instance among citizens, state, regions and municipalities.

It can therefore be an advantage if the buyers of the project's results and other core stakeholders are involved as active participants in the design of and during 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 Innovation Fund Denmark’s commitment has ended.

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

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.

Application for phase 1

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.

Application for phase 2

In phase 2, the application is a full application. 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

You can also see a preliminary outline of the application form for phase 2 below – please note that this is only a preview of the expected application form and that the final form may be subject to change.

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?

Figur - Grand Solutions

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
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 applicants make it to phase 2??
Open section, What is the success rate for Grand Solutions, and how many applicants make it to phase 2??

The success rate varies from year to year and between the individual calls, depending on the available funds, the total number of applicants, and similar.

Innovation Fund Denmark expects a success rate of 15-30% in phase 1, depending on the number of received letters of interest. But due to the new application process in 2024, the expected success rate is harder to predict than usual.

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
How should I prepare my application? Read the most frequently asked questions.
Open section, How should I prepare my application? Read the most frequently asked questions.

Is it correct that it is quick to get a negative response to your application?

Yes. In phase 1, you can expect a response after 7-8 weeks (11 weeks in 2024) if your project is rejected.

This is done so that applicants do not waste time and resources and can move on with a better application or a new project.

Only applicants who are invited for phase 2 must spend time on writing a full application. These applicants can expect a total timeline of 9 months from they submit a letter of interest in phase 1 and until they receive a final response in the form of a rejection or an offer of investment in phase 2 (however, please expect up to 10 months in 2024).

We have previously had an application rejected. Can we apply again, or will we be quarantined from the Grand Solutions programme?

If the applicant has made improvements to the project, it is always possible to apply again. Innovation Fund Denmark has no quarantine period for rejected applications or applicants.

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

Is it an advantage if the main applicant is a university or a company?

It does not matter who the main applicant responsible for submitting the application is. The application will be assessed based on the entire project, including the qualifications, motivation and contribution of all project partners. However, it is important that the buyer of the project’s solution plays a significant role in the project.

Should the main applicant and the project manager be the same person?

No, the project manager does not have to be the same as the person who submits the application as main applicant. What is important is that the project manager has the necessary experience, qualifications and time for the specific project.

How do I insert references in the application?

In phase 1, you must attach a list of references to your letter of interest as Appendix B.

In phase 2, it is possible to insert references in Appendix A.

Is it 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 in accordance with the decision criteria as described in the guidelines of phase 1 and phase 2 of Grand Solutions.

I have submitted the application form in e-grant but have not received a PDF file with the complete application. Have you registered my submission?

You can check if your application has been submitted correctly.

After you approve and submit the application form in e-grant, the system creates a PDF file with all the stated information. This may take several minutes. Very close to the application deadline, when there is a lot of activity, it can take up to an hour. When this PDF file has been created, you will be able to open it via e-grant and read the application that you submitted. It will also be possible to have it sent to you by email. The application can be reopened and edited until the deadline, but you must remember to submit the latest version for changes to be registered.

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

Technical inquiries about e-grant
Phone: +45 33 92 91 90 (phone hours are 9:00-12:00)
Email: support.e-grant@fi.dk

 

07
Do you have to present or pitch your project verbally?
Open section, Do you have to present or pitch your project verbally?

No, applicants will not be invited for an interview with Innovation Fund Denmark in relation to their application or to pitch in front of the committees. Instead, decisions on investments are based completely on the submitted, written material. Additional information may be imparted by external sources in accordance with standard procedures for sufficient elucidating of the case and if so, it will include the applicant’s response to such information in a consultation process.

08
Does the fund only invite projects for phase 2 that meet the precise requirements of the call?
Open section, Does the fund only invite projects for phase 2 that meet the precise requirements of the call?

It is important that projects relate as well as possible to the specific call. At the same time, the fund has its three overall decision criteria: quality of idea, impact and quality of execution, which are in place independently of the specific calls. In both phase 1 and phase 2, there exists a set of sub-criteria for each decision criteria, and these sub-criteria can be found 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.

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, etcetera. For experimental development, the focus is on the utilisation of existing knowledge.

The EU definition of industrial research and experimental development is described in the EU General Block Exemption Regulation (definitions in paragraphs 85 and 86, Article 2, page 25).

10
What investment rate can we achieve as a non-profit organisation?
Open section, What investment rate can we achieve as a non-profit organisation?

As a rule, all partners (business organisations, interest organisations as well as other organisations and companies) that carry out economic activities, meaning that they provide goods or services in a market, must apply the budget rules for companies in Denmark and abroad as described in the programme guidelines, including the maximum investment ratios. This applies to non-profit organisations as well.

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

Yes, Innovation Fund Denmark can invest in projects in which money will go to foreign partners. The most important thing is that the results of the project will benefit Denmark. International knowledge plays a large and important role in this, and it is essential that the application argues the project’s ability to create growth and employment in Denmark.

12
What is SSH and how is it relevant to a Grand Solutions project?
Open section, What is SSH and how is it relevant to a Grand Solutions project?

SSH is an abbreviation of “Social Sciences and the Humanities” (in Danish often called HUM/SAMF) and includes a large number of research disciplines or subject areas, for instance economics, politics, law, psychology, history, linguistics, media studies, pedagogy, philosophy, sociology , ethnography and plenty others.

Innovation Fund Denmark attaches great importance to Grand Solutions projects focusing on solutions for which there exists a real need – and which it is possible to implement. For this reason, Innovation Fund Denmark requires that there is a plan for the implementation of the solutions, and this is where SSH disciplines can often contribute, for instance with knowledge related to behaviour, incentives, end-user involvement, regulation, and market conditions.

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

Often, projects can benefit from integrating humanities and social science research and innovation right from the beginning.

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.

Title Sort descending Period Programme
AFLOAT Ammonia FuelLed cOmbustion for marine ApplicaTions 2023 - 2026 Grand Solutions View project, AFLOAT Ammonia FuelLed cOmbustion for marine ApplicaTions
AGRIVOLT Integrating Green Energy and Food production in a dynamic AgriPhotoVoltaic system (AGRIVOLT) 2023 - 2028 Grand Solutions View project, AGRIVOLT Integrating Green Energy and Food production in a dynamic AgriPhotoVoltaic system (AGRIVOLT)
AICF AI-ColorFashion 2023 - 2026 Grand Solutions View project, AICF AI-ColorFashion
ALLEVIATE2 A novel strategy for food allergy immunotherapy 2023 - 2027 Grand Solutions View project, ALLEVIATE2 A novel strategy for food allergy immunotherapy