Your goal at this first phase is to understand your challenge or what you want to achieve. Ask yourself: What is the solution? What is our level of ambition? What are the overall goals for the project? With who we want to play with?
After you have broad answers to the above questions, you need to make a decision: Do you want to maximise your business growth (Option A) or do you want to maximise the funding to get (Option B)?
Unfortunately, in publicly funded projects these are seldom in a complete synergy. Option A means that you take a business goal for the highest target, and search for available funding options that can help you to achieve the goal. Option B means that you go for the maximum amount of funding and abandon some of your business targets as the funding will never completely match them.
Once you have made the decision, Phase 2 of the path is quite straight-forward even though it involves a lot of work.
This is your to-do list:
The proposal consists of three sections: Excellence, Impact and Implementation. In addition to that, you must provide several appendices, such as CV’s and support letters from your key stakeholders.
Wait for the evaluation process to be completed. If your proposal does not get approved you will receive an email explaining what was wrong in the proposal. You can use these guidelines to improve the proposal and maybe submit it again under another call. Or simply write a new one based on the experience you gained while writing the previous one.
If your proposal does get approved for funding, you will move on to the next stage: Signing the Agreement. This is an important stage. When your proposal gets approved, you will need to sign the agreement, to receive the funding and start with the implementation of the project!
At Phase 4, you will actually get to work on your project. The time it takes from Phase 1 to Phase 3 typically ranges from 6-24 months depending on the complexity and ambition of your plans.