How Should I Evidence IP in an R&D Grant Application?

June 30, 2023

At Venturenomix our primary task is to secure our clients’ R&D grant funding.

We know a lot about grant funding, but we also know when to bring in one of our expert partners. In this series of six blogs, we’ve teamed up with IP Attorney Jason Teng at Potter Clarkson to take a look at some of the IP-specific challenges we often come across in our R&D funding applications.


How should I Evidence IP in an R&D grant application (when there is limited space for answers)?

Space is limited in R&D grant applications, with word limits set at 400 – 600 words per answer and there are multiple points to cover in every question, including IP.

In our experience, the core questions (12-15 in total) leave you about 4-6 sentences (split across a few questions) to address IP and FTO. Here is how we suggest you make the most of this precious space:

From a grant writer’s perspective

Alex says: “Carefully read the guidance for applicants for each question and understand where you should address the different IP and Freedom to Operate points. For example, one question might ask for ‘current IP’ and another might ask for ‘how will you protect IP arising from this project’. Make sure to only address the points you absolutely must in each question.”

From a patent attorney’s perspective

Jason says: “Reference IP and FTO evidence that you can place in the appendices. Supporting information is a key part of any R&D grant application, and the appendices give you the chance to include diagrams, tables, pictures and text. This is much more flexible than the text-only answers required in the core questions. IP strategy and FTO evidence can be readily summarised using tables or diagrams (such as flowcharts or Venn diagrams) to save on word count and present a more visual representation. In general, the grant application does not require full details of the IP strategy and FTO evidence, but only requires a summary of the key points.”

For more IP-led insights, check out our collaborative white paper.