A development project: innovation support for companies with ambition
Do you have an innovative idea for your business? But do you need to figure out exactly how to develop that idea first? Through a development project, the government encourages companies that want to innovate. With this grant, your innovative idea can be launched successfully and with less risk in the short term. In return, VLAIO asks for a clear innovation-driven business case with a positive impact on your company and society.
What is a development project?
A development project begins with a punishing and innovative idea. This could be a completely new or significantly innovative product, process, service or concept that does not exist in your business today. More than that, even existing products getting a complete makeover are eligible.
During the write-up of your development project, the challenges and risks facing your company are examined step by step and how best to overcome them. But as always, everything ultimately revolves around the end result, and with a development project it is no different. In exchange for grant support, your company must be able to demonstrate that the new idea creates economic and/or social value. In an ideal scenario, you are investing heavily in the coming years, also in personnel, and your company focuses on social commitment such as sustainability, better quality of life,…
A development project starts with a developed business case and technical project plan. VLAIO then assesses whether your development project has sufficient growth potential by reviewing your business case and project plan with a critical eye. Also, the valorization of the development project must achieve at least 10 times the requested grant at 5 years from the end of the project. Projects with social added value may be exempt from this requirement in certain cases.
The substantiated business case
Everything hinges on a substantiated business case. This may seem a bit excessive, but still… Knowing what challenges and stumbling blocks are in your path, and knowing how to overcome them is a must.
Together with you we map out what you need for a successful project, calculate what it will cost you and what it will bring your company. And of course, the added value for Flanders should also be emphasized. This is possible in terms of investment, turnover, social impact and employment.
All of this information should demonstrate that your company will become stronger as a result of your innovation, even in the first few years after the successful completion of your development project.
The detailed technical project plan
At least as important as the business case is a well thought-out project plan that addresses sufficient technical challenges.
It is important to demonstrate that your company needs new knowledge to deal with these technical novelties. Because the project plan must convince VLAIO that the stated objectives are realistic, we insist on articulating the objectives very concretely (SMART) so that they are trackable.
Who is a development project for?
Every company and non-profit organization active in Flanders and working on innovative projects can start a development project. Starting on time is the message here because VLAIO can only grant subsidies for all activities that have not yet been started. By the way, did you know that you can apply for a development project throughout the year?
Vlaio has a lot of criteria for approving your project, and at first glance that may be a bit daunting. Understandable! Konnekto is therefore happy to review with you whether, in our opinion, your innovation project meets all the criteria.
Conditions for a development project
When granting financial support, VLAIO looks not only at the quality of the project, but also at the positive impact of the innovation on the company itself and on Flemish society. Companies with an eye for people, nature and our planet have an edge.
In that case, the company in turn will have to “return” at least 10 times the aid to society. This can be done through activities that save the environment (environmental benefits), save public spending, increase quality of life,…
See if your innovation project meets the VLAIO criteria:
1. Who can apply for a development project?
- All companies with legal personality and activities in Flanders (or at least a clear impetus to do so)
- Public and nonprofit organizations with legal personality and activities in Flanders (or at least a clear impetus to do so) and carrying out economic activities
2. Which development project is eligible?
- The requested support for your project is a minimum of €25,000 and a maximum of €3,000,000
- The application contains sufficient information to evaluate
- A brief description of the business case and project is provided. Depending on the project (simple, complex, size support amount,…) the number of expected pages varies.
- Maximum duration of 24 months
- Your project can start at the earliest on the first of the month following the submission
3. What does your business case look like?
- A thorough market analysis is a priority, as is stressing the added value of the innovation to your customers. Furthermore, we provide a realistic picture of future costs and benefits. How will your innovation improve your company’s position in the market?
- It is important to demonstrate that your innovation fits within the current business strategy and that the business will be strengthened by a successful innovation.
- Added value (economic and/or social) for Flanders is also important. Think investment, employment, sustainable business, stronger education, better quality of life,…
- It is clear what expertise is needed for a successful innovation project and the right people with the necessary expertise are brought on board for this purpose.
- Objectives are realistic and measurable (SMART).
4. What should your development project meet?
- It must be a development that is new to your company as well as to your industry and for which you are gaining new knowledge. So a thoughtful approach with the use of the right expertise and resources is crucial. Relative to normal business activities and current renewal processes, the project should be markedly different. This can then concern both a renewed working method, content, expected results, risks,… for which new knowledge must be built up.
What is the support in a development project?
Thanks to the support of a development project, you can finally start your idea and proceed with the necessary investments and hiring.
An important step, so first let’s see what exactly you can get a subsidy for. You are going to have to face a lot of challenges and often will not have the right knowledge and experience to do so. Because you really need this information for a successful development project, àall activities that provide you with the necessary knowledge are eligible for funding.
Specifically, how much innovation support can you expect?
To calculate this, we start from the submitted project budget. Specifically, this includes: personnel and other costs of business partners, subcontracts with research partners and subcontractors, overhead and operating costs.
Next, VLAIO investigates whether all the costs you submitted are actually eligible for funding and creates an accepted project budget on that basis.
The final grant is calculated as a percentage: a basic support percentage (25% of the accepted project budget) + any surcharge:
- 10% when collaborating with other independent companies or international cooperation
- 10% for medium-sized enterprises
- 20% for small businesses
Process of the grant application through Konnekto
A development project is an intense but valuable and rewarding project, where we are often at the helm, and sometimes on the sidelines. Konnekto writes the dossier in consultation, translating your innovation into grant jargon and putting the right emphases in the dossier.
Is the development project ready? Then together we will submit the file to VLAIO and support you in the next steps. We prepare you for an interview with the consultant and defense with the experts. We can also provide interim and final reporting.
After submission, there are usually 2 exciting months before a decision is made. Yet you can start and even incur expenses the month after filing. Konnekto supports you or your employees during this entire process, but even after the development project, we are happy to think along with you about subsidies to launch the innovation internationally as well.
After development, Konnekto can also support you in acquiring grants to market the development (internationally).
Why choose Konnekto?
Konnekto is now not only an established player in the grants landscape, but certainly also in the field of development projects. Not only do we have the knowledge on board, but our consultants have years of experience transforming often complex innovations into a clear case.
In all modesty, yet with due pride, we can say that we have contributed many times to many wonderful success stories of our customers:
- Trotec processes by-products into valuable products
- EXIE: Building ecologically with lime hemp
- Connectify and UCast: connecting people with technology
We experience the frequent word of mouth as the greatest appreciation and for that we are very grateful. As a client, you can count on outstanding quality, proven expertise and a passionate and committed Konnekto-Team that will significantly increase the chances of success for your development project application.
Ambition to innovate?
If so, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are your co-pilot, we inspire and make result-oriented and realistic plans for the future together with you.