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Writing grant applications


How to optimise your grant application

Most of the companies who receive the big competitive grants are successful only after several rejections. They use the feedback to improve their next application until they make the winners list. What differentiates the lucky from the rest, is a commitment to put in the work to optimise their chances of success and pursue every opportunity available through the many grant systems, across every level of Australian government and abroad.

The following tips provide advice on elements that are common to almost all grant applications and how Genesys can help you.


  • Budget: The application will ask you for a budget. To add credibility to your application your budget should be professional, detailed and attributable to a firm quote from a reputable company like Genesys. To get your quote ready before the grant opens, contact us immediately for an MVP prototype development proposal.

  • Milestones: The application will ask for a project plan with defined milestones. These milestones should again be convincing and logical targets that convince assessors you understand how to do product development properly. The Genesys' proposal, developed in collaboration with you, will include milestones you can use.

  • Demonstrated capability: The grant requires the applicant to demonstrate it has "a project team with the capacity and appropriate management, commercial, professional, and technical expertise to deliver the project". With over 200+ product development projects successfully completed, including Genesys in your project team will enhance your chances of success.

  • Product visualisation: The application requires you to submit a pitch deck and/or a video. The more impressive these materials are, the more likely you are to get the grant. For a small fee, Genesys can work with you to develop a custom product visualisation and animation of the proposed prototype.


In addition to the above, you need to play close attention to crafting the application itself. Key points include:

  • Balance the weight of your answers: The selection panel(s) will have a check sheet awarding a score to each question in the application, according to how well it was answered. A key mistake people make is not to evenly distribute their effort and word count according to the distribution of points for each question, which is usually defined in the grant guidelines. For example the NSSN Grand Challenge has 6 categories with weighting ranging from 30% to 10% - be sure to match your effort and content to these weightings.

  • Answer the question: People often don't properly read a question or misinterpret it, thus losing points for not answering the question. Often questions seem to be repetitive and there is a temptation to repeat yourself, even copy and pasting content from earlier in the application. However, careful analysis of these questions usually reveals a slightly different angle they are looking for. It’s somewhat of an art in how creative you can be in expressing your key points in multiple ways and how to align your most impressive nuggets of information to the right questions in the application.

  • Put in the work: For some reason, many applicants treat grant applications rather flippantly, leaving it to the last minute to scrape together information. In our experience, successful applications require many rounds of revision to get the wording just right. You should be consulting multiple stakeholders and advisors (including Genesys) to get their perspective and to fine tune / optimise the application. It's hard work but there are few easier ways to generate cash for your start-up.


We wish you the best of luck in your application. Please contact us if you wish to work with Genesys in crafting the project that is the subject of your application.

The Genome is underpinned by Genesys' quality systems, including our rigorous systems engineering approach.

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