Venture Development Fund

From Research to Impact

We want our innovations to help change people’s lives as soon as possible. Thats’s why we’ve committed generous funding to fast-track the commercialisation of our solutions.

Our Venture Development Fund will help us, together with business partners, to bring our ideas to market. We’ll make grants to suitable applicants to enable the rapid evolution and delivery, through sustainable business ventures, of products arising from our insights. The fund isn’t designed to support extensions of our research work. Its purpose is to convert research to impact.

The Fund’s Scope

Plant growing out of pile of coinsFunding could be granted for the development of any idea arising from our project which has undergone initial exploration and clearly reached a point where a business venture could be launched. At this point, there’ll be preliminary supporting evidence for an idea and the obvious next steps for further development.

Ventures should lead to the successful launch of a product in one of our target markets. We’ll support commercially viable solutions that will have the greatest, most sustainable impact on reducing the number of people with poor or insufficient sanitation.

We’re keen to hear from companies, organisations or individuals who see a commercial opportunity to exploit project outputs in their markets. We want to work with entrepreneurial people to develop applications for Development Fund grants. If you’re interested, please contact us to discuss your ideas.

Funding Criteria

Hand holding stopwatchEach grant will be designed to drive one of our innovations to market in the shortest possible time. The activities we fund will cover testing, improving and de-risking key elements of lead concepts. They’ll vary according to the idea and the likely route to market, but might include processes such as:

  • Producing prototypes for customer/user evaluation
  • Designing improvements to function, cost efficiency and user appeal
  • Exploring possible business models
  • Building evidence for market demand and affordability
  • Identifying key partners to reach market
  • Identifying supply chain issues
  • Building evidence for key benefits and how to communicate them
  • Exploring distribution channels
  • Securing relevant freedom to use/Intellectual Property (IP).

Grants will be awarded to applicants by our Venture Development Committee, made up of members of our Advisory Group. They include experts on social enterprise, venture capital and international development.

Applications need to be made through a member of the project team and should be in the form of an outline business plan covering:

  • Originator(s)
  • Product idea
  • Target market and audience
  • User proposition
  • Source and status of enabling technology
  • IP considerations
  • Risks
  • Route to market/next steps
  • Plan and timings
  • Proposal for next stage and details of funding required
  • Milestones and timelines.

Beyond financial support

Networked worldOur Venture Development Committee will also help our business partners ensure the success of their proposals by giving advice and access to networks, and monitoring progress.

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