The decision on funding for the TSB MIA Launchpad was… Sadly, unsuccessful.
We made it through to the final and then struggled to understand the marking and feedback that led to us not being successful. Our conclusion is that the idea was sound and the implementation was mostly on target.
A couple of people suggested that the development time for our battery pack was unrealistic but must have missed the paragraph where we stated that was being developed outside of the scope for this project. It was also noted that the integration time for the final bike was unrealistic but we had also stated that the bulk of that was outside of the scope and funding of the project.
One reviewer suggested that because MotoGP had used carbon fibre frames then our idea wasn’t innovative. Except they ignored the fact that it was the design more than the material that made our proposal innovative.
There was also concern that we needed a stronger project management methodology to make sure we could deliver successfully but we can write more on that area in future.
Whilst we are disappointed not to receive the funding we feel we deserve the majority of the reasons were either our unfamiliarity with the very accounting and project management led application process and two reviewers in particular who seemed intent on reading things in to the project that weren’t there or making negative assumptions on things that we had already stated and clarified.
That gives us hope for the future as we now know how to structure the application better and know to reiterate and reword things in case reviewers prove incapable of understanding them.
It has been frustrating though, especially as one of the successful applications was making a carbon fibre swing arm for a motorcycle using a process that had already been used elsewhere and at a budget that would have seen us build over half of the bike, including battery packs, motors and all the other expensive parts of the rolling chassis.
Having spoken to other applicants since learning of the grant decision it appears very few organisations are successful on their first attempt due to the nature of the application process and the limited space available in the application itself given the complexity of the questions.
Roll on next time…