REDEEMA Awarded €345,566 from Eureka Eurostars

REDEEMA's device will measure greenhouse gases. The picture therefore shows a tree, turbine and house made of grass on a tablet device. RedKnight is delighted to celebrate its 5th birthday with another grant funding success story! A successful application to Eureka Eurostars has secured €345,566 for the South Wales-based Compound Semiconductor Centre Ltd and its partners. The REDEEMA consortium also includes Glasgow-based Amethyst Research Ltd and VTEC Lasers & Sensors, based in Eindhoven.

The project, titled REsonant cavity DEtectors for Environmental Monitoring Applications (REDEEMA), aims to design and develop an inexpensive manufacturable (III-V semiconductor material based) resonant cavity enhanced photodiode (RCE-PD) infrared (IR) sensing array for monitoring greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. A paradigm in high sensitivity mid-IR GHG sensing, the REDEEMA sensor will aid existing analytical instrumentation in the intelligent field deployment of the quantitative analysers and in the determination of gas sources.

Many chemical compounds in the earth’s atmosphere act as GHGs, including water vapour, carbon dioxide, and methane. The percentage of environmentally significant trace gases is rising due to increased human activity. There is a critical need to track these changes to monitor the extent of global changes in the GHG composition of the atmosphere. It is also crucial to actively identify the sources of these emissions so that action can be taken to mitigate and effectively manage the releases.

In this regard, Amethyst's RCE-PD incorporates a unique and revolutionary design, which will be used in the development of next-generation IR detectors capable of meeting the demands of a vast range of applications. The resulting gas-detection system developed through REDEEMA will significantly improve performance over nearest state-of-the-art IR detectors, opening many new opportunities with environmental applications.

Dr. Wyn Meredith, Director at CSC, said of the successful application:

“The Redknight team supported our proposal by taking ownership of the specific requirements of the Eurostars application process, allowing our own staff to focus on the essence of the technical and commercial proposition. This accelerated the development of the bid and ultimately was a key factor in a successful outcome in a highly competitive process.”

Helping companies grow is RedKnight's core mission. For our assistance in putting together a competitive proposal for your business, contact us today.


GeneFirst Awarded €2.8m in Horizon 2020 Grant Funding for Rapid Covid-19 Diagnostic

RedKnight are delighted to have supported GeneFirst with its successful application to Horizon 2020, securing the innovative med-tech start-up and its 4 collaborating partners (two SMEs and two hospitals) over €2.8m in grant funding. In total, 144 applications were submitted to the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) competition, of which 8 projects have been selected for funding (6% success rate). The successful projects represent the most promising advances in therapeutics and diagnostics to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

GeneFirst’s project, entitled RAPID-COVID, aims to clinically validate its innovative multiplex technology in both point of care and high throughput (HTP) settings, which includes testing for SARS-CoV-2. Based in Oxford, GeneFirst provides simple, reliable, and effective molecular solutions to aid the accurate diagnosis of diseases and the improvement of patient management.

 

High Throughput Device to be used in the RAPID-COVID project
High Throughput Device to be used in the RAPID-COVID project

As of July 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused over 11 million infections globally, claiming more than 500,000 lives. In response to the current outbreak, a rapid and definitive diagnosis of the specific SARS-CoV-2 is crucial.  A recent study has shown that 5.8% of SARS-CoV-2 infected and 18.4% of non-SARS-CoV-2-infected patients had other concurrent pathogen infections. Therefore, single target testing is not optimal; failure to distinguish between different pathogens may lead to unnecessary antimicrobial use, cross-infection of mis-grouped patients, and further spreading of the infection.

 

Simple, sensitive, and multiplex detection of all respiratory pathogens is technically challenging. In response to the need for faster and better detection of multiple respiratory pathogens, GeneFirst has developed a prototype using its innovative proprietary technology - MPA (Multiplex Probe Amplification). The prototype will simultaneously detect and differentiate SARS-CoV-2 as well as 30 other common respiratory bacteria and viruses.

GeneFirst’s assay will allow for accurate, cost-effective, and comprehensive diagnoses during the current outbreak, as well as future routine diagnosis. In this project, the consortium aims to analytically and clinically validate this assay on both high throughput and point of care platforms. This strategy provides maximum flexibility for screening and triage, allows better and faster care, alleviates pressures on healthcare systems, and improves patient recovery rates.

Dr Winnie Wu, COO at GeneFirst, said of the success,

“We are ecstatic with this outcome and all consortium partners are very excited to start the project. For an SME, securing this funding allows GeneFirst to further its R&D and to deliver these crucial diagnostics at scale and pace in time for the winter season. We have pulled together a great project team for the delivery.

We credit our bid success to the RedKnight team; without their support, we would not have been able to achieve what we did in the short time needed to submit the application. We found RedKnight to be professional and diligent, and it has been a real pleasure working with them. This is our first collaborative opportunity and I am confident that our partnership will continue into the future."

Helping companies grow is RedKnight’s core mission. You can find out more about the types of projects we support here.


The good, the bad and the ugly: How to select the right bid writer

3 apples in a line to represent the good, the bad and the ugly. One is rotten, one is rotting, and one is ripe.With grant funding competitions now more competitive than ever, many businesses and research organisations are turning to an external bid writer to win them the funding they need. Of course, some organisations have in-house expertise in this field. However, many organisations struggle to cross the “valley of death”, i.e. the period between establishing proof of concept and validating the technology. They become unstuck and development stalls.

Grant funding is one vehicle to overcome this enormously challenging period, but with a typical timeframe of 6 to 10 weeks to develop a strong and robust grant application, it commonly falls to the bottom of the to-do list. Worse still, it may fall off the list altogether!

Obtaining the services of an external bid-writer is a useful means of ensuring your application is developed by an expert eye. It maximises your chance of success and ensures you can concentrate on running your business. However, bid writers come in all shapes and sizes.

There are large firms producing hundreds of applications on an annual basis, where the volume of proposals delivered drives a large, almost industrial scale business model. Smaller agencies, like RedKnight, are more selective about the proposals they support; they must carefully consider the time commitment required for each application. Then you have freelancers, people who are well versed in the art of writing an application but may struggle with capacity at peak times. Finally, there are organisations that offer bid-writing as a sort of ‘extra-curricular’ activity. Perhaps they were successful with their own application a few years ago and believe their methods can be of use to other organisations.

So, how do you see the wood from the trees? Regardless of the type of bid writer you engage with, it is crucial that you ask the right questions when you establish that initial engagement. We recommend asking the following key questions:

1. What is your business model?

Several commercial models operate in the sector. Some charge an upfront fee and no success fee, while others offer no-win no-fee. Additionally, some deliver based on a daily rate, whilst others have fixed fees. Different models will work for different businesses. Businesses should remember that bid writing for applications to Innovate UK and Horizon 2020 takes an enormous amount of time and effort. You should obtain a few quotes from 3 or 4 bid writers before proceeding. A word of caution – the cheaper the price, the more work you may end up doing yourself.

2. What is your success rate?

This is a standard question to ask any bid writer, and they should be able to provide you with an accurate figure without too much pause for thought. If they cannot give you a figure, it is probably worth moving on. Too high, and it might be too good to be true. It is not just the success rate of the bid writer that should interest you, but also the success rate of the competition. Some programmes are less than 5% whereas others can be as high as 25%.

3. Can you give me an example of a recent successful project you have supported?

Once you have enquired about the bid writer’s success rate, assuming they give you a figure, you can delve a little deeper and ask for recent examples of success. Do not fall for the old “sorry, I’m under NDA” trick. Any successful bid writer can give a general overview of some of their successful work. After all, isn’t that why we do what we do?

4. Can I have the contact details of those case studies, please?

As the saying goes, you want to hear it from the horse’s mouth. There is no shame in asking for a couple of references who will vouch for the bid writer and the work they have delivered. Try and push for references which best mimic your project. For example, if you’re applying as a single entity to Innovate UK’s SMART Grant, you ideally want to speak with a company who the bid writer supported either as a single entity or to that specific competition.

5. What is your capacity leading up to the deadline?

You will want to make certain that the bid writer is going to be able to support you every step of the way. You are investing in this process and you want to know the person you are entrusting with your application is going to be with you every step of the journey.

6. What is your bid writing process?

Every bid writer will have their own style and approach. At RedKnight, we try and stick to a 3-cycle development process of draft, optimised, final. This way it limits the amount of time the client has to spend reviewing the application, whilst ensuring they have enough contact to flag an issue at an appropriate milestone in the process. Try and find a bid writer whose style fits with your way of thinking.

The above points are by no means an exhaustive list of questions to ask a bid writer, but we’d recommend using them as part of your initial phone call or Zoom meeting. If you are talking with 3 or 4 different bid writers, remembering who had the best success rate and commercial offer can be tricky. Make a table and note the answers to all the above points for each bid writer. You can then cross-reference and come to an informed decision, which will hopefully lead to a successful grant funding application.

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Medi2Data Awarded Innovate UK Smart Grant

RedKnight are delighted to have supported South Wales based Medi2Data with a successful application to Innovate UK. The healthcare software company will receive a Smart Grant of £259,100 to further develop its innovative mobile application, ‘eMR Health Passport.’

Using the company’s flagship proprietary software, eMR, Medi2Data develops highly secure applications that make it simple for GP practices and patients to exchange data. The project, titled eMR Health Passport – A patient-centric mobile application to securely hold and transmit medical data, aims to further enhance the technology’s potential by developing a fully interactive app that will securely hold a copy of the patient’s medical record in an easy-to-navigate format.

Crucially, eMR Health Passport provides a digital solution to two of today’s most pressing healthcare challenges: 1) GPs are becoming overwhelmed by GDPR requirements for data handling and requests for patient medical records from third parties, costing primary care an estimated £70m. Medi2Data estimates these costs could be considerably reduced by using eMR technology and interfacing through the health passport with the patient. 2) eMR Health Passport also offers a novel solution to rising levels of mental illness, distress, and low wellbeing among UK Higher Education students. It provides students with the first free patient-centric health wallet with access to real-time data monitoring performance.

The interactive app will allow users to control who sees their medical data, ensuring appropriate consent. Information stored in the app can be pushed back to their GP practice from health organisations outside the NHS, or overseas, and ‘redacted’ records can be created for authorised third parties to receive.

The enhanced application will allow users to access and update their health record from anywhere in the world at any time, improving patient outcomes and the relationship between GP and patient.

Mr Richard Freeman, CEO of Medi2Data said of the success,

“We’re delighted to be receiving this grant from Innovate UK in order to develop and enhance our proprietary technologies. The Smart Grant means we can build on our achievements and test new innovative software and applications that not only gives patients control of their medical data, but has the potential for significant societal impact in how healthcare services are delivered for decades to come.

The support we received from RedKnight was excellent. Their professional approach and knowledge of the process was crucial in helping us secure the funding.”

Helping companies grow is RedKnight's core mission. You can find out more about the types of projects we support here.

 


RedKnight Passes Another Test…

RedKnight is delighted to announce an Innovate UK SMART Grant application it supported in April 2019 has secured a grant of £207,628 for RIMO Capital Ltd (trading as RIMO3). The project will develop a next generation product called ACTIV2.0 which aims at combating future cyberhacks as a result of outdated software. The successful application takes RedKnight’s total grant secured beyond £5m in 4 years.

Software testing is a major expense and quality challenge to businesses. In 2017, software failure caused $1.7tr in financial losses whilst dramatically affecting day-to-day business operations; amplified by the recent NotPetya and Wannacry cyberhacks. The latter, a 2016 hack on NHS systems resulted in total clear-up costs of ~£92m - paid for by the UK Government.

The project builds upon the commercial success of the original version, called ACTIV, by integrating key improvements and new features based on feedback from users, which include some of the UK's leading large organisations. ACTIV2.0 will enhance the underpinning proprietary technology by performing auto-remediation of incompatible software through usage of robotic process automation, artificial intelligence (AI) based machine learning (ML) capabilities.

RIMO3’s Chief Product Officer, Mr Alon Moss, said, “We’re delighted to have been recognised by Innovate UK in this manner. This vote of confidence will solidify our position at the bleeding edge of the technology, where RIMO are pioneers in the use of bulk automation and artificial intelligence in the field of IT services”.

RIMO3 is a cutting-edge software company spun out of Global Application Management specialist, Camwood Ltd (www.camwood.com), who introduced the world’s first automated compatibility testing software (AppDNA) for Microsoft Installers (MSI) in 2007, spinning off the product and selling it to Citrix in 2011. Camwood set-up RIMO3 to develop the ACTIV product line and the project team has >50 years’ combined expertise in software engineering, automation, AI and ML.


Dr Peter Plassmann - CEO - Thermetrix Ltd

RedKnight was instrumental in securing this grant. The company fully understood our technology and the advantages it offers. they contributed extensive background research and insider know-how on the European Commission's expectations and selection process, took us by the hand and drove the application process to its successful completion.


Dr Anthony Turley - Clinical Director - Cardiff & Vale University Health Board

Working with Redknight has been a completely positive experience. It was our first venture into applying for Horizon 2020 funding and we were successful - a combination of a good idea and Redknight’s relentless support in navigating through the various processes and programmes. Their advice and direction was invaluable and we would gladly work with them again.


Prof. Rob Field - Founder & CEO - Iceni Diagnostics

It has been a pleasure working with the Redknight team. At a time of intense set-up in our SME, having reliable and proactive consultants who keep us on top of funding opportunities and who contribute substantially to the preparation and submission of applications has been invaluable


Prof Duncan M. Baird - Chief Technology Officer - TeloNostiX Ltd

It was a pleasure to work with RedKnight, their professionalism and expertise has been hugely beneficial to our company. We had previously made several unsuccessful applications to lnnovateUK, before contacting Red Knight. Their understanding of the requirements for business orientated funding streams has made the all difference, as evidenced by our successful application for a lnnovateUK Investment Accelerator award


Ms Tiiina Heinikainen - Project Coordinator - Kouvola Innovation Ltd

It was our best funding training so far. Clear, efficient and full of detailed information, as well as sharing experiences. We are hoping to collaborate with RedKnight soon.