A researcher has to overcome the hurdle of successfully acquiring funding for a Horizon Europe research project.
After overcoming the hurdle, the next step is to officially execute your research, thus realizing its potential for impact and change. Although you’ll spend most of your time on research management and execution, there are other important aspects to keep in mind. Without a strategic, solid, and professional marketing and business plan, even the most innovative research with a groundbreaking approach and potential to substantially impact the world will fall short.
The Importance of a Business Plan
A business plan is a financial tool for assessing a project’s viability in business terms. In other words, it helps in determining the business aspects that may result from the research project. It also shows the project’s outcomes that can open new business avenues, producing income for the partners or participants.
The Value of Marketing Plan
Science and research can help you in achieving a project’s mission and goals. On the other hand, the marketing plan should be a set of actions detailed enough to help achieve the ongoing reach-out.
Business and marketing plans are activities spanning beyond the scope of an original research project. Taking both on may seem like an additional unnecessary burden. Nevertheless, the Horizon Europe reviewers expect them because the plans are a force to work with, ensuring the research project grows and develops past the produced opportunities and immediate audiences. Therefore, both business and marketing plans help in maximizing your project’s impact.
Why Would You Want A Professional Business And Marketing Plan?
After answering the Horizon Europe calls for proposals, you need to have a professional business and marketing plan. These plans can achieve a lot of things, including;
1. Impressing Reviewers During a Research Proposal’s Review Process
When writing your Horizon Europe grant application, you must always keep the reviewers in mind, ensuring you give them what they are looking for. However, this may not be easy because a reviewer’s expectations are not clear. Although several requirements are elusive and unwritten, they have been articulated and understood with time and experience in recent times. Showcasing robust marketing and commercialization plans, especially in an applications impact section, is one of the unwritten expectations. Doing this successfully helps gain more points during the evaluation of an application, moving you a few steps closer to securing funding.
2. Increasing your Chances of Securing Additional Funding, Hooking Potential Partners and Team Members, and Generally Enhancing Collaborations
The surest way of showcasing your research’s immediate and potential value is by having a strategic and impressive plan. The plan addresses important aspects of the research’s growth potential, securing more research grants and business opportunities, especially for commercial partners. Furthermore, it translates into getting additional investors and collaborators who want to be part of your movement. The EIC Accelerator introduced the blended funding is an excellent example exhibiting this Horizon Europe spirit.
3. Helping You Identify Potential Strengths, Opportunities, Threats, and Weaknesses
When formally curating a business and marketing plan, you must fully and truthfully address the research project’s core and potential. To do this, you need to ask yourself questions that put your research’s strong attributes and problematic aspects in the spotlight. Furthermore, you must go through a process. The first step in the process is to understand your research key value proposition and focus all key messaging and marketing activities on it. This step also helps you identify potential opportunities and prepare to address or create solutions to flaws others may notice in your research.
4. Effectively Communicate Your Vision and Plan of Action with your Team, University, Company, or Partners
Horizon Europe projects are based on a consortium. Therefore, even though you are the project leader, others will work with you to execute the vision. A business and marketing plan helps ensure that all team members are successfully on the same page regarding your research’s immediate and future goals and targets. Furthermore, the plan helps everyone understand your vision, aligning them on ways of achieving the vision. Although a research project may require several strategies for impact, a plan unites everyone, helping them work together and allocating resources to the same roadmap.
5. Helping You Take Advantage of Relevant Opportunities, Reducing the Risk of Pursuing the Wrong Opportunities
Hopefully, there will be additional eyes and ears focusing on you when you begin executing your research and marketing its stepping stones and advancements. The attention can yield external invitations for partnerships and collaborations. Most times, invitations can be so exciting, distracting you from assessing if the offer can help your research progress and improve further. Therefore, having a business and marketing plan in these situations acts as a compass helping you navigate towards your aim. Afterward, you can set the research and offer side by side to check if there is a positive match before moving forward with it.
6. Wisely Spending Your Budget Based on a Plan
Your plan should consider the budget allocation for the different objectives and stepping stones you would like to achieve. Having a plan and a set budget means knowing how far the current budget can reach and when you will need to look for additional funding opportunities if necessary. Furthermore, your budget should include a risk factor helping you execute your plan safely and prepare you for action if things take an unexpected or wrong turn.
After securing funding for your Horizon Europe project, you need to have a marketing and business plan for the smooth running of your project. As discussed in this post, marketing, and business plans can impress your reviewers, increase your chances of securing additional funding, and help you identify potential strengths and weaknesses.