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Innovation Credit: Tips for a Successful Application

Last checked on:
6 March 2023
Published on:
16 February 2023

If you wish to submit an application for Innovation Credit, please read the tips below first to increase your chances of success.


A successful application is short, to the point, and clear. The assessor can use the application to estimate whether the proposed project complies with the purpose of the scheme.

Business plan

  • Describe the company. Provide answers to questions such as: what is the history, what is the company doing now, what does the organisational structure look like, what is the legal structure, who are the shareholders and how is decision-making organised?
  • The business case for your innovation has to be crystal clear. So please put the economic advantage for the end user front and centre in your business plan. Which financial advantage is there for the client that justifies your sales price?
  • Clearly state and substantiate the unique selling points of your innovation.
  • Provide a well-substantiated competition analysis with an objective comparison.
  • Include a cost-price structure. Clearly show how you can reduce your costs where necessary. The final cost price is important for ensuring a good margin.
  • Make a conscience choice in the earning model and the marketing method. Both your commercial strategy and your marketing strategy must be clearly stated in the plan. Clearly substantiate why the strategy is suitable for the market, your product and the chain you work in.
  • Provide a clear image of the market. Show the basis for your revenue forecasts.
  • Supply enough information about the background of the management. Please also describe how you guarantee and/or attract/replace crucial FTEs and knowledge.
  • Clearly show the scope of the technical development risk and why a state instrument such as the Innovation Credit is necessary for its funding.
  • Include clear descriptions of the various certification processes in your business plan.
  • Give details about whether and how you operate in a socially responsible manner, taking into account humans, animals, the environment and society.

Project plan

  • Describe your proof of principle, in other words, the technical feasibility, of your project. How do the innovations compare to (existing) alternatives? Please also clearly show why the operating principle can lead to the intended practical application.
  • Describe the quantifiable product requirements of the market or the customer.
  • Clearly show which innovations you are developing and what the risks are.
  • Carefully map the technical risks. Please carefully conduct research into the possibilities and limitations for your development. Rank these technical risks according to size, risk of failure and impact. A Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a frequently used approach.
  • Clearly state the possible solutions for the most important risks, with options for improvement and any alternatives and please explain these clearly. Please also describe what the effects are for the project planning and the costs if you need to switch to these alternatives.
  • Supply a sufficiently detailed project plan with a systematic approach. It is important that the project has been divided into multiple logical project periods, where necessary with multiple work packages.
  • Describe which deliverables you differentiate per project period. The period ends by achieving a clearly quantifiable SMART project milestone.
  • Describe the final specifications that the project must comply with upon completion of the project.
  • Your intellectual property strategy is of great importance to your technological innovation’s earning model. Which choices do you make in this and why? And are you able to commercialise your development on the markets you have in mind? 

Financing plan

  • Make the proposed funding as specific as possible with funding agreements, term sheets and/or declarations of intent. It could be useful to explain some of the expected financing of the project in a separate chapter. 
  • Does the turnover realised contribute to the financing of the development programme? Then we expect an extensive substantiation of the turnover forecast, detailed information about existing customers and insight into which customers contribute to what turnover. Are certain customers vital to turnover? Then we expect to have insight into the agreements with these customers.
  • Include explanatory notes to important assumptions in the forecasts. In these types of projects it’s important to think in scenarios. Please take into account the usual setbacks in the area of uncertain cashflow, budgeted development costs and planned project duration. The funding has to provide enough scope in the event a project is delayed and/or continues on after the deadline.
  • Describe the use of specialised suppliers. Is this use considerable? Then please also add quotes, supply contracts or cooperation agreements as appendices to your application.
  • If possible, please make use of the financial or other support of Regional Development AgenciesSeed Capital fundsinvestment funds and informal investors. The last-named website is only available in Dutch.

Best of luck with your application and the implementation of your plans!

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
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