12 July 2022

FI Group collaborates intensively with its customers in all the steps of the grant funding process from grant detection, proposal development and grant management. Grants can be both sector-specific and topic-specific with different goals in mind such as technological innovation, economic growth, environmental sustainability, R&D, … FI Group can help you in finding the right opportunity for your project(plan). Learn what you need to know on how our consultants support you during the Grants Lifecycle.

What is a grant? 

Grants are funds given out by private, public and not-for-profit organisations for a range of purposes. These organisations are often referred to as funding bodies. 

Grants are payments that do not have to be repaid, provided they are utilised for a specific purpose as outlined in their application. They will always have a specific focus or theme such as R&D, energy-saving, innovation, efficiency, … 

The grant process follows a linear workflow that includes:  

  • Finding the right funding opportunity 
  • Analysing the conditions 
  • Preparing the necessary data 
  • Applying for the grant 
  • Awaiting approval 
  • Successfully implementing the (project) plan 
  • Reporting 
  • Closing 

When in need of support for R&D+I projects, grants and subsidy schemes are tools for the future growth of your plans and ideas. They have the purpose of investment support, project development, transformative growth, and/or strengthening innovation. 

Finding the right funding opportunity 

Grants are always for discrete, stand-alone projects with a beginning, end and clear outcomes from the project. They are not for ongoing running costs of an organisation, such as permanent staff costs, rent and utilities simply for the organisation to do its usual work. 

You can use grant funding for these costs but only if they relate to the project you are doing. Grants are also not retrospective, which means that you cannot get grant funds to reimburse you for a project already completed or work already started. 

Before anything else, FI Group consultants will analyse your project to have a better understanding of your reality. Based on this, we identify subsidy opportunities, define and map project ideas and match realistic subsidy programs to your activities. We have a dedicated subsidy team supporting SMEs and big companies with applying, obtaining and retaining grants, on a local, regional, national and European level. 

Interested in the broad range of grant opportunities? Check out the “Grants & Subsidies” on the FI Group Belgium website! 

Analysing the conditions 

After meeting up with an FI Group consulting, who will analyse your company and project(plan) and map out the possible grant opportunities, we look to see if this is a perfect match. 

To apply for a grant requires you to do your research and assess whether your project matches the criteria and focus areas to be eligible. Our FI Group consultants have a well-rounded approach with the intent of supporting you during these first assessment steps. t steps. We create an overview of grants fit with your business. 

Before starting to put together any type of grant application, the needed specifications and requirements need to be met. Tailored to your specific project, we can already look at: 

  • Field of support (innovation, environment, energy saving, etc.) 
  • Type of intervention (subsidy, advice, loan, guarantee, …) 
  • Age of the enterprise 
  • Size of the enterprise 
  • Legal form of the enterprise 
  • Granting authority (European, federal, Flemish, provincial) 
  • Location 

After which the opportunities are narrowed down and we can have a look at the specific conditions of the grants, such as: 

  • Minimum entry thresholds 
  • Investment amounts 
  • Maximum duration of project 
  • Specific project costs 

Preparing the necessary data 

Each grant has its own application and guidelines, which our FI Group consultants will read through thoroughly and are familiar with. With each funding body, it is clearly outlined in these documents what it is they are looking for and what their area of focus is. 

Our FI Group consultants help with drafting the required documentation for the application, such as the application form, financial projections and/or business plan. 

Grant applications are usually completed formally and can range from quite simple in nature to quite complex. This is usually dependent on the amount of grant funding you are seeking and the organisation providing the funds.  Some applications will need supporting documents such as a Risk Management or Project Management Plan to be attached and some may require a certain amount of financial contribution from your company itself. 

  • Analyses 
  • Plans 
  • Project documentation 
  • Certificates 

Applying for the grant & awaiting approval 

FI Group takes care of the application process: delivery of best-in-class proposals, submission of the proposal, and guiding the evaluation process. 

We offer support by identifying the proper funding for your project, and helping you in the application process. We can write your funding application and help you manage the entire administration of your project. Or we can support and optimise parts of the funding application process. 

Implementing the project plan 

If eligible and applied for on time, the (project) plan is carried out. 

During the project, FI Group coordinates with you about the project consortium and its progress, takes care of technical, financial, and administrative reporting, and follow-up on the ongoing plan. 

Reporting & closing 

The final phase calls for grant reporting and the closing of the project. FI Group provides support with the delivery and the reporting obligations, once a grant has been obtained for your project. Our consultants offer guidance until the end of your project and grant lifecycle. 

FI Group has 20 years of experience and wants to support you in understanding and intercepting the available R&D+I opportunities. Our experts are at your disposal to analyse your project and to take the next steps together with you.  

Yvette Poumpalova

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