In the last few months of 2017 there were several reasons for the Vivent team to celebrate. Firstly, we heard that we had been granted funds by US government organisation DARPA to pursue fundamental research as part of their RadioBio project. This was followed by news that the EU’s Horizon 2020 fund for SMEs had granted us Phase 1 funding. Finally at the end of the year we heard that Switzerland’s Innosuisse (formerly CTi) had kindly granted us funds to move forward with research supporting the next generation of Phytl Signs products with our Swiss partners. So we have some real momentum now in moving Phytl Signs forward.
Finding the right fund to apply to and getting an application into the required shape is an art form in itself! As the Phytl Signs proof of concept device was being put through its paces in several plant laboratories around the world, we were working hard to understand the subtleties of different grant awarding bodies, trying to select the most suitable partners for Vivent & Phytl Signs and forging partnerships with new organisations? We didn’t succeed on our first application.
Learning did however come from rejection! We have a better network of plant science, engineering and agricultural experts as a result of these application processes and now have great partners to work alongside.
Having funding means we can do things better too – from being able to buy the right market data to assess commercial feasibility, to being able to work with leading Swiss establishments such as HEIG-VD, HES-SO and Agroscope.
Having to monitor progress and assess the value of what you are doing at each milestone, for each granting body (each of whom has their own unique requirements) has meant that we and our research partners have much better focus on what needs to be done and by when.
Certainly we need further funding to get to market, but to quote an over-used expression from the corporate world, the grants we have received so far are providing an important `springboard’ for Vivent.