Impact Network + Grant Fund

These questions are specific to the Impact Network + Grant Fund. They are in addition to our standard FAQs and should be read alongside our Grant Terms & Conditions.

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Application process for the Impact Network + Grant Fund

Your application needs to focus on one of the three challenges we have articulated - employer integration, pathways into or within work, or vocational lanugage barriers. For more information on these three challenges see ufi.co.uk/challenge-grant

We want to fund a cohort of projects that can demonstrate an impact on a specific challenge, so that we can gather evidence and advocate for change. We understand that the three challenges do not exist in isolation - that is partly why they are so complex. If successful, applicants will be expected to explore and consider connected issues as part of our work together.

Yes. We will only fund organisations that want to take up the opportunities that are available and learn and share with others who are also committed to solving the challenges.

Tell us how you might benefit from being part of a wider group of people and organisation who share our passion for how technology can help adults get the skills they need for work. Let us know what expertise, insight and connections you will bring and how others might benefit from that.

There is a question in the application form where you can explain how this project forms part of your longer term aims and ambitions and fits with your organisational strategy.

We are looking to support projects that have the potential to scale so that large numbers of learners can benefit. To do this we believe that projects need to be part of a strong network of committed partners / stakeholders.

It is up to you to determine how you manage relationships with your stakeholders and partners. Ufi does not take a view on whether formal agreements or contracts need to be put in place. It is for applicants to take their own legal advice on these matters.

Yes - but one good application is better than several mediocre ones.

We are looking for projects which can address the VocTech Challenge within 18-24 months. While you don't necessarily need to have formal partnerships in place by the application deadline you do need to be able to show us that you can deliver what you propose in your application.

In principle, yes, but it will make your application much stronger if you have all your partners on board from the start. You will need to evidence that you have already have good contact with users and/or employers and/or that you have all the technology expertise you need already identified.

The breakout groups in the pre-application workshops are your opportunity to discuss your project with a member of the Ufi team. If you have further questions please email info@ufi.co.uk.

Once you have registered on MyUfi you will be able to access the application form while the call is open and download the questions as a pdf.

You can include quotes in your application to demonstrate the strength of your proposition. We don't accept separate documents.

What we fund for the Impact Network + Grant Fund

We do not fund projects in schools, unless these can demonstrate that they are addressing specific workplace skills provision to those aged over 16, where there is an identifiable employer need.

Projects can be B2C. You will need to explain how they address the VocTech Challenge and what evidence you have that there is a scalable market for the solution.

Yes. You will need to explain what vocational learning issue your project is addressing and how you will access and retain your learners.

We will fund these costs where they are necessary for successful project delivery. They need to be fully described and we would expect these costs to be appropriate to the overall scale and nature of the project. See hardware, software, and connectivity.

Projects aimed at improving the general mental health or well-being of the workforce are not eligible. Our position is that good mental health and well-being are not, for our purposes, specific skills needed to improve the vocational skills of the workforce.

Yes - the principle is that the beneficiaries must be in the UK.

For Ufi adults are 16+. There is no officially upper limit but our focus is on learning for work-related skills, so there needs to be a rationale for how your group needs to develop vocational skills.

We do not fund projects which are solely about basic digital skills. You would need to show how any digital skills provision linked to vocational skills. But yes, you can include digital skills development in your project if there is no current provision available to meet their needs.

The purpose of this VocTech Challenge Grant Fund is to catalyse systemic change in the UK skills system through addressing one of the three challenges we've stated. We do not fund enterprise and entrepreneurship as there are many existing apps and services which provide such incubator-style services.

For this funding call, we are taking MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to mean a working, tested, technical demonstrator that you can use to show people how your idea could be scaled up.

Yes – the grant fund is open to all types of organisations. Individuals need to have a recognised company or charity to be able to apply.

How much funding is available for the Impact Network + Grant Fund?

We are looking for match funding to demonstrate a shared commitment to the project. In our experience projects are more likely to be successful if the risk and commitment are shared between Ufi and the project organisations.

There is no set percentage of match funding. You need to be able to demonstrate that the applicant and collaborators are committed to the project and are willing to share the risk with Ufi.   

Match funding can be cash or in kind. They must be direct costs associated with the delivery of the project. Tell us on your application what resources you will bring and what you need from us.

We are looking to fund up to 6 projects.

The grant can cover staff costs directly related to the project. We don't cover organisational costs. Attracting and retaining your users and marketing your solution is a key part of success and these costs are eligible.

Normally we have no interest in the IP of your project. However we do want the developments we fund to be used for public benefit. If circumstances are such that the IP is not being used and you have no plans to commercialise or disseminate, then we reserve the right to use the project's IP. Note that this clause only covers IP created by the project - not IP brought in from elsewhere. See Grant Terms and Conditions.