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Spotlight on innovation 2015

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Advice, Innovation

Today I’m going to be giving some tips to those companies who are still to submit their entry for Innovation.

Essentially those companies or charities who are causing ripples with their products or services and wish to enter for The Queen’s Award for Innovation.

Hand holding a lightbulb.
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution photohannah

Check your eligibility

Before you do anything at all check your eligibility: there is a range of entry criteria to meet before entering so take time to read the rules and make sure you are eligible to enter. Chiefly you need to be employing a minimum of 2 full-time UK staff and your innovative product needs to have been commercially available for 2 years.

Enter online

Enter online: remember entry is via the online system only. You need to register first and then complete one of the online forms.

Save your work: press ‘save’ regularly and keep a copy of your draft. Remember that you don’t have to complete the form in one sitting – you can come back to it whenever you like.

Use a ‘spell check’: don’t undermine the quality of your entry by not correcting any mistakes you may have made.

  • The most important thing is to sell your story, remember it’s a competition so explain why your organisation is different!
  • Include any surveys, staff and customer, wherever possible use these to support your story
  • Write in the first person, ‘we’ sounds better in a story than ‘the business’
  • Assume the judges know nothing about your business!
  • Avoid jargon and tech speak, it’s difficult to read and won’t help your entry
  • Submit any testimonies from independent sources … local mayors, politicians or journalists
  • Local community work, does your firm support any schemes in the local area? Talk about it, don’t be shy
  • Other awards? Provide details of any other awards you have won
  • Make sure your figures can be verified (if you make the November short list you will be asked to provide confirmation of your original figures)
  • Have a third party read your application before you submit it, they may spot something you’ve missed

As Bonnie Dean said in her recent guest blog;

I still believe that one thing is certain, innovation can be one of the primary ways in which an organisation differentiates itself from the competition and those that don’t do it risk being left behind.

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