Delivering advice and support to thousands of businesses
For over 30 years, Oxford Innovation Advice has successfully designed and delivered business support programmes providing thousands of businesses — across all sectors — with dedicated advice and support that provides economic growth.
The organisation works with a diverse range of businesses, each at different stages of their development and across various sectors and has so far supported over 34,000 businesses and defrayed over £26.9 million in grants.
Efficiently identifying relevant grants to stay competitive
In 2023, Oxford Innovation Advice faced a pressing challenge of keeping up to date with the evolving business support and government grant funding landscape, to keep its clients well-informed with the latest funding mechanisms available. This challenge had become insurmountable due to the expanding pool of available grants and the complexity of managing and accessing them efficiently.
Alongside the SME businesses they aim to support, Oxford Innovation Advice had to action manual searches and internet research to identify relevant grants for SMEs. This manual approach was not only inefficient but also time-consuming given the plethora of different sectors and future-proofing goals, hampering its ability to stay competitive in the grant acquisition landscape.
Recognising the need for a more efficient and effective grant search and management solution, it recognised a need to find a transformational tool to streamline its processes.
Streamlining grant search and management processes
After extensive research and evaluations, the decision was made to implement GrantFinder, Idox’s sophisticated grant management software.
The adoption of GrantFinder in April 2023 marked a turning point for Oxford Innovation Advice. With its comprehensive grant database, advanced search capabilities and user-friendly interface, GrantFinder has transformed how Oxford Innovation Advice identifies and supports clients’ grant strategies.
The choice of GrantFinder was solidified after a demonstration of the solution that showcased the exact functionality Oxford Innovation Advice required and demonstrated how GrantFinder could streamline its grant search and management processes.
John McLaren, Head of Business, GrantFinder and The Knowledge Exchange, Idox said “In an environment where funding opportunities are constantly changing, the use of modern software like GrantFinder is a valuable tool that not only simplifies the process but also provides a competitive edge in securing crucial financial support.
“What made GrantFinder the best fit for their needs was its ability to search for grants across all sectors from various funders, including non-financial grants, which sets it apart from competitors in the market and is ideal for the diverse range of clients Oxford Innovation Advice works with.”
Greater efficiency, streamlined grant information and added value
1. Efficiency gains through eliminating manual grant searches
Idox’s GrantFinder has delivered significant efficiency gains at Oxford Innovation Advice. The time and effort previously invested in manual grant searches have drastically reduced. The system’s automated approach has eliminated the need for time-consuming and often error-prone manual searches. This, in turn, allows Oxford Innovation Advice to focus on more strategic and value-added tasks, ultimately benefiting its clients.
2. Streamlined grant information for enhanced client support
Idox’s GrantFinder offers a well-structured and user-friendly platform that streamlines the process of searching and accessing grant information. Users can easily identify relevant grants based on specific criteria, such as sector, location, or competition. This feature simplifies the grant-seeking process, making it more accessible and productive. Using GrantFinder, Oxford Innovation Advice can provide more targeted and tailored grant advisory services, ensuring its clients gain a competitive edge in securing funding.
3. Re-engagement with clients and added value delivery
One of the standout features of Idox’s GrantFinder is its ability to prompt re-engagement with clients. By automating grant searches and simplifying the information retrieval process, Oxford Innovation Advice has experienced increased interaction and engagement with its client base. This not only strengthens the client-advisor relationship but also enhances the overall value provided by the advisory service. Clients appreciate the proactive support and are more likely to return for future assistance, creating a sustainable and mutually beneficial partnership.
By replacing manual search and research with GrantFinder, Oxford Innovation Advice has significantly reduced the time and resources previously devoted to grant acquisition, leading to cost savings and increased productivity.
Overall, the use of Idox’s GrantFinder is a key factor in Oxford Innovation Advice’s continued success in the grant advisory field, delivering tangible benefits to both the organisation and its clients.
Christopher Buckland, Innovation & Growth Specialist at Oxford Innovation Advice said: “The team described their experience working with Idox as enjoyable, underscoring the importance of a positive working relationship. Clients reported success in identifying suitable grants that were previously unknown to them before a GrantFinder search was conducted – highlighting the strength of the tool. The implementation process was smoother than expected, with support readily available whenever needed.”