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What does innovation look like in the grant management space?

AIMS Software Ltd has worked closely with organisations on four continents in a wide variety of sectors, from health and research to NGOs and government. AIMS has been deployed with some of the most innovative grant making organisations in the UK and Dutch markets. Over the years, we have gained extensive knowledge from our shared experiences with grant makers.

Our product has been enhanced with each learning experience. We maintain a vision to advise and collaborate with organisations to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, governance and control in their grant, fund and programme management processes through an innovative collective mind-set.

What does this innovation look like in the grant management space?

Technical innovation in grant management systems integration

  • Integration with expert networks, locating and matching expertise e.g. Pubmed, Google Scholar
  • Integration with Research impact assessment tools, e.g. Researchfish
  • Seamless integration with web services – use the right tool for the job, whether that’s a BI reporting tool, or other due diligence services

Support lifetime relationship management

  • Capture the entire relationship and inter-relationships over time
  • Reducing administrative burden – for applicants, assignment of reviewers, monitoring
  • Capture KPIs, outcomes, evidence, to support future grantmaking

Degree and ease of self-configuration

  • Add new fields to your database, no development required
  • Ability to allow custom procedures and code to be laid upon core product
  • Work with supplier and communities of practice to drive product innovation

Post-award monitoring and reporting

  • Support grantees with monitoring products, reports on their portal
  • Pan-sector reporting and sharing information
  • Search unstructured data

Innovation in Research grant management practicePre-granting

  • Ideation challenges/Co-productive grantmaking – engagement with communities to suggest ideas, goals, design programmes, help organisations to ask the right questions or focus on what problems they should be solving
  • Bottom-Up Participation – engagement with communities-amateurs as a condition of funding, potential where projects or programmes can benefit from large scale engagement


  • Open Peer Review and Participatory Judging – new ways to make the judging or awarding of grants more collaborative, e.g. open commenting, invites engagement
  • Peer-to-peer grantmaking – allow certain funds to be distributed within a known community of practice, by that community
  • Risk-based grantmaking – light touch processes for low-risk awards
  • Evidence-based grantmaking – reduced risk, duplication, inefficiency, operating costs
  • Tiered grantmaking – increasing amounts of evidence will attract increasing amounts of funding, unproven projects scale up with incentives for sharing evidence as they progress
  • Expert networking – automate the process of locating and matching expertise within and across organisations
  • Open alternatives to organisational grantmaking – crowdfunding, micro-payments, prize-backed/grand challenges


  • Open data about grants, grantmakers, and grant recipients
    • avoid duplication of investment, decrease fraud and abuse
    • enable better analysis of impact and create a marketplace so that other funders can match funds or support non-winning proposals
    • UK Concordat on Open Research Data launched, July 2016
  • Standardised reporting – to make open grantmaking data more useful, it is important to develop more uniform reporting standards for grantmakers and grant recipients
  • Open access to results – access to the research outputs, outcomes, and products developed with grant funding helps ensure widest benefit from the knowledge gained
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