High Proposal Competition

Concerns over the impact of increased competition for proposers with fewer resources or who are new to the ecosystem when considering the funding categorisations used


Funding categorisations impact the number of proposals that can be submitted into the categorisations. A large amount of proposals can create a very competitive environment for proposers. Proposers who are new to the ecosystem or that have fewer resources may find it more difficult to get exposure and funding where there is a large amount of proposals being submitted.

Fair in theory

Broad categorisation allows anyone across the world to submit a wide range of different proposals in a single categorisation. If the categorisations are in aggregate also inclusive then this creates funding categorisation which is egalitarian as no preference is given to one person, proposal type or location over another.

Can be unfair in practice

There are a number of people that may be in more difficult living circumstances or financial situations such as in less developed countries that do not have the same resources in terms of time or capital to create effective proposals. Proposers who do have more time and resources have can more easily allocate sufficient time to create proposals that have a higher chance of receiving funding.

Decreased visibility of unknown teams or new ideas

If existing funded proposers are well known and have been effectively delivering against previous proposals then this could have the impact of making it easier for that team to get funding in the future. This can have a negative knock on impact for new proposal teams who have to compete with more established teams. New ideas from unknown teams may struggle to get initial exposure and access to capital to prove their ideas are of importance.

Relevance to funding categorisation

Funding categorisation can impact the amount of competition between proposals and the number of proposals that can be submitted. The following categorisation approaches could impact how high the competition is for proposals:

  • Broad vs specific categorisations - Using broad categorisations will increase the competition between each proposal as there would be a larger amount of proposals in a single categorisation competing with one another. Specific categorisations leads to less competition due to only needing to compete with other more similar proposals.

  • Inclusive vs exclusive categorisations - Using inclusive funding categorisation will increase the number of proposals which can be submitted which increases the competition. Exclusive funding categorisation would reduce the amount of competition.

Potential solutions

Integrate any of the many approaches that help with directing funding

A wide range of approaches have been detailed in the approaches for directing funding analysis. These are all relevant for making it easier to view, group, compare, filter, sort and rank proposals which means they can help with making it fairer and easier for each proposal to get fair consideration by how easy it is to find certain types or ones with specific focuses.

Proposal submission limitations

Sometimes the competition from proposals could be too high as teams are submitting multiple proposals. If the number of proposals from individual teams proves to be an issue maximum caps could be introduced for the amount of proposals a team can submit or the amount of funding that a team can request. Or it could be a mixture of both approaches. These caps would help to ensure there is a fair playing field which is scalable so everyone can participate. Excessive funding requests is also covered more as a separate problem.

Dedicated funding category for smaller teams or ideas

The potential issue with these other suggested solutions is these solutions won't all be available in the very short term. The small & early stage ideas funding category has been made to help address the potential issues for newcomers or proposers with fewer resources being able to get access to funding. Analysis about small & early stage ideas has been created to outline some of the advantages and issues with the category and why it is being suggested.

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