Invention grants and financing are available from government sources, however, they're not just sitting there waiting to hand out money.
There is a process to follow just like any other funding process. A grant is different from a loan. You have to pay back a loan but a grant doesn't have to be repaid.
Governments at all levels have an interest in supporting research, development and commercialization of technologies that fulfill government mandates.
These mandates are typically related to lowering debt, creating jobs, pursuing energy efficiency, improving health care and so forth. In other words, the recipients of this type of funding typically fulfill a government purpose or economic objective.
The largest grants are usually awarded to universities, research organizations and government agencies. These recipients then have an obligation to spend the money to further the objectives of their funding.
Knowing who has these grants can be advantageous to an inventor seeking financial assistance from a grant recipient. Governments also provide grants to small businesses developing inventions that have the potential to be profitability commercialized.
The criteria for these grants usually includes a business plan and a technical evaluation of your invention.
These grants (which include research funds) are typically available to businesses that are operating in specific areas of interest that the government has identified as economically important.
Most grants are awarded on a tender basis meaning that applicants compete with one other for funding.
Recipients are also required under most grant programs to develop and commercialize their inventions to the benefit of their local economy. Usually, this means hiring people or utilizing local suppliers or otherwise stimulating the local economy. It's important to understand the intent of any specific government grant program. There will usually be a mission statement and/or information explaining why the grant program was established and what criteria they evaluate for awarding grants.
Administrators of grants must fulfill the objectives of the program, meaning they have to award funds and they have to award them to recipients who appear to have best potential to satisfy the intentions of the government.
Researching the motive, purpose or agenda behind a program is important in developing a profile of the program similar to how a profile is created for potential investors.
The best way to find out what grants are available is to visit government websites and use their search functions to locate their programs and financing options.