1.Programme Description

1.1. The Programme

Delivered by Digital Catapult, funded by UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, as part of the national Made Smarter movement, Made Smarter Technology Accelerator is a national programme, set to fast forward and shape the UK’s technology adoption directly into industry.

The programme works with both leading UK manufacturers and the UK’s leading digital technology innovation community to develop cutting-edge technology solutions to many of the UK’s core manufacturing challenges.

Made Smarter Technology Accelerator has been designed for industry; it will speed up the adoption and unlock the known benefits technology adoption has for the UK economy. It is a match-funded programme for medium and large manufacturers who will be part of a select group at the forefront of digital adoption. This group will be helping to define the scope of challenges and be directly involved in the programme, the outputs of which will generate a direct impact to achieving a competitive edge for business.

1.2. The Digital Catapult

Digital Catapult is the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation Centre, driving early adoption of technologies to make UK businesses more competitive and productive and grow the country’s economy. Providing physical and digital facilities for experimentation and testing that would otherwise not be accessible. It specialises in future networks (internet of things and 5G), future focus (cyber security), artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technologies, and immersive (virtual reality, augmented reality and haptics) technologies. As well as breaking down barriers to technology adoption Digital Catapult’s work addresses key challenges for the creative and manufacturing industries.

1.3. UKRI

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest public funder of research and innovation in the UK, with a budget of over £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils, Innovate UK and Research England. It operates across the whole country and work with our many partners in higher education, research organisations businesses, government and charities.
The UKRI vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally. Its mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good.

UKRI continues to support the research and innovation community to navigate the transitions associated with the exit of the UK from the EU.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund aims to bring together the UK’s world leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. The fund was created to provide funding and support to UK businesses and researchers, part of the government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over the next 4 years. It was designed to ensure that research and innovation takes centre stage in the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. It is run by UK Research and Innovation.

1.4. The Programme Partners

1.4.1 Programme industry partners
Programme industry partners will include:

  1. Industry Challenges Owners – manufacturing companies that are sponsoring the programme and responsible to put forward challenges for the innovation community.
  2. Technology providers who are sponsoring the programme.
  3. Attendees members
  4. SME members

1.4.2 Programme judges
The judges will be responsible for scoring the Made Smarter applications according to the criteria set out in these Programme Competition Terms. The panel of judges will consist of a variety of individuals from Digital Catapult, UKRI representatives and industry partners. The judges will be chosen based on their business experience and technological expertise. The Applicant’s personal information fields will not be disclosed to the judges. Judges will be bound by confidentiality in regards to the assessment of Applicants’ applications.

1.4.3 Community Partners
The organisations that will be supporting Made Smarter Technology Accelerator through promotion and communication of the Programme via their networks.

1.4.4 Investment partners
Programme investment partners will include venture capital funds as well as angel funds that actively support the programme though delivery of investment workshops and/or office hours.

1.4.5 Programme consultants
Programme consultants will include among others business analysts, pitching experts and sustainability consultants who will work together with the Participants.

1.5. Applicants & Participants

1.5.1. You are considered an “Applicant” if you apply to this competition.
1.5.2. You are considered a “Participant” if you are successful with your application and complete all pre-Programme activities

2. Programme Benefits

Made Smarter offers access to:

2.1 Prototype funding

Up to £20,000 to develop a challenge focused proof-of-concept prototype and supporting material.

2.2 Engagement with technology experts, product owners and innovation managers from Digital Catapult, as well as industry sponsors, investors and subject matter experts.

Digital Catapult will hold periodical meetings required with the industry sponsors, technology teams and product managers, investors and subject matter experts to help develop Participants’ solutions on various topics during the prototyping stage.

  • Business expertise – Support network of industrial and technology experts to help develop impactful proof of concepts and build new technology prototypes.
  • Pitch and industry workshops – Focused workshops to help develop your concept and pitch.
    Technical monitoring – Engineering expertise to increase confidence in the prototype build and push the boundaries of the technology – this monitoring also includes inputs from Digital Catapult technologists.
  • Investment readiness – Investment management expertise to prepare Participants to meet with investors. Digital Catapult will offer a showcase only for selected participants who are investment-ready, under the sole discretion of Catapult.

2.3 Facilities

For the duration of the programme, the cohort may be able to make use of Digital Catapult’s Labs in Belfast, London, Brighton, MediaCityUK, and North East Tees Valley (subject to availability and site terms and under the discretion of Digital Catapult).

2.4 Peer to peer learning

Be part of a cohort of selected companies made up of talented entrepreneurs from across a different range of sectors, all working towards improving productivity in the manufacturing sector.

2.5 Prototype showcase event

Opportunity to participate, pitch and attend meetings at the showcase event in June 2021 for the prototyping stage.

2.6 Investment readiness and fundraising and an investor showcase event

Opportunity to learn about becoming investment-ready and fundraising as well as a potential opportunity to participate, pitch and meet with investors.
The investor showcase will be open to selected participants who are investment-ready, under the sole discretion of Digital Catapult. The investor showcase event will take place in the Autumn of 2021.

2.7 Minimum viable product (MVP) funding

Opportunity to enter the advanced stage that includes further funding for the companies. The successful participating teams will be eligible for further funding consideration at the end of the prototyping phase. Up to £100,000 funding for a Minimum viable product is limited and subject to a separate judging process. Successful applicant teams will be required to present at our final showcase event in December 2021.

2.8 Potential support network of industry experts with technical and business experience to help companies grow their businesses and develop their prototypes and prepare for the showcase.

3. Programme Obligations

3.1 Showcase Prototype – Digital Catapult does not take ownership of your Intellectual Property developed on the Programme, however we do require you to supply a prototype for the Industrial Challenge Owner and, where possible, Digital Catapult for our own use in showcasing the output of the Programme.

Participants must also be willing to commit to the following obligations as stated below.
3.1.1. Assist Digital Catapult with the writing of a business case for the industry sponsors.

3.1.2 Attend kick-off event hosted by Digital Catapult in March 2021 and final showcase December 2021.

3.1.3. Attend, present and demonstrate at the Prototype Showcase event – w/c 21 June

3.1.4. Attend at least 70% of the workshops and/or webinars

3.1.5 Attend all sessions with Industry Sponsors as agreed from March 2021 – December 2021.

3.1.6 Participant agrees to be named and logo listed on marketing collateral, this may include website, print and digital materials.

3.1.7 For a maximum period of five (5) years following the Programme End Date, Participant shall use its reasonable endeavours to answer specific questions from Catapult relating to its growth and progress to assist Catapult demonstrate the impact of its activities. This shall include:
Participation in an annual telephone conversation of one hour.
Participation in bi-annual survey sent out by Digital Catapult

3.1.8 For a maximum period of five (5) years, use reasonable endeavours to exploit the results in the UK and EEA.

4. Applicants

4.1 Minimum Requirements

4.1.1 Applicant must be a UK based registered company – or prove they have an establishment in the UK and undertake the majority of the activity in the UK.

4.1.2 Applicant must develop solutions for manufacturing, as defined in the FAQ section on the Made Smarter Accelerator website

4.1.3 The team has to have one or more team members with expertise with at least one of the advanced digital technology stack (future networks, artificial intelligence, distributed systems and immersive).

4.1.4 Applicant must have two or more team members

4.1.5 Applicant must be considered as an early-stage business, i.e. a startup.

4.1.6 Applicant must be able to attend at least 70% of the activities as stated in section 5.

4.2 What we’re looking for

The programme seeks applications for technology innovators from the startup and scaleup community who will be interested in developing technology prototypes to some of the UK’s core industrial challenges.

Here are the requirements for applications to the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator:

4.2.1 The lead company* has to be registered with Companies House in the UK (or equivalent, for example establishment in the UK and the majority of work must be carried out in the UK. In the case of international co-productions, the work carried out outside the UK must be proportionate to the amount of funding brought in by the international company)

4.2.2 The lead company* must have a business bank account

4.2.3 The team has to have one or more team members with expertise with at least one of the advanced digital technology stack (future networks, artificial intelligence, distributed systems and immersive).

4.2.4 Experience within the manufacturing sector is not essential, however knowledge of how to apply this to industry and relevance to the challenge is required.

4.2.5 The team must be able to attend all the activities (for example, workshop and final Showcase for the duration of the programme).

Please note dates are subject to change:

  • Workshops and prototyping: March 2021 – July 2021
  • Industry Prototype Presentation event: July 2021
  • Workshops and minimum viable product development (*if successful) July 2021 –
  • November 2021
  • Final Showcase: December 2021

*Lead company

  • You may enter as a collaborative team, but there must be a lead company that will contract with us and get paid.
  • All other collaborators involved must be named in the application process. It is the responsibility of the lead company to arrange any collaboration agreements or subcontracts as necessary and to comply with the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator terms and conditions.
  • Your collaborators may be with international companies.
  • You can be named as a collaborator on more than one application, but can only be a ‘lead’ company once.
  • We may carry out due diligence on the lead and any collaboration companies so they must be willing to submit documentation upon request (including but not limited to bank account statements for the business and personal references).

5. Key Dates

  • Open call for industry – September 2020 – 31 October 2020
  • Partner contracting and challenge setting – Starting from October with challenges signed off the latest on the week commencing 23 November 2020
  • Open call for technology innovators – 6 January 2021 – 7 February 2021
  • Programme start date, prototyping starts – w/c 29 March 2021
  • Industry Prototype Presentation – w/c 21 June 2021
  • Minimum viable product developing – July 2021 – November 2021
  • Final showcase and programme close – December 2021

6. Application

6.1. What information should my application contain?

6.1.1 Complete the short registration of interest form on this website

6.1.2 An email will be sent to the address indicated in the short registration of interest form with the link to the full application form.

6.1.3 You will need to apply to a specific challenge, please ensure you tick the appropriate box in the full application form.

6.2. Who will see my Application?

6.2.1. Relevant Catapult representatives will see your application in order to assess the application, and otherwise in the administration of your application and participation on the Programme.

6.2.2. Applications will also be shared with judges from UKRI and Industry sponsors. Personal data and very sensitive business information not required to assess the application will not be shared with Industry sponsors and UKRI.

6.3. Key contact information
6.3.1. Applicant will appoint a main contact for the Programme (“Key Contact”). This person will be Digital Catapult’s main point of contact for the competition and, if successful, jointly defining the shape of the applicant’s Programme activities, workshop and event commitments, team members’ availability, ongoing activities, and assessment of progress during and after the Programme.

6.4. Submitting your application

6.4.1. You must submit your application form (“Submission Method”).

6.4.2. All applications must be submitted via the Submission Method by the Application Deadline.

6.4.3. Once your completed application has been received, Digital Catapult will send you a confirmation receipt by email. If you do not get a receipt within twenty four (24) hours of the next working day, please email us at madesmartertech@digicatapult.org.uk


7.1. Qualification
The Catapult will undertake an initial assessment of the Applicants against the Programme Requirements.

7.2. Selection process
Digital Catapult will determine which applicants proceed to the Industry Sponsors and UKRI review. All criteria must be taken into consideration. Digital Catapult will rank applications in order of highest to lowest scoring to create an index allowing the best applications to be easily identified and to progress to the final selection stage. Ideally, 5 applications will be selected for each of the challenges to enable a varied selection of companies for each Industry Sponsor to choose from.

7.3. Scoring panel composition and experience
The judging panel will include the following teams: (1) Digital Catapult staff – technology teams, Head of Manufacturing, Business Development representatives, Head of Innovation and the Programme Lead. (2) UKRI Deputy Challenge Director – Manufacturing Made Smarter. (3) Industry Challenge Owners.

7.4. Selection criteria
7.4.1. Appropriate team experience- The team is equipped to deliver the proposed prototype and has appropriate technology and business skills, demonstrating a good team structure that will deliver a first tested prototype within 12 weeks

7.4.2. Strength of the idea- The idea is realistic, well-developed and demonstrates strong vision and application to the chosen challenge with consideration to the market fit and context

7.4.3. Originality of the idea- The idea is unique and novel in a way that meets the challenge requirements. The prototype is innovative and original

7.4.4. Environmental impact- The idea takes into account sustainability alignment and environmental factors

7.4.5. Technology suitability/relevance- The idea presented applies suitable advanced digital technologies from our technology areas and promises commercial value alignment for the challenge owner

7.4.6. Value proposition- The idea’s combination of cost, quality and sustainability is well balanced. The scale of the prototype is reasonable, with respect to the effort proposed, whilst providing clear added value to the manufacturer

7.4.7. Feasibility of prototype delivery- The technical delivery of the proposal is feasible with a viable solution, within the timeframe and budget. This includes the design and build of the prototype, level of manpower, manufacturing and financial capabilities

7.4.8. Technology readiness level- The idea demonstrates a potential advancement in the technology readiness level (TRL) and will advance the Industry Challenge Owners’ existing solutions.

7.4.9. Potential to answer the set challenge- The proposal shows a good understanding and a clearly identified solution with relevance to the manufacturing sector and the challenge objectives. The prototype and proposal has clear aims and vision

7.4.10. Growth potential- The idea is scalable and has the potential to succeed in its full range of capabilities at a growing scale. The idea is likely to be suitable for further funding opportunities

7.5. Due diligence
7.5.1. Digital Catapult will carry out due diligence on applicants prior to the point of selection onto the Programme. Applicants must be willing to submit further information or documentation upon request to qualify as ‘successful’.

7.6. Successful applicants
7.6.1. Successful applicants will be notified and provided with a standard Programme Agreement for review and execution. These contracts are standard and not negotiable. We do try and ensure these contracts are fair and reasonable.

7.6.2. In order to be accepted onto the Programme, successful applicants must sign Digital Catapult’s Programme Agreement (“Programme Agreement”).

8. Competition Terms – Specific

8.1. Benefits
Part of the cash grant provided under the Programme is provided by our funding partner (“Funding Partner”) and are subject to the Funding Partner’s terms and conditions, which are available upon request if needed.

All the benefits provided under the Programme by third-party organisations (“Suppliers”) are subject to the Supplier’s terms and conditions.

Any optional benefits provided by third party organisations whose terms and conditions are not contained in the Programme T&Cs will be agreed between the Participant and the Supplier directly.

Digital Catapult reserves the right to amend the list of benefits at its sole discretion.

8.2. State Aid
Catapult is operating this programme on a de minimis aid basis (as in force pursuant to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and The State Aid (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, with reference to the EU de minimis aid regulations (COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 1407/2013)) which permits an organisation to receive up to €200,000 Euros across a rolling three fiscal year period (i.e. this year (April – March) and the previous two years, subject to conditions.

This programme has been assessed as providing up to £65,000 aid in total. £32,200 in the prototyping phase and a further £32,800 in the minimum viable product phase. Before signing the Programme Agreement, you will therefore be asked to sign a declaration confirming that you are eligible to receive the de minimis aid.

Digital Catapult reserves the right to amend the State aid basis of this Programme in line with legislation at the time of contracting.

8.3. Applicants
Digital Catapult reserves the right to accept any application which does not fulfil the minimum requirements.

8.4. Key Dates
Digital Catapult reserves the right to change the Key Dates at its sole discretion. No extension to deadlines will usually be granted, with very limited exceptions where the Applicant requests an extension due to reasonable extenuating circumstances, beyond the Applicant’s control and unforeseen to them, subject to the Applicant providing evidence that proves the extenuating circumstance; and the applicant informing Digital Catapult as soon as reasonably practicable following the extenuating circumstance becoming apparent. Digital Catapult reserves the right to consider the factors and decide whether such circumstances are extenuating and whether granting an extension is fair to other applicants. No extension granted will be for greater than two working days.

8.5. Applications
All information and documents requested must be submitted. Failure to submit all requested information and documents may result in the application being rejected. Catapult will not use outside information in respect of your application unless otherwise indicated, other than to undertake due diligence. Catapult reserves the right to not work with people or an organisation which could impact its reputation.

8.6. Previous Applications
Catapult reserves the right to either (i) reassess an application from a previous competition (together with information gained from an update meeting), or (ii) accept as a successful applicant an organisation that was previously successful in a previous competition, but whose participation was deferred to a later Programme.

8.7. Key Contact Information
In submitting the Application, the Applicant confirms that it has made the Key Contact and any other person whose personal data has been submitted, aware of, and has the lawful grounds to enable Digital Catapult (including its processors) to, process the personal information of the Key Contact (and any other person) as set out in these Competition Terms and Digital Catapult’s privacy policy (https://www.digicatapult.org.uk/privacy-policy/). Information processed by UKRI will be processed in accordance with its privacy policy (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/privacy-notice-and-information-management-policy-innovate-uk/privacy-notice-and-information-management-policy).

8.8. Programme Agreement
Digital Catapult reserves the right to make amendments to the Programme Agreement it issues up until the point of execution by both parties.

8.9. Participant Programmes
Digital Catapult reserves the right to offer Participants access to its Participant Programmes, such as its Platinum Awards.


9. Competition Terms – General

9.1. Data Collection, Storage & Use

9.1.1. Digital Catapult will store your application and the scoring it has received for the entire duration of the Programme. If you are a successful Applicant, we shall also store your Application for a period of up to five (5) years following the end of the Programme. For administration purposes, contracts may be stored for up to seven (7) years, contracts providing State aid for up to eleven (11) years, and deeds for up to thirteen (13) years from the end of the Programme.

9.2. Confidentiality

9.2.1. The information provided in your Application will be kept confidential and only used and disclosed as reasonably necessary for the purpose of assessing Applications, and, if admitted onto the Programme, for working with you on the Programme. This may include with our Programme Partners as indicated above.

9.2.2. For practical reasons, NDAs will not be signed by Digital Catapult as part of this Programme Competition. The activities we provide can only be achieved through trust of the tech community. It is therefore not in our interest to release your sensitive information. Mutual confidentiality provisions are included in the Programme Agreement.

9.2.3. All information submitted may be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and will be handled in accordance with UKRI’s FOI procedures.

9.2.4. The scoring of your Application will also be treated as confidential information.

9.2.5. As your Application will be transmitted over the Internet, ultimately Digital Catapult cannot guarantee its security.

9.3. Intellectual Property

9.3.1. We respect the intellectual property of others and we ask our Applicants to do the same.

9.3.2. In submitting the Application, you promise that you have and continue to have all necessary rights, licenses, permissions and consent to provide the content in your application to us, and for Catapult to use the Application as we have set out.

9.3.3. We will not remove from Applications any proprietary labels or copyright assertions.

9.4. Disclaimers

9.4.1. We accept no liability for any consequences, whether direct or indirect, that may arise from your participation in the Programme Competition, your reliance on any statements we may have made about the Programme, or its suspension or withdrawal.

9.4.2. In any case, to the extent permitted under law, Digital Catapult’s liability shall be limited to one thousand (£1,000) pounds.

9.5. Jurisdiction
9.5.1. The Programme Competition is governed by English law and the Applicant agrees that any dispute shall be exclusively resolved


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