What if I am involved in another accelerator programme, or have been involved in a previous Digital Catapult programme?
Participating or having participated in accelerator or other technology adoption support programmes does not exclude you from taking part in Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator, as long as the timings do not cause a conflict of interest and you are eligible to receive the state aid as outlined in the T&Cs.
If you have been part of any previous Digital Catapult programme you are welcome to join. For other programmes, your participation will be dependent on the terms of the programme itself and what you have agreed to in the terms and conditions.
Can I apply as one company or do applicants need to form a consortium/team?
Applicants can be made as one company working on its own on the challenge or as a consortium or team of applicants. There is no requirement to apply as a consortium however each idea must be represented by a unique lead applicant. A company can be named as a collaborator on more than one application but may only be a lead applicant once. If applying for more than one challenge as a lead applicant, if these ideas are successful, you will only be able to progress the most relevant idea, this will be decided by the Challenge Owners.
A business is welcome to participate in several bids as a consortium or team, as long as they are confident the work could be delivered should they all be successful.
Do I need to send a business plan?
At this stage, you just need to complete the online application form without sending us a business plan. If you are one of the companies/organisations chosen to participate, then you will be expected to prepare your solution and project plan within the duration of the programme.
Who is application data shared with?
I need help using Skipso, what should I do?
If you’re having any problems with Skipso and require help, please contact the team on: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are also self-service help files available direct from Skipso here.
Can I save my application and come back to it later?
Yes, the form we use for the full application process can be modified and saved at any time before the final submission date. Please ensure you do not leave the page idle for long periods (without saving), as this may cause the page to timeout. After full submission and completion forms cannot be altered or edited.
Can I apply for more than one challenge or more than one idea?
The simple answer is yes, you can. However, you can only be a lead company on one challenge, this means if successful only one idea will progress to prototyping phase and funding – this will be based on the idea that has the potential to best meet the challenge requirements.
How do I apply to join the programme?
- You can start your application by clicking on the Apply button here.
- Please ensure you select the appropriate application form for this programme.
- To apply to a specific challenge please ensure you tick the appropriate box in the full application form.
What information is asked for in the application form?
The application form will seek more details about your:
- Company information
- Challenge & Solution
- Team Experience
- Technical Feasibility
- Growth Potential
- Equity and legal (for example, investment information, non-compete and in-kind support/ state assistance compliance)
- Ability to commit to attending our workshops and events
What level of technical maturity are we looking for?
We are looking for innovators from any sector with bold ideas that can provide sustainable solutions to the biggest challenges faced by the Industry Challenge Owners.
To help you understand if your initiative fits into what we’re looking for, we specifically would like to welcome entries at level 4- 5 on the Technology Readiness Level (TRL 4-5).
A key objective of the Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator is to support innovators to progress through this TRL framework, as well as prepare the Programme Cohort to further scale their solutions beyond the Challenge, for example by providing a pathway to working directly with Industry Challenge Owners or getting investment ready after the programme.
Who can apply?
The programme seeks applications from technology innovators from the UK ecosystem who will be interested in developing technology solutions to some of the UK’s core industrial challenges. Designed for startups and scaleups, here are the requirements for applications to the Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator:
- The lead company* must 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)
- The lead company* must have a UK business bank account
- The team must have one or more team members with expertise with at least one of the advanced digital technology stack:
- Future networks and advanced digital infrastructure (5G and the internet of things including; low powered wide area networks, NB-IoT, LIFI etc. including sensors, edge devices, wearables etc.)
- Immersive technologies (Extended reality – virtual, augmented, mixed reality and haptics)
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI & ML)
- Distributed ledger technologies (blockchain)
- Quantum technologies
- Experience within the manufacturing sector is not essential, however knowledge of how to apply this to industry and relevance to the challenge is required.
- The team must be able to attend all the key dates (for example, Kick-off event, the workshops, Midpoint Development Review and Final Showcase for the duration of the programme). Please note dates are subject to change:
- Programme Kick-off event (in-person): 19 June 2024
- Prototype development and workshops: June 2024 – February 2025
- Midpoint Development Review (online event): w/c 14 October 2024
- Final Showcase event (in-person): February 2025
Note: 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 Innovation Sustainability 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).
What is the application process and onboarding process?
Here’s an outline of the application process and onboarding stages of the programme:
- Application completion – To be considered for the programme you will need to submit the full online application form before the open call closing 01/04/2024 at 23:59. You can save and return to your form as required. Once an application has been submitted, the applicant will not be able to make any changes to their application. Applicants must ensure all questions are answered otherwise their application may be rejected.
Should you require any assistance with the application you can reach out to the team at email@example.com to explore the suitability of your idea for the challenges.
- Applications judged and shortlist – Once applications close, completed applications are judged and assessed based on the selection criteria and shortlist selected for review by the Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator judging panel of Digital Catapult experts and Industry Challenge Owners.
Judges will conduct interviews with all shortlisted applicants between Monday 22 April until Friday 26 April 2024 and last 30 minutes. The eight highest ranked Applicants will be accepted onto the Programme.
- Selection and contracting – Once companies have been reviewed and the proposed teams selected by the Made Smarter Innovation Sustainability Accelerator judging panel, we’ll communicate to successful and unsuccessful companies on the status of their application and complete our contracting with successful startups. Successful applicants will then be notified and provided with a standard Programme Agreement for review. These contracts are standard and not negotiable. We do try and ensure these contracts are fair and reasonable. Invitation to a programme kick-off will then follow provisionally on the completion of this agreement.
- Companies join the cohort – After a careful selection process, we’ll welcome the innovative technology companies to join the programme and announce the leading solutions they’ll be developing for Industry Challenge Owners. Once onboarded cohort companies will receive £75,000 prototype development funding, allocated into 3 payments, alongside bespoke mentorship, workshops and introductions to the leading manufacturers and technologists alongside a tailored programme.