Competition Terms May 2024 Made Smarter Innovation Digital Supply Chain Hub


Digital Catapult is the UK authority on advanced digital technology. Through collaboration and innovation, we accelerate industry adoption to drive growth and opportunity across the economy.

We bring together an expert and enterprising community of researchers, startups, scaleups and industry leaders to discover new ways to solve the big challenges limiting the UK’s future potential. Through our specialist programmes and experimental facilities, we make sure that innovation thrives, and the right solutions make it to the real world.

Our goal is to accelerate new possibilities in everything we do and for every business we partner with throughout the journey – breaking down barriers, de-risking innovation, opening up markets and responsibly shaping the products, services and experiences of the future.

Digital Catapult works with organisations on projects involving at least one of the technologies from its “Advanced Digital Technology Stack”: Artificial Intelligence, Immersive, Internet of Things, Distributed Ledger Technologies, 5G/Future Networks and Quantum Technologies.


2.1 The Programme

The Made Smarter Innovation | Digital Supply Chain Hub is on a mission to transform UK manufacturing through digitally empowered supply chains that are more efficient, resilient and sustainable. To achieve this, the Programme (“Programme”) must address various digital supply chain issues focused around the Digital Supply Chain Hub’s seven core challenge themes. This open call will look to explore some of the so far untapped aspects within those themes, with the aim of further increasing digital adoption and driving innovation forward.

The Digital Supply Chain Hub is seeking applications from companies interested in working with (“Programme Collaboration Partners”) from the Digital Supply Chain Hub ecosystem to develop digital technology solutions addressing the challenges outlined below.

This call addresses the challenges of:

Challenge area 1: Data governance across supply chains

Aim: To develop a data governance framework mechanism to build trust among Digital Supply Chain Hub ecosystem participants, ensuring that their interests are maintained when sharing information.

Challenge area 2: Reporting and verification of emissions across the food supply chain

Aim: To establish a comprehensive carbon management system to monitor, report and verify the greenhouse gas emissions across the supply chain starting with farms.

Challenge area 3: Cybersecurity vulnerability in supply chains

Aim: To develop a system to test whether supply chain cyber vulnerabilities and breaches can be found through available data whatever the source.

2.2 Programme Objectives

The Programme objectives include:

  • Accelerate the adoption of innovative digital technologies that enhance efficiency, transparency, and collaboration across supply chains
  • Develop up to 3 prototype solutions addressing the challenges set out by the Digital Supply Chain Hub to promote and drive innovation forward in these areas
  • Advance digitalisation and knowledge sharing across Digital Supply Chain Hub’s seven key challenge themes

2.3 Programme Judges

During the application stage, the judges will be responsible for scoring the applications according to the process and criteria set out in these Competition Terms. The judges will be chosen based on (i) their experience and expertise, and (ii) ability to exercise independent judgment. The Programme Judges comprise:

Internal Judges: A number of judges from Digital Catapult will help judge the applications.

Programme Collaboration Partners: A number of judges from the following partners:

  • NBT GROUP LIMITED, incorporated in United Kingdom at Locomotion Way, Camperdown Industrial Estate, Killingworth, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE12 5US with company number 0049393
  • LINCOLNSHIRE FIELD PRODUCTS LIMITED, incorporated in United Kingdom Wool Hall Farm Cross Gate, Wykeham, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE12 6HW, with company number 01870434

2.4 The Programme Partners

The following organisations are partnering with Digital Catapult to deliver the Programme:

Programme Collaboration Partners: Digital Catapult is working with members of the Digital Supply Chain Hub ecosystem that will participate as mentors and agree to provide in-kind co-investment equivalent of their staff time spent in, but not limited to, meetings, workshops, and discussions.

2.5 Applicants & Participants

You are considered an “Applicant” if you apply to this competition.

You are considered a “Participant” if you are successful with your application and complete all pre-project activities (e.g. signing the Programme Agreement).


Participants on the Programme will receive the following benefits:

  • MVP funding – Up to £150,000 to develop a challenge-focused MVP and supporting material within the timeframe of the project. This funding will allow for solution/product development which your organisation may not have been able to consider due to resource constraints.
  • Collaborate with the Digital Catapult team, technology and industry experts, to assess, iterate and accelerate your solution, and significantly expand your network of peers, investors and customers.
  • 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 supply chains, as well as being part of the Hub ecosystem and network.
  • Diagnostic sessions with your project team to determine current technological, commercial and strategic needs.
  • Opportunity to participate in a showcase event with an invited audience of investors, partners and industry representatives – stated to be held in February 2025
  • Become part of the future Digital Supply Chain Virtual Hub Platform – Upon successful completion of the Project, the participant will have the opportunity to join the future Digital Supply Chain Virtual Hub Platform, which will offer a platform for connecting interested digital supply chain stakeholders.
  • Upon successful completion of the Project, the opportunity to join the Digital Catapult Alumni Network, which keeps them informed of opportunities and relevant updates from the Digital Catapult, and which provides additional opportunities to engage with Digital Catapult and other Alumni.


Participants must be willing to commit to the following key obligations:

  • Build an MVP against the chosen challenge brief.
  • If you are applying for Challenge 2 you may be required to enter into an agreement to facilitate data sharing directly with the testbed.
  • Showcase tech solution developed in the programme – Digital Catapult does not take ownership of your Intellectual Property developed on the Programme, however, we do require you to present your solution relating to your challenge at the final Showcase event in February 2025.
  • Attend onboarding events hosted by Digital Catapult in August 2024 and the final showcase in February 2025.
  • Attend all of the workshops and/or webinars as agreed from August 2024 – February 2025 and stated in Key Dates.
  • We expect a minimum Co-investment of £100,000 from Solution Providers/Grant recipients. There are various categories of co-investment which can be considered. The Co-investments cover the value for money and the cost of delivering the technology solutions. You can find further information on what Co-investment we are looking for here.
  • Participant agrees to be visibly (name and logo) associated with the Programme, whilst on the Programme and afterwards as a former participant and beneficiary. This includes marketing collateral, such as website, print and digital materials.
  • Participant shall complete the Digital Catapult’s EDI Survey (please note each question will have a “prefer not to say” option).
  • For a maximum period of five years following the Project end date, Participant shall use its reasonable endeavours to answer specific questions from Digital Catapult relating to its growth and progress to assist Catapult demonstrate the impact of its activities. This shall include: (i) participation in an annual telephone conversation of one hour, and (ii) participation in a two early survey issued by Digital Catapult.
  • Provide at the end of the programme
    • Support building a case study with the Digital Catapult team
    • Provide example use cases and impact evidence where relevant
    • Provide a write-up of the Project details and lessons learned
    • Provide a reference architecture as appropriate to the solution


5.1 Minimum Requirements

  • Applicants 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.
  • Applicants must be eligible to receive £150,000 in Special Drawing Rights/De Minimis Aid (see section “Competition Terms – paragraph 9.2 “State Assistance” for further details).
  • Applicants must have a UK business bank account for any payments to be made.
  • Applicants must be able to attend all of the activities as stated in Programme Obligations.
  • Applicants must develop solutions enabled by at least one of the technologies from the Advanced Digital Technology Stack: Artificial Intelligence, Immersive, Internet of Things, Distributed Ledger Technologies and 5G/Future Networks.

5.2 What we’re looking for

The programme seeks applications for technology innovators who will be interested in developing technology MVPs to one of the UK’s core supply chain challenges.

Here are the requirements for applications to the Made Smarter Innovation: Digital Supply Chain Hub:

  • The applicant 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)
  • Experience within the manufacturing sector is not essential, however, knowledge of how to apply this to industry and relevance to the challenge is required.
  • We expect a minimum Co-investment of £100,000 from Solution Providers/Grant recipients. There are various categories of co-investment which can be considered. The Co-investments cover the value for money and the cost of delivering the technology solutions. You can find further information on what Co-investment we are looking for in the Programme FAQs.
  • Companies considered an SMEs by the EU’s definition (Link)


  • Open Call: Applications Open 20/05/2024
  • Open Call: Application Deadlineline 17/06/2024
  • Interviews with shortlisted applicants –
    • 24/06/2024 – 04/07/2024
  • Intended notification of all applicants 05/07/2024
  • Intended public announcement of successful participants 08/2024
  • Programme: Start date 05/08/2024
  • Programme: End date 12/2024
  • Showcase 02/2025

Please note that dates may be subject to change.


7.1 What information should my application contain?

 Applicants must answer all required questions in the full online application form.

7.2 Who will see my Application?

The following people will see your application:

Catapult Representatives: Relevant Catapult representatives will see your application in order to assess the application, and otherwise in the administration of your application and, if successful, participation in the Programme.

 The Programme Judges will see your full application, except for your company name and personal information fields.

 Note: Even if personal information fields from the application are not disclosed, if there is a presentation or interview stage as part of the application process, names of presenters will be disclosed to Judges (if applicable).

 Programme Participation

Programme Partners: For Participants, Programme Collaboration Partners will see your full application, along with your company name, key contact name and key contact email address in order to provide bespoke support during the Programme including 1:1 office hours, mentorship, workshops and/or webinars. Note that Programme Collaboration Partner will not see your personal information fields when judging applications.

 7.3 Key contact

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, Applicant’s Programme activities, including: workshop and event commitments, team members’ availability, ongoing activities, and assessment of progress during and after the Programme.

Digital Catapult will use this personal information for the purpose of carrying out due diligence on Applicants prior to the point of selection onto the Programme and to notify successful and unsuccessful Applicants over their submissions. The personal data we collect may be shared with and processed by (i) Programme Judges for the purpose of assessing the Applications; and (ii) Programme Partners and third party service providers for the provision of benefits to the Participants in the Programme, as set out in these Competition Terms.

7.4 Submitting your application

You must submit your application via the Skipso form (“Submission Method”).

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

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  with the subject ”DSCH Open Call 6 Application Submission”.

7.5 Digital Catapult’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Survey

In addition to your application, you will be required to complete Digital Catapult’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Survey (‘Survey’). Whilst the completion of this Survey is mandatory, please note that your responses to this Survey will be kept separately from your application and will have no effect whatsoever on your application to the Programme.

Digital Catapult (as the Data Controller) will collect and process your personal data, including the following special category data to help Digital Catapult improve its services in respect of equality, diversity and inclusion:

  • Racial and/or ethnic origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Health (including disability)
  • Religious and/or philosophical beliefs

The data collected and processed may be shared with relevant third parties and/or published but only in an aggregated form, which means you will not be personally identifiable.

Your personal data will be kept for 15 months from the time you respond to the Survey. Should you apply to another of Digital Catapult’s opportunities within the 15 month period, we will provide you with the option to allow us to re-use the data we already hold, to resubmit the Survey or to delete your Survey data. If you choose to complete the Survey again, we will keep your updated data for 15 months from the time you resubmit the Survey.

Please note you are responsible for the accuracy of the data you share with Digital Catapult and you agree to inform us if your data needs to be updated.

For more information on Digital Catapult’s collection, use and protection of your personal data and your rights in regards to your personal data, please see Digital Catapult’s privacy policy ( or contact us at If you have specific queries on our use of your Survey data (including a request to delete your Survey data), please contact us at


8.1 Qualification

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

8.2 Selection process

All qualifying applications will be reviewed and scored by the Programme Judges panel to create a shortlist. Shortlisted Applicants may be invited to interviews to enable ranking of Shortlisted Applicants based on the Applications and interviews, with the highest ranked Applicants being accepted onto the Programme.

Applications will undergo the following review process:

Stage 1:

The Catapult Representatives will undertake an initial due diligence of the Applicants against the Programme Requirements. Applicants must be willing to submit further information or documentation upon request to qualify as ‘successful’.

Stage 2:

All qualifying applications will be reviewed and scored by the Programme Judges panel based on the criteria set out in section 8.3 below. The highest-ranking applications for each challenge will be invited to an interview.

Stage 3:

Successful applicants at Stage 2 will be invited to an interview to discuss their proposal with the Programme Judges to make a further assessment using the same scoring criteria. Generally, the highest ranked Applicants will be accepted onto the Programme, but Digital Catapult reserves the right to select the cohort on a portfolio basis to ensure the Programme as a whole is able to deliver consistent support and activities that provide value to all Participants and optimise the impact of the Programme.

8.3 Application Scoring criteria and weighting

The scoring criteria will be assessed based on statements in the areas below. Each criterion will be scored on a range from 0 to 5. 0 being an “Unacceptable or No submission” score for each criterion and 5 being an “Excellent” score for each criterion. This scoring will be applied to all applications.

There are 4 criteria upon which applicants will be assessed:

Section A

Strength and Originality of the idea (Project Vision & relevant technology application): 40%

The applicant’s idea is realistic, well-developed and demonstrates a strong vision and application to the chosen challenge with consideration to the market fit and context. Shows a good understanding and a clearly identified solution with relevance to the manufacturing sector and the challenge objectives. The idea is innovative and original and the proposal has clear aims and vision.

The idea presented applies suitable advanced digital technologies in a supply chain context and the product is at a suitable technology readiness level (TRL) according to the challenge brief.

Section B

Project delivery and feasibility: 30%

The technical delivery of the proposal is feasible with a viable solution, within the timeframe and budget. This includes the development and piloting of a Minimal Viable Product.

The team shows the relevant capabilities and manufacturing domain experience, to deliver the project successfully.

All evidence in a well throughout and feasible Product Roadmap.

Section C

Financials: 15%

The applicant should deliver a clear overview and explanation of the costs of the programme and confidence that financial management and control of the project will deliver good value for money

Section D

Growth potential (Added value & scalability): 15%

The company should be capable of demonstrating the significant market demand for their solution and outline how the idea is scalable and has the potential to succeed in its full range of capabilities at a growing scale.

Furthermore, Participants will be selected on a portfolio basis to ensure the Programme is able to deliver consistent support and activities that provide value to all Participants.

8.4 Due diligence

We 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’.

8.5 Successful applicants

Successful applicants will be notified and provided with a standard agreement for review and execution (“Programme Agreement”).

The Programme Agreement is a standard agreement and not negotiable.  We do try and ensure these contracts are fair and reasonable.

In order to be accepted onto the Programme, successful applicants must sign the Programme Agreement.


9.1 Benefits

All the benefits provided under the Programme by third-party organisations (“Suppliers”) are subject to the Supplier’s terms and conditions stated in the Programme T&Cs.

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.

9.2 State Assistance

Participants shall receive the grant as Minimal Financial Assistance (“MFA”), or to the extent applicable under the Northern Ireland Protocol, the de minimis aid regulations (COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 1407/2013), collectively referred to herein as “State Assistance.

The total State Assistance received or due to be received by an individual Participant (including any associated companies e.g. subsidiaries), originating from a United Kingdom source, must not exceed £315,000, or €200,000 (approximately £165,000) for Northern Ireland Companies (or any other company subject to the Northern Ireland Protocol), each in aggregate across the Participant’s current fiscal year (as at the Agreement Date) and the previous two fiscal years.

This Programme has been assessed as providing £150,000.00. Approximately equivalent to €175,000.00

Before signing the Programme Agreement, Applicants will therefore be asked to sign a declaration confirming that you are eligible to receive the State Assistance.

9.3 Accessibility

We aim to make all of our programmes accessible. We welcome feedback as to how we may be able to improve the accessibility of our programmes in the future. If you have any feedback with regards to accessibility, please send your feedback by email to: Your feedback may be used by us in our programmes and activities.

9.4 Applicants

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

9.5 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 usually be for greater than two working days.

9.6 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.  Digital Catapult reserves the right to not work with people or an organisation which it believes could impact its reputation.

9.7  Previous Applications

Not used.

9.8  Personal Data

Digital Catapult is the Controller for the personal information submitted in the Application for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR.

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 each Controller (including its processors) to, process the personal information of the Key Contact (and any other person named in the Application and open call process) as set out in these Competition Terms and in accordance with the respective privacy policies: Digital Catapult (

 9.9 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.

 9.10 Participant Programmes

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


10.1 Data Retention

Digital Catapult will store your application and the scoring it has received for the entire duration of the Programme, or up to two (2) years, whichever the greater.  If you are a successful Applicant, we shall also store your Application for a period of up to seven (7) years following the end of the Programme.  For administration purposes, contracts may be stored for up to seven (7) years, contracts providing State Assistance for up to eleven (11) years, and deeds for up to thirteen (13) years from the end of the Programme.

10.2 Confidentiality

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 in the Programme.  This may include with our Programme Partners as indicated above.

For practical reasons, NDAs will not be signed by Digital Catapult or the Programme Partners 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. Confidentiality provisions are included in the Programme Agreement.

The scoring of your Application will be treated as sensitive information.

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

10.3 Intellectual Property

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

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.

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

10.4 Disclaimers, Exclusions & Limitations

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 your application, the Programme, or its suspension or withdrawal.

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

10.5 Entire Agreement

These Competition Terms constitute the entire agreement between Digital Catapult and the Applicant and extinguish all previous and contemporaneous agreements, promises, assurances, and understandings between them, whether written or oral, relating to the subject matter of these Competition Terms

10.6 Jurisdiction

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