Digital Supply Chain Innovation Funding Opportunity

Supporting businesses in leveraging digital technologies to enhance supply chain resilience and efficiency.


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 must address various digital supply chain issues focused around the hub’s seven core challenge themes.

This open call looks to develop solutions to issues that have arisen in three critical areas; data governance, reporting and verification of emissions across the food supply chain, and cybersecurity vulnerability. Applications are invited from companies interested in working with programme collaboration partners from the Digital Supply Chain Hub ecosystem. 

As a delivery partner, Digital Catapult will facilitate and oversee the partnerships between technology innovators and programme collaboration partners, furthering digital adoption and driving innovation forward.

Applications close

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Challenge Briefs

Challenge brief 1:

Data governance systems for 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 brief 2:

Food supply chain carbon management

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 brief 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.

Roles & responsibilities

The role of the solution provider and programme collaboration partner.

Solution provider

The winning applicant will serve as the solution provider and receive funding to solve one of three defined supply chain challenges. Payments of funds will be stage gated in line with key deliverables to meet the supply chain challenge. Co-investment of £100,000 will be required.

Programme collaboration partner

Programme collaboration partners will participate as “mentor” and agree to provide in-kind co-investment equivalent of their staff time spent in meetings, workshops and discussions.

Why should you get involved?

Participants on the programme will receive the following benefits:

MVP funding

Up to £150,000 to develop a challenge focused minimum viable product (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 Digital Catapult experts

Collaborate with technology and industry experts from Digital Catapult to assess, iterate and accelerate your solution, and significantly expand your network.

Digital supply chain hub platform

Upon successful completion of the project, the participant will have the opportunity to join the future digital supply chain hub platform, which will offer a platform to connect interested digital supply chain stakeholders.

Diagnostic sessions

Diagnostic sessions with your project team to determine current technological, commercial and strategic needs.

Digital Catapult Alumni Network

Upon successful completion of the project, 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 other Alumni.

Showcase event

Be part of our showcase event, which is an opportunity to participate, pitch and attend meetings at the showcase events in February 2025 and any relevant digital supply chain events.

How to apply and next steps

  1. Applicants must apply via the application form. 
  2. As part of the application, you will be asked to demonstrate that you meet the programme requirements for the challenge open call.
  3. Once you start your application you will have until 23:59 BST on Monday 17th of June 2024 to submit your application. Once submitted you will not be able to make any edits.
  4. If you would like to apply for multiple challenge areas using the same technology, please complete a separate application form for each. If an organisation wishes to apply with more than one technology solution, please submit an additional application form per solution.

Should you require any assistance with the application you can reach out to to explore the suitability of your idea for the challenges. You can also join us for Circle discussions and collaborate with industry experts by signing up today and asking in the Digital Supply Chain Hub. For further information, please click here for frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Programme requirements

Terms and conditions

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I receive preliminary feedback on my application before submission and if unsuccessful?
    • Unfortunately not, to ensure a fair judging process and due to the high volume of applications we expect to receive, we are not able to work with you or feedback on applications prior to completion. Please refer to our selection criteria to understand what we expect to see from applications.
    If your application is not successful for the programme, we cannot provide feedback to all our applicants, but we will let you know the outcome either way.
  • What counts as Co-investment for this project?

    There are various categories of co-investment which can be considered. The Co-investment covers the value for money and cost to deliver the technology solutions.

    What co-investment are we looking for?

    Co-investment from industry and technology partners is a requirement of the funding

    There are various categories of co-investment which can be considered:

  • How will my application be assessed?

    All applications will have to meet our minimum requirements as outlined in the T&Cs

     and will then be scored against are selection criteria below.  

    This scoring will be applied to all applications and will be weighted as can be seen in the table below:

    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.

    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.   

    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

    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.

  • What is a testbed?

    A supply-chain testbed can be defined as an end-to-end supply chain data environment, where technologies can be deployed and tested using real data but without risking business disruption. At the Made Smarter Innovation | Digital Supply Chain Hub, we are supporting the development of four testbeds in food, automotive spares, textiles, and hydrogen sectors. The Digital Supply Chain Testbeds were commissioned to provide multi-tier supply chain environments in which innovative digital solutions can be developed, tested and demonstrated. A key aspect is allowing the demonstration of value, with the ambition of driving adoption of digital solutions.

  • When do the technology innovators get to meet the Programme Collaboration Partners?

    Successful candidates will go through a series of introductions and alignment meetings taking place during the onboarding process in August 2024.

  • If I have previously worked with Digital Catapult, am I able to apply?
    • Yes, companies who have already worked with Catapult are eligible for future programmes with any programme they must meet the minimum requirements and be able to claim the programmes value in state aid.

    This Programme has been assessed as providing £150,000 for Participants,

    • Before signing the Programme Agreement, Applicants will therefore be asked to sign a declaration confirming that they are eligible to receive the State Assistance
    • For more information please find our competition terms and conditions.
  • Do you have to be UK based?
    • Applicants must be a UK-based registered company, or prove they are a company that has an establishment in the UK, and undertake all activity in the UK.
    • Applicants must have a UK business bank account for any payments to be made.
  • What are the programme’s minimum requirements?
    • Applicants must be eligible to receive £150,000 in State Assistance.
    • We expect a minimum Co-investment of £100,000 from Solution Providers/Grant recipients. 
    • Applicants must have a UK business bank account for any payments to be made.
    • Applicants must be a UK-based registered company, or prove they are a company that has an establishment in the UK, and undertake all activity in the UK.
    • Applicants must not use more than 30% of the allocated funds for subcontracting.

Chat to the team

If you haven’t found an answer to your question, please contact or book a 15-minute slot with the project team. You can also join us for Circle discussions and collaborate with industry experts by signing up today and asking in the Digital Supply Chain Hub.