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, the Made Smarter Innovation Digital Supply Chain Hub (DSCH) is mobilising diverse communities of stakeholders across multiple manufacturing and technology sectors in the UK to enable the widespread adoption of advanced digital technologies across supply chains.

The programme works with both leading UK manufacturers and the UK’s leading digital technology innovation community to develop cutting-edge technology solutions and facilitate innovative research to many of the UK’s core supply chain challenges. It aims to help manufacturers integrate advanced digital technologies, leading to improved data sharing and more informed analysis, meaning manufacturers are able to spot bottlenecks in supply chains, reduce waste and boost efficiencies.

The DSCH has been designed to develop a globally competitive, digital and diverse innovation ecosystem addressing today’s supply chain challenges, making them more sustainable, resilient and efficient. It will accelerate commercial integration of advanced and emerging digital technologies across manufacturing supply chains. The DSCH is a partly 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. Background

The Digital Catapult

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 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 and Future Networks.


Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
UKRI’s 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’s organisation brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. UKRI supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. It helps businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services, supported by an outstanding innovation ecosystem that is agile, inclusive, and easy to navigate.

Innovate UK exists to help companies in any part of the UK to grow through innovation. UKRI is a key delivery body for the government’s Innovation Strategy.
UKRI support business through a range of interventions, including helping them:

  • to find the right partners
  • to access the right expertise and equipment
  • with financial loans and grants
  • by connecting them with investors.

These interventions support the development of new approaches, across a range of technologies, in all sectors and industries. These include advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, digital, electronics, bioscience and advanced computing.

1.3. The Programme Judges

During the application stage, the judges will be responsible for scoring the applications according to the criteria set out in these Programme Competition Terms. The judges have/will be chosen based on their experience and expertise.

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

Sponsor Judges
A number of judges from the Programme Sponsors may help judge applications.

1.4. The Programme Partners

Programme Funders

Digital Catapult is working as Innovate UK’s delivery partner on this UKRI funded programme. InnovateUK is the UK’s innovation agency, and is part of UK Research and Innovation.

Programme Sponsors

Industrial companies who provide input on the challenge, scope and brief, support the technology company by providing directional support and opportunity to test solutions in industry environments.

1.4.3 Programme consultants

Programme consultants will include among others business analysts and pitching experts who might 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

Participants on the Programme will receive the following benefits:

  • Proof of value funding: Up to £80,000 to develop a challenge focused proof of value and supporting material within 4 months.
  • Engagement with technology experts and innovation managers from Digital Catapult, as well as industry sponsors and subject matter experts.
    Digital Catapult will hold periodical meetings required with the industry sponsors, technology teams and subject matter experts to help develop Participants’ solutions on various topics.
  • Business expertise – Support network of industrial and technology experts to help develop impactful proof of values and build new technology proof of values.
  • Industry workshops – Focused industry workshops to help accelerate the development and commercialisation of your proof of value.
  • Technical monitoring – Engineering expertise to increase confidence in the proof of value build and push the boundaries of the technology – this monitoring also includes inputs from Digital Catapult technologists.
  • Facilities – For the duration of the programme, the cohort may be able to make use of Digital Catapult’s Labs in London (subject to availability and site terms and under the discretion of Digital Catapult).
  • 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 chain resilience and transparency, as well as being part of the Hub ecosystem and network.
  • Showcase event – Opportunity to participate, pitch and attend meetings at the showcase event at the end of the year 2022.
  • Potential support network of industry experts with technical and business experience to help companies grow their businesses and develop their proof of values and prepare for the showcase.
  • Potentially being part of the future 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 for connecting interested digital supply chain stakeholders.

3. Programme Obligations

Participants on the Programme must commit to the following obligations:

  • Showcase proof of value – Digital Catapult does not take ownership of your Intellectual Property developed on the Programme, however we do require you to present a proof of value relating to your challenge at the Showcase event.
  • Attend kick-off event hosted by Digital Catapult in July 2022 and final showcase November 2022.
  • Attend all of the workshops and/or webinars as stated in section 5.
  • Attend all sessions with Industry Sponsors as agreed from July 2022 – November 2022.
  • 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

Provide at the end of the programme

  • Support building a case study with the Digital Catapult team
  • Provide example use cases where relevant
  • Provide a write up of the Project detail and lessons learned
  • Provide a reference architecture as appropriate to the solution
  • Provide software components as appropriate to the solution
  • Demonstrator toolset as appropriate to the solution

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 survey issued by Digital Catapult

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

4. Applicants

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

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

The lead company/organisation* 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.

*Lead company/organisation

  • You may enter as a collaborative team, but there must be a lead company/organisation 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/organisation to arrange any collaboration agreements or subcontracts as necessary and to comply with the Made Smarter Innovation: Digital Supply Chain Hub terms and conditions.
  • You can be named as a collaborator on more than one application, but can only be a ‘lead’ company/organisation once.
  • We may carry out due diligence on the lead and any collaboration companies/organisation 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

Please note dates are subject to change:

  • Open Call – Applications Open 23rd May 2022
  • Open Call – Application Deadline – 03rd July 2022
  • Intended notification of all Applicants – w/c the 01st August 20022
  • Intended public announcement of successful applications: w/c 15th August 2022
    • Programme start date – 15th August 2022
    • Challenge Alignment workshop – July/August 2022
    • Final showcase – November 2022
    • Programme close – December/January 2022

6. Application

6.1. What information should my application contain?

6.1.1 You will need to submit an application through the Made Smarter Digital Supply Chain Hub platform.

6.1.2 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?

Catapult Representatives

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.

Programme Funders

Relevant IUK representatives (and other Government representatives) will have access to your application for the administration of your application and, if successful, participation on the Programme, including its statutory duties

Sponsor Judges
The sponsor judges will see the complete application, except for personal information fields.

6.3. Key contact information

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

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 Programme Partners for the purpose of assessing the Applications and providing benefits to the Participants on the Programme, as set out in these T&Cs.

The Programme Funder will additionally use the personal and confidential information for grant administration purposes, programme evaluation, and to perform its statutory duties.

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 dschopencalls@digicatapult.org.uk.

7. Selection

7.1. Qualification

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

7.2. Selection process

Stage 1

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 second stage.

Stage 2

A number of applications (up to 5) will be further assessed for each of the challenges by the relevant Industry Sponsor(s) using the same scoring criteria The scores from Stage 1 and 2 will be combined.

Moderation Stage

If deemed necessary, a moderation session will take place with Digital Catapult judges and the Industry Sponsor judge.

7.3. Scoring


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 and will be equally weighted.

There are 5 criteria upon which applicants will be assessed:

  • Strength and Originality 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. 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.
  • Appropriate team experience- The team is equipped to deliver the proposed proof of value and has appropriate technology and business skills, demonstrating a good team structure that will deliver a first tested proof of value within 4 months.
  • Technology suitability/relevance- The idea presented applies suitable advanced digital technologies in a supply chain context and the product is at suitable technology readiness level (TRL) according to the challenge brief.
  • Feasibility of proof of value 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 proof of value, level of manpower, manufacturing and financial capabilities.
  • 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

Any funding provided by Programme Funder(s) either as direct cash grant or otherwise used for the operation of the Programme are subject to its terms and conditions stated in the Programme T&Cs.

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

Participants are receiving the grant pursuant to Special Drawing Rights (aka minimal financial assistance), or to the extent applicable under the NI 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 a Participant (including any associated companies e.g. subsidiaries), originating from a United Kingdom source, must not exceed £315,000 for GB companies, and €200,000 (approximately £165,000) for Northern Ireland companies (or any organisation subject to the

Northern Ireland Protocol) 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 up to £88,000 aid in total. Before signing the Programme Agreement, you will therefore be asked to sign a declaration confirming that you are eligible to receive the State Assistance.

Digital Catapult reserves the right to amend the State Assistance 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. Personal Data

Digital Catapult and IUK (each, a party) are partnering on this programme, and each is individually (not jointly) a Controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018. Each party is individually responsible to you for how that party respectively stores, uses and processes your personal data in accordance with that its own privacy policy. Each party is not responsible to you for the other party’s storage, use or processing of your data. Actions taken by one party (e.g. deleting personal data) will be independent of the other party. If you need to make a data request, please make such request directly to the relevant party. Use of personal data includes each Controller using a sub-processor for the purposes of impact assessment.

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. Personal 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


Issue date

Issued on 27 May 2022