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Open call

Shooting Star

Open date: Wednesday 16 February 2022   Close date: Sunday 3 April 2022


The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is looking to fund and build relationships with partners who are interested in undertaking research into resilient hardware.

We are working with the NCSC to find companies who can offer best in class research and potential solutions in the area of resilient hardware. Specifically, novel architectures and technologies to protect against the highest threats.

This is an opportunity to experiment and think outside the box with new hardware resilience ideas, or repurposing existing solutions or ideas used in other sectors to improve the resilience of high assurance products.


The Shooting Star programme offers successful applicants the following benefits:

A unique opportunity to research and discuss solutions in-depth with key stakeholders from the NCSC.

In-depth and valuable feedback from experts across the country in cyber security.

Access, visibility, and potential opportunities within the product resilience sector.

Funding for your research and collaboration of up to £80K (excl. VAT) for a 3 to 9 month research programme.

Undertaking a funded research programme, exploring developments and broadening the cyber-security skills of your staff, which your company may have discounted due to commercial constraints.

Become an associated partner of the new ecosystem being created around future cyber-product resilience by Digital Catapult.

Who should apply

Apply to join if you are an organisation confident in your research capabilities, with fresh, differentiated thinking, and ideas that enhance technology flexibility.

If you understand the critical importance for the UK to explore new technology and approaches which support diverse resilient products and enable highly secure modern ways of working.

That you are keen to develop research proposals that are novel, robust, functional and scalable, with due consideration to risks and limitations.

And if you have experience in hardware and product development, working with partners, familiarity with legacy architectures, skills in product resilience, and can innovate within legal, security and commercial constraints.

We invite companies who:

  • Offer innovative research that could help improve the resilience, security or agility of critical systems.
  • Have experience working with resilient hardware including in any of the following sectors:
    Automotive, aerospace, critical network infrastructure, power generation (e.g. nuclear power plant systems), chemical plants, medical equipment, or cyber security.
  • Are aware of market trends and high assurance design guidelines.
  • Have staff with experience developing hardware.
  • Have experience working with high-security standards and company information protection.
  • Are willing to transfer the intellectual property of the research outcome to the NCSC, which is open to discussion in exceptional cases.
  • May have experience working with hardware supported cryptography.


Given the access that the programme provides companies will need to:

  • Be registered as a UK company with a physical office in the UK.
  • Use a business bank account in the UK.
  • Undergo Government security checks as required for their companies and staff, including declaring any overseas workers or board members.


The criteria for being selected to participate in the research programme includes:

  • The novelty of your proposed research idea
  • Focused on hardware resilience, not just software
  • Team expertise, experience, and commitment
  • Feasibility of the research proposed
  • Applicability and scalability of the research proposed
  • Robustness and functionality
  • Openness to learn and collaborate
  • Communicating the thought process behind the solutions
  • Consideration of risks, uncertainties and dependencies
  • Value for money (based on a costed proposal and outcomes)
  • Meeting the security requirements

Apply now

Shooting Star