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Open call

Build UK India – Industrial Net Zero

Open date: Sunday 12 September 2021   Close date: Sunday 17 October 2021

Build UK India – Industrial Net Zero is an international collaboration bringing together the best of the UK and Indian manufacturing sectors to address the most pertinent topics of industrial net zero.

The opportunity is delivered by Digital Catapult and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It is supported by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Science & Innovation Network (SIN). If your company is an early-stage startup, the Accelerate – Industrial Net Zero open call may interest you.

About the opportunity

A small cohort of UK advanced digital technology startups will explore applications of their existing products and services with established Indian corporate partners that hold aspirations in leveraging the digital technology to optimise resource usage and current processes.

Throughout the duration of the programme, the startup teams will receive expert innovation support from Digital Catapult in product training, design and preparing robust business cases for their new market as well as pitch training. Specialist Indian corporate partners will collaborate in the design and delivery of the programme, signalling the strong bi-lateral nature of Build UK India.

Startups onboarded on the programme will have the chance to collaborate with:

  • Johnson Matthey
  • Tata Steel
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Godrej Aerospace

The programme will conclude with a final showcase in March 2022, where the startups will be able to share their progress and begin their journey of entering into the Indian market.

About the challenges and programme

Tackling industrial net zero on a global scale

Advanced digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), distributed ledger technologies and immersive, can deliver a raft of benefits for an organisation’s green credentials. When applied in the right way, they can help businesses measure environmental impact, reduce waste, optimise usage and extend the life cycles of vital assets.

What is involved?

Through this programme, we’re looking to support startups who address the following two challenges:

Material Resource Optimisation – optimising the outputs of an organisation or facility, without increasing input or sacrificing quality is crucial for the success of an industry both environmentally and economically. Across the industry, inefficient processes are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Sub-categories include:

  • Integration of new materials into more sustainable manufacturing processes – Using advanced digital technologies to manufacture more durable products
  • Ensuring consistent and high quality of products – Such as using augmented reality and machine vision to inspect and connect parts, reducing scrap
  • Reducing energy requirements for production – Using IoT and AI to optimise processes to reduce energy consumption in manufacturing processes
  • Improving line efficiency in a manufacturing shop by monitoring the flow rate through the workstations without requiring manual data inputs

Zero Waste Manufacturing – designing and utilising products for reuse, remanufacturing and recycling to enable a more sustainable circular economy. Closing the material loops by providing accurate information on the availability, location and condition of products. Digitalisation also enables more efficient processes in companies, helps minimise waste, promotes longer life for products and minimises the transaction costs. Sub-categories include:

  • Remanufacture, reuse and recycling of parts – Such as using DLT to store information on product lifetime performance to advise manufacturers on how materials can be used once a product reaches the end of its life
  • Closed-loop manufacturing – Using data to identify how scrap material can be utilised in new products
  • Monitor a high number of parameters in a forming or welding process, and using AI/ML techniques to make quick adjustments to avoid producing defect parts
  • Design and manufacture of new products for a circular economy – such as using AI to design more robust products or AR/VR so share design and manufacturing specifications between stakeholders in different locations

Why get involved?

As part of the Build UK India project, the successful applicants will receive grant funding of up to £45,000 to build demonstrators in response to the industrial challenges. For more information about the funding and how it is going to be distributed, please see the FAQs.

Over the course of the project, the selected startups will also collaborate closely with leading Indian manufacturing leaders seeking to help UK startups to tackle urgent net-zero challenges and share industry knowledge and insights on how to best work in the Indian market.

Throughout this project, participants will also have the support of Digital Catapult technology and business experts to build their demonstrators and develop a strong business case, as well as being invited to attend relevant industry roundtables , networking sessions, and other relevant opportunities offered by Digital Catapult.

Who should apply?

This open call is looking at applications from UK based startups that can tackle industrial net zero challenges by developing demonstrators in collaboration with Indian manufacturing leaders.

The technology solutions considered as part of the Build UK India are:

  • Future networks and advanced digital infrastructure (internet of things including low powered wide area networks, NB-IoT, LIFI etc. and includes sensors, edge devices, wearables etc.)
  • Immersive technologies – extended reality (virtual, augmented, mixed reality and haptics)
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning (natural language processing, machine vision, deep learning)
  • Distributed ledger technologies (blockchain etc.)

Before applying, please read the Build UK India T&Cs.

If your company is an early-stage startup, the Accelerate – Industrial Net Zero open call may also interest you.

Additional detail

Build UK India links specifically to three of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Goal 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9 – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

Goal 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

As a participant in the UN Global Compact, Digital Catapult is committed to the systemwide implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to advocacy and outreach activities relating to the SDGs.

Next steps

  • To apply, each applicant will need to register their interest using the form below.
  • Applicants will receive a follow-up email with a link to the application form through Submittable and Digital Catapult’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 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. Completion of the survey is mandatory, however applicants will have the option of “prefer not to say” in each question.
  • Each applicant team will need to complete the application form by BST 23:59 on 17 October 2021 to be considered for the programme.
  • Digital Catapult will respond to the applicants week commencing 01 November 2021.