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SONIC Labs competition terms

Competition Terms

SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability (“SONIC Labs”) programme

Cohort 5 – October 2023

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 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 and 5G/Future Networks.

1) Programme Description

The Programme 

SONIC (SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre) Labs is a commercially-neutral, collaborative, environment for testing interoperability and integration of open, disaggregated and software-centric network solutions and multi-vendor architectures.

The SONIC Labs programme has been developed by Digital Catapult in collaboration with Ofcom and funded by DSIT to enable and encourage innovative vendors to participate in the UK telecoms ecosystem and facilitate a more rapid path towards 5G deployment in UK networks, by taking early-stage standalone products, integrating them and supporting commercial engagement. (“Programme”).

This call is to address the challenges of an increasing interest for integration and interoperability of Open RAN components and solutions in the UK with a specific purpose of evaluating Open RAN in a reference network for performance, scalability, mobility/handover in an indoor/outdoor environment.

Digital Catapult is looking for UK and global telecoms vendors with one or more network products from the O-RAN specification of radio, distributed, centralised units and RAN intelligent controller. Participating companies shall bring Open RAN ready to deploy maturity performance products and be interested in integrating their solutions with those of other vendors, jointly identify and resolve the issues, demonstrate performance, scalability, mobility/handover in a reference network and in so doing mature the products and build the solution portfolio to accelerate the diversification and adoption of Open RAN products in the UK market. 

Programme Objectives

The Programme objectives include:

  • Enable and encourage innovative suppliers of 5G Open RAN products to participate in the UK telecoms ecosystem. 
  • Facilitate a path towards deployment by UK mobile network operators of Open RAN technologies in UK mobile telecommunications 
  • Provide UK mobile network operators (large and small) with a pipeline of innovative and competitive suppliers and products to choose from. 

Programme Themes

The main theme for this Programme is to evaluate Open RAN products at scale while also validating performance, handover, and mobility in reference networks.

All tests will be run at scale in reference networks with multiple CUs, DUs, RUs and UEs. The test plan for this Programme will consist of:

  • Adding RUs, CUs, DUS, RICs to existing reference network: Verifying new vendor RUs, CUs, DUs, RICs such that they can work in reference networks along with existing vendor units in reference networks.
  • Performance testing: Performance testing in reference network.
  • Capacity testing: Having around 10s – 100s UEs, around 2 RUs per DU and 2 DU per CU.
  • Mobility/Handover testing: Real-life mobility and handover testing in reference networks in the field.

These reference networks are available both for outdoor networks (Site 4) as well as the indoor network (Site 3) and will help both MNOs and Neutral Host operators (NH) to demonstrate their O-RAN features in a field network. 

In this Programme, there will be two categories of participants, as defined further down in this document, with Digital Catapult acting as the System Integrator (SI) who will add the following across the 2 sites:

Indoor – Site 3: 

  • 2 additional vendor CUs and DUs to the existing reference network and connect some existing reference network RU to these CUs and DUs.
  • 1 additional vendor non-RT and near-RT RIC to the existing reference network and connect this RIC with additional vendor CUs and DUs as well as with the existing reference network CUs and DUs.
  • 3 additional vendor RUs to the reference network (either by adding them or by swapping them).

Outdoor – Site 4: 

  • Adding 1 additional vendor CU to the existing reference network and connect some existing reference network DUs and RUs to this CU.
  • Adding 1 additional vendor non-RT and near-RT RIC to the existing reference network. This RIC  will connect with the additional vendor CUs and DUs as well as with the existing reference network CUs and DUs.
  • Adding 2 additional vendor Micro site RUs to the reference network.
  • Adding 1 additional DU to the existing reference network. 

Digital Catapult is also aiming to select different products to use in indoor (Site 3) and outdoor (Site 4) reference networks as additional products for this Programme based on different swaps and additions that can be done. These are detailed below:

  • For Indoor Site (Site 3):
    • Existing reference network CU and DU vendors cannot interoperate with other vendor CU and DU and hence Digital Catapult will add new vendor CUs and DUs which can interoperate between newly added CUs and DUs without interoperating with existing vendor CUs and DUs.
    • Chosen CU/DU products would have to integrate with other vendor CUs/DUs
    • RUs shall be chosen such that they can interoperate with new vendor DUs as well as some of them can interoperate with existing reference network DUs
    • It is desirable for the vendor to provide mounting brackets for installation.
    • RUs selected for this site should preferably support external antennas to allow RF cable connection testing as well as testing with T&M tools.
    • RICs shall be chosen such that it can support both non-RT as well as near-RT RICs. These 2 types of RICs shall be from the same or different vendors.
    • RICs shall be selected such that they can interoperate with existing reference network CU and DU as well as interoperate with additional CU and DU vendors.
  • For Outdoor (Site 4):
    • Additional vendors for CU and RIC shall be chosen such that they can interoperate with existing reference network vendor DUs.
    • Chosen CU/DU products would have to integrate with other vendor DUs/CUs respectively.
    • RUs shall be chosen such that they can interoperate with existing reference network vendor DUs.
    • RUs selected for this site should be able to support MicroCell configuration, should be outdoor units and should be able to be installed in street cabinets as in the existing reference network.
    • RICs shall be chosen such that it can support both non-RT as well as near-RT RICs. These 2 types of RICs shall be from the same or different vendors.
    • M-plane based configuration on the RU should be supported through non-RT RIC
    • RICs shall be selected along with some xApps and rApps to demonstrate some use cases of O-RAN (could be one of O-RAN SC use cases or any different use case)
    • RICs shall be selected such that they can interoperate with existing reference network CU and DU as well as interoperate with additional CU and DU vendors.
    • DU shall be selected such that it can be installed on an existing Dell Server having ACC 100 card.
    • CUs selected for this site should be able to be deployed on virtual machines up to 10 km away from the DUs if required, which can be either somewhere local to the DUs or DC office.
    • All the additional vendor products should be able to be deployed in the field and should be always active as these will serve friendly customers. This will not be used for commercial networks, but there will be friendly customers and hence should have 24×7 availability.

Applicants can submit their application through the Sonic Labs competition page (see “Submitting Your Application” section below). Digital Catapult will determine an applicant’s eligibility through compliance to the conditional criteria and alignment with the open call theme and other participants for the programme. To achieve this, applicants will be required to submit responses to a detailed questionnaire which focuses on the products’ technical features.  After the selection process, vendors should provide all hardware and VM requirements including accelerator card and network card programme requirements to ensure that there is sufficient lead time available for DC to procure these cards.

The 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 have/will be chosen based on (i) their experience and expertise, and (ii) ability to exercise independent judgement. The Programme Judges are as follows:

Internal Judges: A number of judges from Digital Catapult, including its 5G technology team and technology strategy team will help judge the applications.

The Programme Partners

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

Programme Funders: Digital Catapult is working as DSIT’s delivery partner on this DSIT-funded programme.  The Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT), a department of the United Kingdom government (“DSIT”)

Programme Collaboration Partners: Digital Catapult is working in collaboration with Ofcom on the SONIC Labs programme. The Office of Communications, the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the United Kingdom (“OfCom”).

Programme Industry Partners During the Project, Programme industry partners may include industry organisations that support the Project through the delivery of relevant workshops, hosting office hours, and/or through providing discounted services or products.

Programme Applicants & Participants

Participants in this Programme are:

  • Vendors that supply and collaborate in the integration, development and testing of their Open RAN products for the SONIC Labs Programme
  • Vendors that supply and collaborate in the integration, development and testing of their Open RAN products for the SONIC Labs Programme and who may join the programme through different MNOs and Neutral Host Operators.

Category 1 are participants who are not applying for bespoke business support and the associated minimum financial assistance. 

Category 2 are participants who are applying for bespoke business support and meet the competition terms in Clause 8.2

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 Participation Agreement).


This Programme will benefit from learnings and insights, which can be used: 

  • by vendors to resolve the challenges of deploying new products in field that will consist of a multi-vendor network, where other vendor products are already serving existing customers
  • by MNOs and Neutral Host operators for identifying the effect it causes and identifying staging area testing for new vendor products in field where multi-vendor O-RAN based products are already serving existing customers

Participants in the Programme will receive the following benefits:

 Category 1 and Category 2 Participants

  • A contribution of up to £20,000 per product for CU, DU, RIC and Outdoor RU vendors on the programme, to support the companies towards the eleven-month programme, including the development, integration, testing and experimentation project costs for their product. 
  • A contribution of up to £25,000 per indoor RU vendor on the programme will provide multiple instances of their RU to support the companies towards the eleven-month programme, including the development, integration, testing and experimentation project costs for their product.
  • The financial contributions for vendors undertaking work to connect its products will be capped to a maximum of three (3) supplied products, and assumes that they can already connect between their own products.
  • Access to Digital Catapult’s commercially-neutral, multi-tenancy open network testbed providing real-world scale environments, including test and measurement capabilities
  • Exposure to potential clients and industry leaders in the mobile systems industry in general and Open RAN ecosystem in particular.
  • Peer support from other participants on the Sonic Labs Programme, sharing learnings and insights gained from the programme as well as previous expertise regarding the challenges of multi-vendor end-to-end solutions.
  • Regular interactions with the Digital Catapult Technology and Innovation Practice team to support technical activities on the programme as well as learn best practices.  
  • Diagnostic sessions with your leadership team to determine current technological, commercial and strategic needs.
  • Receive brand exposure on all Digital Catapult and SONIC platforms by being part of the programme (e.g. blogs, showcase, webinars).
  • Upon successful completion of the Project, the Participant may become an Alumni of the SONIC Labs Programme. Alumni are able to network with their peers, stay up-to-date with Digital Catapult activities of specific interest and attend closed or exclusive events and, subject to the annual Assistance Declaration, may also receive the optional Alumni Opportunities. The maximum Assistance granted each year of the Alumni Term is set out each year in the annual declaration. Digital Catapult will confirm shortly after the relevant year the actual State Assistance amount granted, which will not exceed the stated maximum set out at the start of that year.

Category 2 Participants

If a vendor would also like access support on the programme in order to advance the commercialisation of their Open RAN products, Digital Catapult will also be running a bespoke support stream alongside the technical programme of activities. Any vendors eligible for the technical activities of the SONIC programme (please see minimum requirements below) that have £9,500 available of their subsidy allowance can apply for this bespoke support stream. There are no differences in the technical programme, and allows vendors to take part in:

  • 1:1 investment support and introductions to key investors from Digital Catapult’s Investment Readiness team
  • Access to Digital Catapult’s best-in-class mentorship support covering a variety of business and technical experience
  • A diagnostic session with the vendor’s leadership team to determine current technological, commercial and strategic needs.
  • Tailored technical and business workshops to develop and improve the vendor’s products and wider organisation’s business.


Category 1 and Category 2 Participants must be willing to commit to the following key obligations:

  • Participate in one onboarding session and technical kick-off at the start of the Programme
  • Participants should indicate the hardware and compute requirements within 2 days after selection confirmation to allow lead time to order accelerator and network cards.
  • Participants will be required to answer the onboarding form; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) form; and the monitoring progress forms to feed information into the Benefit Realisation framework
  • Participants should be willing to be physically present as required by the programme to fulfil some of the technical objectives at the relevant test sites in London
  • Participants will remotely start with the installation and configuration of the radio units and other Open RAN components within the lab environment as per the low-level design (LLD) created by Digital Catapult and agreed with participating vendors at the beginning of the programme 
  • Participants will work with the DC System Integrator throughout the technical journey of this Programme
  • Participants will allow Digital Catapult to use the integrated assets on its SONIC Labs Programme as part of the agreement 
  • Participants are expected to help the DC System Integrator if and when required with their product integration and configuration 
  • Participants will support the Digital Catapult Technology and Innovation Practice teams in the weekly capture of technical and non-technical lessons learnt from the Programme, participate in exit interviews and other requirement gathering activities
  • Participants will have at least one representative take part in periodic meetings and all knowledge sharing (Community of Practice) sessions throughout the Programme.
  • During the broader SONIC Labs programme, it is anticipated that a showcase will take place and parties will use reasonable endeavours to participate.
  • Participants agree 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.
  • For a maximum period of five years following the Project end date, Participants shall use their reasonable endeavours to answer specific questions from Digital Catapult relating to its growth and progress to assist Digital Catapult in demonstrating the impact of its activities. 
    • This shall include: 
      • (i) participation in an annual telephone conversation of one hour, and 
      • (ii) participation in a biannual survey issued by Digital Catapult.

Participants who are providing RUs , would also commit to the following:

  • Configuring and tuning RUs for optimised network coverage, provided spectrum slot, UE capacity and data throughput

Participants who are providing DUs , would also have the following commitments:

  • Configuring and tuning DUs for dynamic RU addition, optimised network coverage, UE capacity, multiple vendor RU support, multiple RU support and data throughput

Participants who are providing CU and RIC, would also have the following commitments:

  • Configuring and tuning CUs and RICs for dynamic DU addition, dynamic RU addition, dynamic CU, DU and RU configuration and re-configuration through SMO, UE capacity, multiple vendor DU support, multiple DU support and data throughput
  • RIC vendors should also demonstrate xApp and rAPP based use cases committed and help demonstrate the value of the RIC use cases. Slicing-based use cases, FR2, beam forming, line of sight, co-existence with LTE, Vo5G NR based use cases shall not be possible in this network.

Product’s Auxiliary Items

The vendors participating in SONIC Labs will provide any auxiliary items necessary for the correct functioning and interfacing of the product in the programme. This includes items such as:

  • Any installation manual or guide for the product. 
  • Power cables for the radio units they will provide.
  • Spare ethernet and fibre to feed to the radio units they will provide.
  • Fans or any other cooling device.
  • Additional networking cables and any necessary adapters.
  • Network interface cards.
  • Any other item (HW/SW) that affects the correct functioning of the product i.e. SFPs etc.

Additional Requirements for Category 2 Participants

  • If the participant has applied to the bespoke support stream, a representative must attend the knowledge sharing activities (Community of Practice sessions) and bespoke support sessions. Please note programme dates, which are subject to change.
  • If the participant has applied to the bespoke support programme, participants will support the Digital Catapult Technology and Innovation Practice teams in the weekly capture of bespoke non-technical lessons learnt from the Programme, participate in exit interviews and other requirement gathering activities.
  • Applicants applying for State Assistance will be asked to provide information on how this financial support has contributed to their development


4.1 Minimum Requirements 

Applicants for Indoor field trial shall have at least one Open RAN product, ready to deploy and with high maturity level. This should include  one or more of the following: CU (centralised unit), DU (distributed unit), RU (radio unit), RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller) including both, non-RT RIC and Near-RT RIC. RIC vendors can provide their rApps and xApps or their partner’s rApps and xApps, as part of their RIC solution.

    • These components must conform to Open RAN interface standards (compliance with 3GPP and O-RAN Alliance) 
    • Applicants are planning on selling or currently selling their products in the UK.
  • Applicants must have adequate technical resources to take part in integration, testing and swapping processes as well as other resources to take part in knowledge sharing and dissemination activities. 
  • Applicants must be able to provide multiple instances of the products that could be part of gNodeB systems if required. 
  • Radio Units provided by Applicants for either of the themes shall be able to operate in the specified spectrum slots within the following range 3.3 – 4.0GHz
  • Radio Units provided by Applicants shall be compliant with the indoor EMF and RF safety requirements. 
  • Applicants are not considered a high-risk vendor (as defined by the National Cyber Security Centre, or otherwise under applicable law).
  • All-in-one gNodeB combined solutions will not be considered.
  • These products will be deployed in reference networks serving friendly customers and hence should be stable, always active and serving them
  • RIC, CU and DU vendors should comply with at least some minimal set of KPMs to allow cell level measurements which can be used by xApps/rApps. Note that slicing is not supported in this Cohort..
  • SMO based configuration for CU and DU should be supported
  • RIC and CU should be able to be deployed on virtual machines. It is preferred to be deployed as containers on kubernetes.
  • Indoor RUs should preferably support an external antenna to allow RF cable-based connection to be used with T&M tools
  • Participating vendors should support optimising the configuration to allow the best performance supported by their products for the given radio conditions.

Applicants for Outdoor field trial  providing Outdoor Radio Units shall be compliant with the outdoor IP rating requirements (IP65) and:

  • Participants shall be willing to coordinate with Digital Catapult as the System Integrator for providing required inputs for RU installation, RU optimization and stabilising the RUs for field usage
  • Outdoor radio units shall be deployed in the street cabinets adjacent to the lampposts.
  • DU shall be able to be deployed on COTS servers in the telephone exchanges.


  • For those applying to the bespoke support stream of the programme, you must demonstrate all the above minimum requirements. Applicants must be eligible to receive £9,500 in State Assistance (see section 8.2 below for further details). Please note the total subsidy you have received up to the point of applying must take into consideration all group companies and must be aggregated.


Proposed key dates

  • Open Call – Applications Open: 23 October 2023 
  • Open Call – Application Deadline: 8 December 2023
  • Selected Applicants invited to interview: 8 – 19 January 2024
  • Intended notification of all Applicants: 31 January 2024
  • Contracts signed: 6 March 2024
  • Intended public announcement of successful Participants: w/c 11 March 2024
  • Vendors to provide all required hardware, VM/compute requirements including hardware cards: 14 March 2024 


The Technical journey for the program shall be as follows:

  • Start Date: 1 April 2024
  • Technical environments completed: 31 July 2024
  • First stream of “swap” tests completed: 31 October 2024
  • Second stream of “swap” tests completed: 31 January 2025
  • End Date: 28 February 2025 (including completion of vendor interviews) 


6.1 What information should my application contain?

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

6.2 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.

6.3 Key contact 

Applicants 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 Programme Partners for the purpose of assessing the Applications and for the provision of benefits to the Participants on the Programme, as set out in these Competition Terms.

6.4 Submitting your application

Applicants must submit their applications via the  Digital Catapult website (“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 [email protected] with the subject “SONIC Labs Open Call 5 Application Submission”.

Once your completed application has been received, Applicants will be asked to demonstrate that they meet the conditional requirements for the SONIC Labs programme.  Further, applicants may be invited to a preliminary 15-30 minute call with the Digital Catapult team. This will be to confirm the Programme Requirements and obligations can be met. 

6.5 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 [email protected]. If you have specific queries on our use of your Survey data (including a request to delete your Survey data), please contact us at [email protected].


7.1 Qualification

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

7.2 Selection process

All qualifying applications will be reviewed and scored by the Programme Judges panel to create a shortlist based on highest scoring Applicants whilst ensuring that it has a portfolio of the different Open RAN components required for the system.  Shortlisted Applicants will be invited to interviews to enable the ranking of Shortlisted Applicants based on the Applications and interviews. The Programme Judges panel will then choose which applicants will be accepted onto the Programme based on the highest ranked applicants of each relevant Open RAN component, again with Digital Catapult satisfying itself that the Open RAN components create the best balanced system in line with its objectives. 

7.3 Application Scoring criteria and weighting 

The scoring criteria for applicants participating in indoor and outdoor field trials 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 weighted differently. 

There are 5 criteria upon which all applicants will be assessed:

Technology relevance and suitability (55% weighting):

  • One or more network product (e.g. initially from the O-RAN specification of radio, distributed, centralised units and RAN intelligent controller) from the mobile system architecture, complies with the suitability criteria required for the integration, interoperability and performance testing on Open RAN gNB systems (see pre-integration checklist) including ready to deploy high maturity performance. 

Products should have a high Technology Readiness level to easily plug and play.

Expertise and commitment of the team (30% weighting)

  • The team is equipped to collaborate with DC engineers as well as system integrators in system integration activities (installation/troubleshooting), and has appropriate technology skills and resources to participate in other programme activities including knowledge sharing and dissemination.

Business capability (5% weighting):

  • The company has core competencies that would enable it to progress in the launch and commercialisation of Open RAN products within and beyond the UK.

Product market fit in the UK (Pass/Fail):

  • The company has an intention to/ is already commercialising their product in the UK.

Innovativeness of the product (novelty features) (10% weighting): 

  • The solution has additional features and the ability to develop new RAN intelligent, programmable and virtualized functions. 

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 whilst fulfilling the architecture requirements of the selected Open RAN products system

7.4 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’.

7.5 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.


8.1 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.

8.2 State Assistance

Category 1 Applicants

Not Applicable.

Category 2 Applicants

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 £9,500 for Category 2 Participants. / approximately equivalent to €10,982.

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

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

8.6 Previous Applications

Catapult reserves the right to either (i) reassess an application from a previous Sonic Labs 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 is the Controller for the personal information submitted in the Application for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018.

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 (

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.


9.1 Data Retention 

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 Assistance for up to eleven (11) years, and deeds for up to thirteen (13) years from the end of the Programme.

9.2 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 on the Programme.  This may include 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.

9.3 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. 

9.4 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 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. 

9.5 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.

Digital Catapult and the Applicant agree that they have not relied on any statement, representation, assurance or warranty (whether made innocently or negligently) that is not set out in these Competition Terms. Digital Catapult and the Applicant agree that they shall have no claim for innocent or negligent misrepresentation or negligent misstatement based on any statement in these Competition Terms.

9.6 Jurisdiction

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