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SONIC Labs Competition Terms

SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability (“SONIC Labs”) Technology Access Programme – February 2024


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, 5G/Future Networks and Quantum Technologies.


2.1 The Programme 

The SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre (SONIC) 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 Technology Access Programme (TAP) has been developed by Digital Catapult in collaboration with Ofcom and funded by DSIT to facilitate experimentation, unlock innovation and help accelerate the adoption of Open RAN technology by UK industry. This eight-month structured programme will be delivered by Digital Catapult. Participants are invited to develop solutions that address one of the following two Open RAN energy efficiency themes, namely: RIC enabled advanced sleep modes and Optimising CU/DU Power utilisation of server CPU cores. 

The selected Participants will carry out their own research to develop and implement solutions and algorithms relevant to address the Open RAN energy efficiencies themes presented. The selected applicants will also receive additional training on the fundamentals of Open RAN Technologies and the tools to be used for measuring energy efficiencies. Participating companies will build solutions to accelerate the diversification and adoption of Open RAN products in the UK market.

2.2 Programme Themes

The overarching challenge for this Programme is to develop Open RAN energy efficiency solutions categorised under two themes namely.

  1. RIC enabled Advanced Sleep Modes (“Theme 1”)
  2. Optimising CU/DU Power utilisation of server CPU cores (“Theme 2”)

Theme 1: RIC-enabled Advanced Sleep Modes 

The RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) as a software-defined component controls and optimises Open RAN functions. Through the application of AI/ML techniques, it assesses, diagnoses and learns to optimise the performance and resource utilisation of radio network elements. Digital Catapult is looking for UK operating companies, small to medium businesses, as defined in Section 9.10, to develop solutions for rApps and xApps to run on non-real time and near real-time RIC platforms to achieve improvement in energy consumption by the radio access network. 

Participating companies should have prior experience in developing applications and solutions that can be used for optimising wireless networks and should be interested in exploring innovative solutions and integrating their solutions in disaggregated Open RAN systems.

Theme 1 will enable the development of new prototype solutions (third-party RIC applications) with meaningful usage to the MNO community. This theme allows SMEs to explore energy efficiency solutions for Open RAN systems through the development of xApps and rApp applications.

To support Theme 1, Digital Catapult will provide access to SONIC Labs’ in-house testing capabilities and a RIC tester which simulates O-RAN networking nodes including O-CU, O-DU and Near/Non-RT RIC to develop and trial energy efficiency solutions. The RIC tester will be leveraged to emulate the entire radio access network under different deployment scenarios including various traffic and mobility models.

Fig 1

Fig [1]: Apps deployment on RIC platform

The MNO and private network provider community has identified Advanced Sleep Mode as a novel feature that requires further exploration to determine the feasibility of achieving intelligent energy saving by optimising the RAN sleep mode patterns through AI/ML enabled RIC-based actuation. This theme will explore solutions utilising any or all of the following three sleep modes of operation.

  • Micro sleep power state with instantaneous (i.e. per symbol basis) transition time.
  • Light sleep power state with transition times between 6 ms and 640 ms.
  • Deep sleep power state with transition times between 50 ms to 10 sec.

Fig 2

Fig [2]: Advanced sleep modes 

Shortlisted SMEs will develop solutions for rApps and xApps to run on non-real and near real-time RIC platforms to achieve improvement in energy consumption by the radio access network. These applications will be tested with an emulated Open RAN deployment using a RIC tester to showcase the effectiveness of the application in achieving energy efficiency gains.

Theme 2: Optimising CU/DU Power utilisation of server CPU cores

The O-DU and O-CU consume significant processing power from a compute node. This theme will enable the optimization of O-DU and O-CU solutions for providing energy-efficient solutions to the MNOs and private network provider community. Digital Catapult is ideally looking for UK operating companies to provide, deploy and integrate O-CU/O-DU software solutions within an energy monitoring and optimisation test platform. 

Participating companies should be interested in exploring innovative solutions and optimising their products’ energy consumption using standardised testing methodologies such as those defined under ETSI (TS 103 786). The testing platform will provide feedback for optimising energy-saving gains by characterising: Uncore Frequency Scaling, Voltage-Frequency control states (P-states) and C-States.

To support this theme Digital Catapult will provide access to an energy consumption monitoring test platform presented in Figure [3]. O-DU and O-CU software will be deployed on a COTS server and integrated with an O-RU and Core network simulator and a Power Analyser. The O-RU simulator will simulate both UE and O-RU over fronthaul interfaces while the Core network simulator helps to provide end-to-end connectivity. The Power analyser will measure the AC power consumption for different load tests as defined by ETSI (TS 103 786). 



Fig [3]: Energy Consumption monitoring test platform

O-DU and O-CU will be tested under various combinations of path loss (Low, Medium and High) and load conditions (Low, Medium and High); with the power consumption monitored during the executions. The test platform will provide insights into energy consumption statistics leveraging the integrated Redfish and Power Analyzer. O-DU and O-CU software providers will be provided with the opportunity to incorporate the feedback from the test platform and optimise the product(s) implementation to showcase energy enhancements/gains.

2.3 Programme Categories

In addition to the two Themes, there are two categories of participation on the Programme available for each Theme:

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

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

2.4 Programme Objectives:

The Programme objectives include:

  • For Theme 1, enable the development of new prototype solutions (third-party RIC applications) with meaningful usage to the MNO community.
  • For Theme 1, deliver innovative RIC solutions that help to minimise Energy consumption for the Open RAN deployments.
  • For Theme 2, explore innovative solutions for Open RAN component (O-DU and O-CU) vendors to benchmark and improve the energy consumption & efficiency of their products. 
  • Explore and advance learnings on requirements that will assist MNOs and private network providers to minimise energy cost operating expenditure
  • Upskill applicants with highly transferable expertise to start or expand new value propositions in telecom (in alignment with the UK government’s 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy)
  • Provide UK mobile network operators with a pipeline of innovative and competitive suppliers and products to choose from.  
  • Facilitate a path towards deployment of Open RAN technologies in UK mobile telecommunications 
  • Facilitate Open RAN network vendors with learnings on standard or value added parameters to be exposed to RIC for energy efficiency.

2.5 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.

2.6 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. 

2.7 Applicants and Participants

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 offer learnings and insights, which can be used: 

  • by start-ups/SMEs to resolve the challenges of deploying new products to resolve energy efficiency challenges experienced by MNOs, where established vendors are addressing the same challenges
  • by MNOs, private network providers and Neutral Host operators for identifying the effect it causes and identifying staging area testing for new vendor products in fields where multi-vendor Open RAN based products are exploring the same challenges
  • by MNOs to have a pipeline of E-plane tested O-CU and O-CU that can help to address the Energy consumption challenges

Participants in the Programme will receive the following benefits:

Category 1 and Category 2 Participants

  • A contribution of: 
    • £30,000 per Participant developing xApp/rApp solutions on the programme, or
    • £20,000 per Participant offering either an O-DU and, or O-CU with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7-9

to support the companies towards the eight-month programme, including the development, integration, testing and experimentation of their product.

  • Access to Digital Catapult’s commercially-neutral, multi-tenancy open network testbed providing real-world scale environments, including test and measurement capabilities
  • Education, training and workshops to develop and improve your Open RAN understanding and explore different application areas.
  • Exposure to potential clients and industry leaders in the mobile systems industry in general and the 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.  
  • Regular sessions with your leadership team to determine current technological, commercial and strategic needs.
  • Networking events, roundtables and introductions to Programme Industry Partners.
  • 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 an Applicant would like to access support on the programme in order to advance the commercialisation of their Open RAN products, Digital Catapult also offers a bespoke support stream alongside the technical programme of activities. Applicants eligible for the SONIC programme (please see minimum requirements below) that have £7,800 available of their subsidy aid allowance can apply for this bespoke business support stream.  There are no differences in the technical programme, and the bespoke business support stream 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
  • Additional sessions with the Participant’s leadership team to determine current technological, commercial and strategic needs.
  • Tailored technical and business workshops to develop and improve the Participant’s products and wider organisation’s business. 


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 Benefits 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 work with the DC Technical staff 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 technical staff 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 event will take place in Digital Catapult’s office and parties will use reasonable endeavours to attend, present and demonstrate their solutions.
  • 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 exploring and developing xApps and rApps for Theme 1 (Advanced Sleep Mode), would also commit to the following:

  • Should aim to prove out with emulated CU/DU/RU, if supported by vendors, otherwise shall be proven with RIC tester which shall simulate CU/DU/RU/UE/Core
  • Are expected to develop/enhance apps (xApps/rApps) during the TAP

Participants who are participating for Theme 2 (Optimising CU/DU Power utilisation of server CPU cores) and providing software for O-DU and O-CU, would also have the following commitments:

  • Should provide support to integrate the O-DU and O-CU with the O-RU and Core Simulator in Energy consumption monitoring and test platform.
  • Should utilise UE/RU Emulator with built-in channel emulation to generate ETSI traffic profiles for low, medium, and busy-hour levels.
  • Should provide support for benchmarking Energy Consumption of the O-DU/O-CU under established and repeatable traffic conditions.
  • Should provide support for Optimising energy-saving gains based on the characterisation tests using variations in Uncore Frequency Scaling technique, Voltage-Frequency control states (P-state), Traffic profiles and  C-State 

Product’s Auxiliary Items

The start-ups/SMEs and O-DU and O-CU software providers 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. 
  • Accelerator cards for the O-DU deployment
  • O-DU and O-CU software that can be deployed on COTS servers
  • Software licences for O-DU and O-CU for the duration of the TAP programme 


5.1 Minimum Requirements 

  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have developed a viable energy efficiency product for their business/industry and will be able to show how they will benefit from the Programme.
  • Category 2 Applicants must be eligible to receive £7,800 in State Assistance (see section 8.2 below for further details).
  • Applicants must have a business bank account for any payments to be made.
  • For Theme 1, Applicants must be a UK operating company small and medium sized or academic spin-outs
  • For Theme 2, Applicants must be Providers of O-DU and O-CU software that have undertaken activity in the UK, or have interests to undertake activities in the UK.
  • Applicants are not considered a high-risk vendor (as defined by the National Cyber Security Centre, or otherwise under applicable law).

Technical Requirements

Theme 1 – Applicants developing xApps and rApps:

  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate they have the technical capabilities to develop an xApp/rApp for an end-user.
  • Applicants must have adequate technical resources to take part in development, integration, testing and porting processes as well as other resources to take part in knowledge sharing and dissemination activities. 

Theme 2 – Applicants providing O-DU and O-CU software:

  • Applicants must have adequate technical resources to take part in integration, testing and optimisation as well as other resources to take part in knowledge sharing and dissemination activities. 
  • O-DU and O-CU software will have a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7-9 
  • O-DU and O-CU software will be deployed and integrated with an energy consumption monitoring and test platform
  • O-DU and O-CU software providers shall be able to incorporate the feedback from the test platform and incorporate, and implement it in the product to showcase energy gains

5.2 What we’re looking for

The Programme aims to attract Participants who are looking to develop solutions that can be run on a RIC platform, and participants who are providing software for O-DU and O-CU and inclined towards optimising the energy consumption of their products.

Participants will need to display a genuine interest in realising the business benefits of Open RAN in their own business, and have already started to explore the area.  

Theme 1 – applicants should be able to show in their Application that the MNO industry and the Open RAN sector are likely to benefit from xApp and rApp development in the future.


Proposed key dates

  • Open Call – Applications Open: 19 February 2024
  • Open Call – Application Deadline: 27 March 2024, 23.59 GMT
  • Selected Applicants invited to interview: 9-19 April 2024
  • Intended notification of all Applicants:  14 May 2024
  • Contracts signed: 31 May 2024
  • Intended public announcement of successful Participants: 3 June 2024
  • Start-ups/SMEs to provide all required hardware, licence for software development, VM/compute requirements including hardware cards: 7 June 2024 


The technical journey for the programme is forecast to be as follows:

  • Start Date: 10 June 2024
  • Technical environments completed: 31 July 2024
  • Final Reporting completed: 31 January 2025
  • Showcase: Early February 2025
  • End Date: 28 February 2025 (including completion of vendor exit interviews) 


7.1 What information should my application contain?

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

7.2 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 on the Programme.

The Programme Judges will see your full application, except for your personal information fields.

Programme Participation 

Programme Partners: Our Programme Industry Partners will not see your full application. However, if you are successful, these parties will see your [company name, key contact name and key contact email address] in order to provide bespoke support during the Programme including 1:1 office hours, mentorship, workshops and/or webinars. 

7.3 Key contact 

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 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.

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

7.4 Submitting your application

Applicants must submit their applications via the Digital Catapult website’s Submission Method (“Submission Method”) by the Application Deadline. 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. 

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 Technology Access Programme Application Submission”.

7.5 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].


8.1 Qualification

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

8.2 Selection process

All qualifying applications will be reviewed and scored by the Programme Judges panel to create a shortlist  (“Shortlisted Applicants”) based on highest scoring whilst ensuring that it has a portfolio of xApps and rApps required to meet the challenge criteria. Shortlisted Applicants may be invited to interviews to enable ranking of Shortlisted Applicants based on the Applications and interviews, with the highest ranked Applicants being accepted onto the Programme.

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, and products will be assessed based on differentiated features from the other similar products and what innovative features it has or will have as part of this programme.

8.3 Application Scoring criteria and weighting 

The scoring criteria will be assessed based on statements in the areas below. Each application will be given a score out of 100. We set out the criteria and the relative weighting of each criterion below. 

Theme 1 – There are 3 criteria upon which applicants will be assessed for Theme 1:

1. Technology innovativeness (50% weighting)

  • Applicants can clearly identify innovative energy efficiency use cases for xApps and rApps software development

2. Commitment of the Team (30% weighting)

  • Able to commit to 8-10 hours a week for the programme.
  • The team is equipped and experienced to collaborate with Digital Catapult engineers on Open RAN activities (installation/configuration/troubleshooting), and has appropriate technology skills and resources to participate in other programme activities including knowledge sharing and dissemination.
  • Has appropriate technology skills and resources to participate in other programme activities including knowledge sharing and dissemination.

3. Business Capability (20% 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.

Theme 2 – There are 5 criteria upon which all applicants will be assessed for Theme 2:

1. Technology relevance and suitability (55% weighting):

  • Applicants can provide the software for O-DU and O-CU and support deployment on the COTS servers
  • Products should have a high Technology Readiness level to easily plug and play.

2. Expertise and commitment of the team (30% weighting)

  • The team is equipped and experienced to collaborate with Digital Catapult engineers on Open RAN energy efficiency activities, including installation/configuration/troubleshooting, and have the appropriate technology skills and resources to participate in other programme activities including knowledge sharing and dissemination.

3. 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.

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

  • The company has sufficiently demonstrated its intention to the satisfaction of Digital Catapult, or is already commercialising their O-DU/CU product in the UK.

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

  • Product will be assessed based on differentiated features from other similar products and what innovative features it has or will have as part of this programme.

8.4 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’.

8.5 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.


9.1 Benefits

All the benefits provided under the Programme by third-party organisations (“Participants”) are subject to the Terms and Conditions herein. 

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 Digital Catapult directly.

Digital Catapult reserves the right to amend the list of benefits at its sole discretion.

9.2 State Assistance

Category 1 – Not Applicable

Category 2 – 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 £7,800, approximately equivalent to €9,100. 

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

9.3 Accessibility 

We aim to make all of our programmes accessible. We welcome feedback as to how we may be able to improve the accessibility of our programmes in the future. If you have any feedback with regards to accessibility, please send your feedback by email to: [email protected]. Your feedback may be used by us in our programmes and activities.

9.4 Applicants

Digital Catapult reserves the right to accept any application which does not fulfil the minimum requirements. 

9.5 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.

9.6 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.

9.7 Previous Applications

Not used. 

9.8 Personal Data

Digital Catapult is the Controller for the personal information submitted in the Application for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018.

Digital Catapult and DSIT (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 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. 

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 (

9.9 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.

9.10 Programme Participant

Participants in this Programme are:


10.1 Data Retention 

Digital Catapult will store your application and the scoring it has received for the entire duration of the Programme, or up to two (2) years, whichever the greater.  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.

10.2 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.

10.3 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. 

10.4 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. 

10.5 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.

10.6  Jurisdiction

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