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SONIC Labs – Ideate Project Application Terms

  1. The Project

The Project is an opportunity for organisations to collaborate with Digital Catapult with the aim of using the Radio Access Network Intelligent Controller (“RIC”) Platform to develop xApps and rApps solutions to improve network performance around energy efficiency (“Project”).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, andthe 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 5G/Future Networks.

Application Reviewers

 During the application stage, a number of reviewers from Digital Catapult will review the applications to the Project.

The Project Partners

The following organisations are partnering with Digital Catapult on the Project:

Mobile Network Operator Partners: The Mobile Network Operator Partners may participate in the IDEATE event by presenting energy efficiency use cases enabled by the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) which will support SONIC Labs in its mission to accelerate the development of new products to solve Open RAN challenges. The Mobile Network Operator Partners may also provide data for the Participants to develop experimentation activities. Finally, the Mobile Network Operator Partners may provide support for Participants, during and after the Project, to help them to develop their solutions further.

 RIC Vendor Partners: The RIC Vendor Partners may present energy efficiency use cases enabled by the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) which will support SONIC Labs in its mission to accelerate the development of new products to solve Open RAN challenges.  RIC Vendor Partners may also provide access and support to their SDK platform, allowing Participants to develop xApps and rApps solutions, and the sufficient data to achieve this goal further.

Applicants & Participants

You are considered an “Applicant” if you apply to this collaboration opportunity.

You are considered a “Participant” if you are selected to take part in the Project and complete all pre-Project activities.


Participants on the Project will receive the following benefits:

  • Two educational sessions where Participants will have the opportunity to explore technical and market opportunities around the development of xApps and rApps using RIC platforms to improve energy efficiency of Open RAN.
  • One face-to-face workshop, currently planned for 16 May 2023, to develop and improve xApps and rApps solutions by using RIC platforms through the use of Software Development Kit (“SDK”) platform.
  • Interactions with Mobile Network Operator Partner, RIC Vendor Partner and Digital Catapult’s team to support the development of technical solutions (xApps and rApps) using RIC platforms (such use will be subject to licensing terms between the platform providers and Participants), liaising with industry experts with the aim of growing, iterating and improving the Participant’s solutions.
  • Peer support in a collaborative environment, from other participants (start-ups and academic researchers) of the Projects, sharing learnings and insights as well as previous expertise.
  • Networking space after the event, with Mobile Network Operator Partners and RIC Vendor Partnrs and other participants.
  • Regular interactions during the Project with the Digital Catapult team, Mobile Network Operator and RIC Vendor, to assess, iterate and accelerate the solution development process.
  • Visibility through the Digital catapult channels, such as Digital Catapult’s website and social media, looking to expand network of peers.


Participants must be willing to commit to the following key obligations:

  • Attend two online educational sessions on the 3rd and 17th of April 2023.
  • Between the period of 18th of April 2023 and 15th of May 2023, experiment with the SDK platform to work towards developing xApps and rApps solutions.
  • Attend to one face-to-face workshops on 16th of May 2023, hosted on Digital Catapult’s premises.
  • Present findings relating to experimentation with the SDK platform at the workshop on 16th of May.
  • Participate on the Q&A process between the educational sessions and the workshops.
  • Participate in interviews about the Project that will be published on Digital Catapult’s website.
  • Participant agrees to be visibly (name and logo) associated with the Project, whilst on the Project, and afterwards as a former participant and beneficiary.  This includes marketing collateral, such as website, print and digital materials, as well as the inclusion of Participant’s name and logo in a report that is provided by Digital Catapult to OFCOM and Innovate UK about the Project.
  • 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 two yearly survey issued by Digital Catapult.


4.1 Minimum Requirements

  • Applicants must have familiarity and experience working with Radio Access Network Intelligent Controller (RIC) platforms.
  • Applicants must have familiarity and experience working on SDK platforms.
  • Applicants must be available to attend the two online educational sessions on the 3rd and the 17th of April and one face to face workshops on Digital Catapult’s premises on 16th of May.
  • Applicants must have two individuals per Participant company working on the Project, including attendance at all Project events, one with technical/research expertise, and one with business experience.

4.2 What we’re looking for

We are looking for:

  • start-ups and scaleups developing early-stage Open RAN solutions that are looking for ways to mature and improve their offers and find routes to market, with an interest in energy efficiency;
  • universities and Research Centres that are developing Open RAN solutions; and
  • innovators in general that are developing artificial intelligence and machine learning oriented solutions, interested in energy efficiency.

All participants must have a minimum level of familiarity with RIC and SDK platforms.


  • Applications Open – 15th of March 2023
  • Outreach Calls – between 13th and 24th March 2023
  • Application Deadline – 24th of March 2023
  • Intended notification of all Applicants – week of the 27th of March 2023
  • Intended public announcement of successful Participants: week of the 27th of March 2023
  • Project:
    • Start Date: 3rd of April 2023
    • End Date: 16th of May 2023


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 participation on the Project (if applicable).

6.3 Key contact

Applicant will appoint a main contact for the Project (“Key Contact”). This person will be Digital Catapult’s main point of contact for the application and, if selected, 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 Project and to notify successful and unsuccessful Applicants over their submissions.

 6.4 Submitting your application

You must submit your application via Digital catapult’s 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 ”Ideate Project Application Submission”.

 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 Project.

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 on behalf of the same applicant company, 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.

If you complete the Survey on behalf of someone else, it is your responsibility to ensure you have obtained permission from that person to do so.

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

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

7.2 Selection process

Due to the limited number of spaces on the Project, Digital Catapult will select the most appropriate Participants for the Project in its absolute discretion, aiming to ensure an appropriate number of Participants, Mobile Network Operator Partners and RIC Vendor Partners are involved for successful operation of the Project.

Digital Catapult will review qualifying applications to select Participants. Some Applicants may be invited to an outreach call so that Digital Catapult can find out more information about their application. Not all Applicants will be asked to attend an outreach call.

7.4 Due diligence

We may carry out due diligence on applicants prior to the point of selection onto the Project. Applicants must be willing to submit further information or documentation upon request to qualify as ‘successful’.


 8.1 Benefits

All the benefits provided under the Project by third-party organisations (“Suppliers”) are subject to the Supplier’s terms and conditions.

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

8.2 State Assistance

 Not applicable.

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

Not used.

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 and the UK GDPR.

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 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 Application Terms and in accordance with Digital Catapult’s privacy policy, available here:

 8.8 Programme Agreement

Not used.

 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 Project.  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 Project.  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 Project.


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 Project, for working with you on the Project.

For practical reasons, NDAs will not be signed by Digital Catapult or the Project Partners as part of this collaboration opportunity. 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.

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

We accept no liability for any consequences, whether direct or indirect, that may arise from your participation in the application process or the Project, your reliance on any statements we may have made about the Project, 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. Nothing in these Application Terms shall limit or exclude any liability for fraud.

Entire Agreement

 These Application 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 Application 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 Application 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 Application Terms.


These Application Terms are governed by English law and the Applicant agrees that any dispute shall be exclusively resolved in the English Courts.