Funding competition CELTIC - NEXT spring 2019: innovative 5G infrastructure and applications

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £1 million for 5G collaborative R&D projects in the EUREKA CELTIC programme.

Start new application

Or sign in to continue an existing application.

Competition sections

Description

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is to invest up to £1 million in collaborative R&D projects in the CELTIC programme, which is part of the EUREKA Network.

The aim of this competition is to encourage the development of 5G in an international collaborative environment by helping UK organisations take part in the CELTIC programme.

We are looking for proposals to develop:

  • innovative 5G infrastructure technologies that make use of artificial intelligence (AI) in network operation or multi-access edge computing (MEC)
  • applications and services that use 5G networks to offer new or improved user experiences
  • 5G features in satellite networks or 5G applications and services integrating satellites

Applications and services can be about the Internet of Things (IoT), the tactile internet, mission critical applications, infotainment mobile services or immersive technologies.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Your project’s total UK eligible costs must be between £400,000 and £2 million.

Who can apply

State aid

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance.

Your project

Your project’s total UK eligible costs must be between £400,000 and £2 million.

The SMEs in your consortium must receive at least 30% of the grant. If your consortium contains more than one SME, this minimum must be shared between them.

You should aim for a grant of around £500,000 for your project as we are looking to fund 2 projects.

Projects must start between October 2019 and December 2019 and end by October 2021. They can last between 12 and 24 months.

All project work must be carried out in the UK and you must intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

Lead applicant

To lead a project you must:

The lead and at least one other UK organisation, applying as a partner, must claim funding.

Partners with no funding

The costs of UK partners not receiving funding will count towards the total eligible project costs but they will not count as collaborators. The cost of non-UK partners will not count towards total eligible project costs.

Multiple applications

Any one business can lead on one application and collaborate in a further 2 applications.

If a business is not leading an application, they can be a collaborator in up to 3 applications.

Research organisations, public sector organisations and charities can be a collaborator in any number of applications

Previous applications

Failure to exploit

If you applied to a previous competition as the lead or sole company and were awarded funding by Innovate UK or UK Research and Innovation, but did not make a substantial effort to exploit that award, we will award no more funding to you, in this or any other competition. You will not be able to contest our decision. We will:

  • assess your efforts in the previous competition against your exploitation plan for that project
  • review the monitoring officers’ reports and any other relevant sources for evidence
  • document our decision, which will be made by 3 team members, and communicate it to you in writing

Previous projects

Under the terms of Innovate UK funding, you are required to submit an independent accountant’s report (IAR) with your final claim. If you or any organisation in your consortium failed to submit an IAR on a previous project, we will not award funding to you in this or any other competition until we have received the documents.

Funding

We have allocated up to £1 million to fund projects in this competition.

SMEs must receive at least 30% of the grant.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business

The research organisations in your consortium can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.

The SMEs in your consortium must receive at least 30% of the grant. If your consortium contains more than one SME, this minimum must be shared between them.

This competition provides state aid funding under article 25, ‘Aid for research and development projects’, of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

Your proposal

The aim of this competition is to encourage the development of 5G in an international collaborative environment by helping UK organisations take part in EUREKA’s CELTIC programme.

EUREKA is an intergovernmental organisation for market-driven transnational research and development projects. EUREKA’s clusters are long-term strategic industrial initiatives. The CELTIC cluster deals with telecommunications. CELTIC-NEXT is the cluster’s programme for the next 8 years (2019 to 2026).

Your project must focus on one of the following 2 overall themes:

  1. Innovative 5G infrastructure technologies, and in particular artificial intelligence (AI) in network operation or multi-access edge computing (MEC).
  2. Applications and services that use 5G networks to offer a new or improved user experience. This includes the development of 5G features in satellite networks or 5G applications and services integrating satellites. These projects are expected to consider security aspects.

The scope of this competition is deliberately broad to ensure industry-wide interest. If you would like to submit a proposal under a different theme within the wider scope of CELTIC-NEXT, email support@innovateuk.ukri.org for advice before you apply.

We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories.

Specific themes

Within the 2 overall themes your project must focus on one or more of the following:

  1. AI in network operation (such as cognitive or zero touch operation, intent-based networking, automated service instantiation, agile provisioning or scaling, auto-resiliency, and automated customer service or virtual digital assistants).
  2. Multi-access edge computing (such as content distribution, location services, neutral hosting, edge analytics).
  3. Internet of Things, which includes narrow to broadband cellular IoT dealing with the massive deployment of connected objects or their deployment in rural areas and industrial settings.
  4. Tactile internet, which is haptic feedback across a wide area network, for instance in industrial applications or the health sector.
  5. Mission-critical applications that require a high level of reliability and resilience.
  6. Infotainment (a mix between information and entertainment) mobile services such as the use of advanced media mobile streaming and broadcast services (for instance services dealing with 4K, 8K, 360 or 3D videos, or holographic and volumetric transmission).
  7. Immersive content in industrial environments, for instance AR, VR or MR applications for factories or warehouses, or field services.

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects and experimental development projects. We are not funding feasibility studies. Please see the general guidance to help you decide which category your project fits in.

Projects we will not fund

We will not fund projects that deal with connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), specifically road vehicles. We are not excluding rail or other forms of transport.
2 April 2019
London briefing event
2 April 2019
Competition opens
8 April 2019
CELTIC-NEXT submission deadline
29 May 2019 12:00pm
Competition closes
5 July 2019
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must first submit a proposal to the CELTIC website by 8 April. There is only one proposal per consortium. This proposal will provide a view of the project at EUREKA level (including partners from other countries). Although we will only assess the UK component of the project, we must have access to this broader view of the project. This proposal will be uploaded as part of your response to question 11.

Please read the general guidance for applicants. It will help your chances of submitting a quality application.

When you start an application you will be prompted to create an account as the lead applicant or sign in as a representative of your organisation. You will need an account to track the progress of your application.

As the lead applicant you will be responsible for:

  • collecting the information for your application
  • representing your organisation in leading the project if your application is successful

You will be able to invite:

  • colleagues to make contributions
  • other organisations to collaborate with you

What we will ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances.

1. Project details

Explain your project. This section is not scored, but we will use it to decide whether the project fits with the scope of the competition. If it does not, it will be immediately rejected.

Application team

Invite colleagues to contribute to your application and other organisations to collaborate on your project.

Application details

The lead applicant must complete this section. Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

Project summary

Describe your project briefly, and be clear about what makes it innovative. We use this section to assign experts to assess your application.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Public description

Describe your project in detail, and in a way that you are happy to see published. Do not include any commercially sensitive information. If we award your project funding, we will publish this description. This could happen before you start your project.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Scope

Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. If your project is not in scope it will be immediately rejected and will not be sent for assessment. We will give you feedback on why. Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

The assessors will score your answers to these questions. You will receive feedback from them for each question.

Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. Do not include any URLs in your answers unless we have explicitly requested a link to a video.

Question 1. Need or challenge

What is the business need, technological challenge or market opportunity behind your innovation?

Describe or explain:

  • the main motivation for the project
  • the business need, technological challenge or market opportunity
  • the nearest current state-of-the-art, including those near market or in development, and its limitations
  • any work you have already done to respond to this need, for example if the project is focused on developing an existing capability or building a new one
  • the wider economic, social, environmental, cultural or political challenges which are influential in creating the opportunity, such as incoming regulations, using our Horizons tool if appropriate

Question 2. Approach and innovation

What approach will you take and where will the focus of the innovation be?

Describe or explain:

  • how you will respond to the need, challenge or opportunity identified
  • how you will improve on the nearest current state-of-the-art identified
  • whether the innovation will focus on the application of existing technologies in new areas, the development of new technologies for existing areas or a totally disruptive approach
  • the freedom you have to operate
  • how this project fits with your current product, service lines or offerings
  • how it will make you more competitive
  • the nature of the outputs you expect from the project (for example, report, demonstrator, know-how, new process, product or service design) and how these will help you to target the need, challenge or opportunity identified

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. If a specific appendix, the PDF can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 3. Team and resources

Who is in the project team and what are their roles?

Describe or explain:

  • the roles, skills and experience of all members of the project team that are relevant to the approach you will be taking
  • the resources, equipment and facilities needed for the project and how you will access them
  • the details of any vital external parties, including sub-contractors, who you will need to work with to successfully carry out the project
  • the current relationships between project partners and how these will change as a result of the project
  • any gaps in the team you will need to fill

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. If a specific appendix, the PDF can be up to 4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 4. Market awareness

What does the market you are targeting look like?

Describe or explain:

  • the markets (domestic, international or both) you will be targeting in the project and any other potential markets
  • the size of the target markets for the project outcomes, backed up by references where available
  • the structure and dynamics of the target markets, including customer segmentation, together with predicted growth rates within clear timeframes
  • the target markets’ main supply or value chains and business models, and any barriers to entry that exist
  • the current UK position in targeting these markets
  • the size and main features of any other markets not already listed

If your project is highly innovative, where the market may be unexplored, describe or explain:

  • what the market’s size might to be
  • how your project will try to explore the market’s potential

Question 5. Outcomes and route to market

How are you going to grow your business and increase your productivity into the long term as a result of the project?

Describe or explain:

  • your current position in the markets and supply or value chains outlined, and whether you will be extending or establishing your market position
  • your target customers or end users, and the value to them, for example, why they would use or buy your product
  • your route to market
  • how you are going to profit from the innovation, including increased revenues or cost reduction
  • how the innovation will affect your productivity and growth, in both the short and the long term
  • how you will protect and exploit the outputs of the project, for example through know-how, patenting, designs or changes to your business model
  • your strategy for targeting the other markets you have identified during or after the project

If there is any research organisation activity in the project, describe:

  • your plans to spread the project’s research outputs over a reasonable timescale
  • how you expect to use the results generated from the project in further research activities

Question 6. Wider impacts

What impact might this project have outside the project team?

Describe, and where possible measure:

  • the economic benefits from the project to external parties, including customers, others in the supply chain, broader industry and the UK economy, such as productivity increases and import substitution
  • any expected impact on government priorities
  • any expected environmental impacts, either positive or negative
  • any expected regional impacts of the project

Describe any expected social impacts, either positive or negative on, for example:

  • quality of life
  • social inclusion or exclusion
  • jobs, such as safeguarding, creating, changing or displacing them
  • education
  • public empowerment
  • health and safety
  • regulations
  • diversity

Question 7. Project management

How will you manage the project effectively?

Describe or explain:

  • the main work packages of the project, indicating the lead partner assigned to each and the total cost of each one
  • your approach to project management, identifying any major tools and mechanisms you will use to get a successful and innovative project outcome
  • the management reporting lines
  • your project plan in enough detail to identify any links or dependencies between work packages or milestones

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. If a specific appendix, the PDF can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 8. Risks

What are the main risks for this project?

Describe or explain:

  • the main risks and uncertainties of the project, including the technical, commercial, managerial and environmental risks, providing a risk register if appropriate
  • how you will mitigate these risks
  • any project inputs that are critical to completion, such as resources, expertise, data sets
  • any output likely to be subject to regulatory requirements, certification, ethical issues and so on, and how will you manage this?

You can submit a risk register as an appendix to support your answer. If a specific appendix, the PDF can be up to 2 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 9. Added value

What impact would an injection of public funding have on the businesses involved?

Describe or explain:

  • if this project could go ahead in any form without public funding and if so, the difference the public funding would make, such as a faster route to market, more partners or reduced risk
  • the likely impact of the project on the businesses of the partners involved
  • why you are not able to wholly fund the project from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding, and what would happen if the application is unsuccessful
  • how this project would change the nature of R&D activity the partners would undertake, and the related spend

Question 10. Costs and value for money

How much will the project cost and how does it represent value for money for the team and the taxpayer?

Describe or explain:

  • the total eligible project costs and the grant you are requesting in terms of the project goals
  • how the partners will finance their contributions to the project
  • how this project represents value for money for you and the taxpayer
  • how it compares to what you would spend your money on otherwise
  • the balance of costs and grant across the project partners
  • any sub-contractor costs and why they are critical to the project

Question 11. CELTIC-NEXT proposal

You must submit your CELTIC-NEXT PROPOSAL as an appendix. It must be a single PDF. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Please write “CELTIC-NEXT proposal attached” in the text box.

3. Finances

Each organisation in your project must complete their own project costs, organisational details and funding details. Academics will need to complete and upload a Je-S form. For full details on what costs you can claim please see our project costs guidance.

Background and further information

Extra help

If you want help to find a project collaborator, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.

If you need more information, email us at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357.

Need help with this service? Contact us