Funding competition Improving housing management to enhance health outcomes: SBRI competition

Organisations can apply for a share of £1.25 million, including VAT, to develop a solution to improve the management of housing stock, which leads to improved health outcomes.

This competition is now closed.

Register and apply online

Competition sections


Leeds city council and city of York council are committed to providing housing of the right quality, type, tenure and affordability. The councils understand that good quality housing has associated health and wellbeing benefits. Through cyclical maintenance and investment programmes they ensure their housing stock meets the needs of tenants.

It can be difficult to identify lifestyle or environmental issues within properties that might have a detrimental effect on a tenant’s health and wellbeing. The councils want to know if new technological solutions can help effectively monitor environmental conditions within housing stock and provide information to tenants. This could help influence behaviour change and improve their health and wellbeing.

Successful applicants must be prepared to spend time in Leeds and York working with local authorities and tenants.

This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition. Phase 2 is dependent on the success of this phase.

Funding type


Project size

We expect projects in phase 1 to range in size up to total costs of £50,000 including VAT. We expect to fund up to 5 projects.

Find out if you are eligible to apply

Your project

Projects should range in size up to total eligible project costs of up to £50,000, including VAT. Projects must start on 5 August 2019 and last up to 3 months.

Lead applicant

To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation, of any size
  • work alone or with others as subcontractors (businesses, research base or third sector)

You must:

  • be innovative and be prepared to test new ideas, approaches, methodologies, tools or techniques
  • have a clear plan for establishing technical and commercial feasibility and the development of a working prototype
  • have appropriate skills, capabilities and experience, within your organisation or your subcontractors’ organisations, to deliver the project
  • have a budget that is realistic and justified for aims and methods proposed
  • validate ideas to focus on testable prototypes for phase 1 (we are not looking for production ready code)
  • spend time working in Leeds and York to better understand the issues affecting the local authorities and their tenants
  • demonstrate a route to commercialise the developed product

Projects that we will not fund

We will not fund projects that:

  • do not comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements
  • do not a have a technological aspect
  • do not meet the requirements outlined in the scope
  • do not show a clear route to market

Funding and project details

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition with funding provided by the GovTech Catalyst for Leeds city council and city of York council.

The overall programme will be delivered over 2 phases. This is phase 1 of a potential 2-phase competition. A decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to take part in phase 2.

Phase 1: summary of the main findings or learnings following research

The first phase involves research and development contracts being awarded to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed solution. A total of up to £250,000, including VAT, is allocated to phase 1. It is anticipated the feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £50,000, including VAT, for each project for up to 3 months. We expect to fund up to 5 projects.

We would welcome applications led by a sector specialist, or including sector specialists among the subcontractors.

Phase 2: research and development contracts, prototype development and testing resulting in prototype installation to test functionality

The second phase involves up to 2 R&D contracts being awarded to businesses chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Up to £500,000, including VAT will be allocated for each contract, in order to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 12 months.

Competition scope

You should consider the variety of housing types in Leeds and York, including high rise tower blocks, and the varying needs and demographic of tenants. It is important that your solution can be deployed in all properties and be understood and taken advantage of by all residents.

The solution you propose must:

  • help the councils improve how they monitor environmental factors and schedule maintenance
  • provide exception reporting and predictive modelling
  • improve the health and wellbeing of council tenants
  • enable tenants to make environmental and lifestyle changes to improve the condition of their home and their own health and wellbeing
  • be non-intrusive

You should consider:

  • how Internet of Things (IOT) technology might be used
  • how health referrals might trigger proactive housing interventions and how could this be achieved in a system that is not currently joined up
  • how we can understand which behaviour patterns lead to requests for property maintenance or create health conditions, and act on this insight
  • whether making users aware of the impact of their actions results in behaviour change
  • what an end to end solution which joins up and integrates with existing systems would look like
You should be aware of:

Your application must have at least 50% of its contract value attributed directly and exclusively to research and development (R&D) services. R&D can cover solution exploration and design. It can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service.

R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes
1 April 2019
Competition opens
11 April 2019
Briefing event slides.
8 May 2019 12:00pm
Registration closes
15 May 2019 12:00pm
Competition closes
5 July 2019
Applicants notified
2 August 2019
Phase 1 contracts awarded
2 August 2019
Feedback provided

Before you start

To apply you must:

  • read the guidance and application questions for this competition
  • register online , completing a separate registration for each proposal submitted
  • read the invitation to tender, which will be available for you to download from our secure site after registration
  • attend the briefing event for potential applicants
  • complete and upload your online application for phase 1, including a separate form for each innovation proposed

If you would like to receive the slides and answers to questions raised during the briefing event please email

We will not accept late submissions. Your application is confidential.

A selected panel of experts will assess the quality of your application. We will then choose the best proposals from those that meet the aims of this competition.

Background and further information

About SBRI competitions

SBRI provides innovative solutions to challenges faced by the public sector. This can lead to better public services and improved efficiency and effectiveness.

SBRI supports economic growth and enables the development of innovative products and services. It does this through the public procurement of research and development (R&D).

SBRI generates new business opportunities for companies and provides a route to market for their ideas. It also bridges the seed funding gap experienced by many early-stage companies.

Further help and information

You can find information on how to enter this competition in the invitation to tender document, which is available for download on our secure site after registration.

Briefing slides, videos and further information is available from the briefing event that was held on 11 April.

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

Questions on the scope of this competition should be addressed to

If you need more information, email or contact the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357.

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