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

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 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 £2 million from the CELTIC programme, which is part of the EUREKA Network. This will be in collaborative R&D projects.

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 that 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 that use satellites

Applications and services must focus on one or more of these use cases: the Internet of Things (IoT), the tactile internet, mission critical applications, infotainment and/or immersive technologies.

The competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £400,000 and £2.5 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 eligible costs must be between £400,000 and £2.5 million.

UK applicants can claim up to £700,000 total grant per project.

Projects must start between January 2020 and March 2020. They can last between 12 and 24 months.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • be invited to take part by the lead applicant

The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding and enter their costs in the application.

The application must be business led and must have at least one SME who must claim a minimum 30% of the total eligible project costs, if there is more than one SME, then their individual share may be less than 30%, but the aggregate (all SMEs together) must meet the 30% threshold.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, whether they are UK or non-UK organisations. Their costs will not count towards the total eligible project costs.

Multiple applications

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

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

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

Previous applications

Resubmissions

You can use a resubmission to apply for this competition. A resubmission is a proposal Innovate UK judges as not materially different from one you've submitted before. It can be updated based on the assessors' feedback.

If you submit a new proposal this time you will be able to use it in no more than one future competition that allows resubmissions.

Failure to exploit

If you applied to a previous competition as the lead or sole organisation 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 £2 million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

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 is 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).

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 no later than 10 days before the application closing date.

We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories. Innovate UK reserves the right to apply a portfolio approach for the selection of projects in this competition.

Specific themes

Your project must focus on one or both of the following themes.

5G infrastructure technologies

We are looking for projects related to artificial intelligence (AI) in network operation or multi-access edge computing (MEC).

  1. AI projects can be about cognitive or zero touch operation, intent-based networking, automated service instantiation, agile provisioning or scaling, auto-resiliency, automated customer service or virtual digital assistants.
  2. MEC projects can deal with content distribution, location services, neutral hosting or edge analytics.

5G use cases

We are looking for applications and services that make the best use of 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. Your project must focus on one or more of the following use cases:

  1. Internet of Things (IoT), which includes narrow to broadband cellular IoT such as NB-IoT or LTE-M and dealing with the massive deployment of connected objects or their deployment in rural areas or industrial settings.
  2. Tactile internet, which is haptic feedback across a wide area network, for instance in industrial applications or the health sector.
  3. Mission-critical applications that require a high level of reliability and resilience.
  4. 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).
  5. Immersive content in industrial environments, for instance augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) or mixed reality (MR) applications for factories or warehouses, or field services.

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects and experimental development projects, as defined in the general guidance.

Projects we will not fund

We will not fund projects that have not been awarded the CELTIC Label (see the CELTIC-NEXT proposer’s guide).
10 October 2019
London briefing event
15 October 2019
Competition opens
11 December 2019 12:00pm
Competition closes
24 January 2020
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the general guidance for applicants before you start.

The lead organisation must submit a proposal to the CELTIC website by 14 October 2019. Only one proposal is allowed from each consortium. This proposal will provide a view of the project at EUREKA level, including partners from other countries. We will not assess or score this proposal but will use it to understand the broader project view. You must upload it as part of your appendix for question 11.

What we will ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

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

1. Project details

This section provides background for the assessors and is not scored.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on the project. Invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.

Application details

The lead applicant must complete this section. Give your project’s title, start date and duration. Is the application a resubmission?

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. You will receive feedback from them for each one.

Your answer to each question can be up to 400 words long. Do not include any URLs in your answers.

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 their limitations
  • any work you have already done to respond to this need, for example if the project focuses 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 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. It can include diagrams and charts. It must be a PDF and 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 roles you will need to recruit for

You can submit one appendix to support your answer. It can contain a short summary on the main people working on the project. It must be a PDF and 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 a project plan or Gantt chart as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF and 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 you will manage this

You can submit a risk register as an appendix to support your answer. It must be a PDF and 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 each partner 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 its own project costs, organisational details and funding details. Academic institutions 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

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network or the CELTIC Office.

If you need more information, email us at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357 between 9am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

Need help with this service? Contact us