Funding competition ISCF digital security by design: technology enabled business-led demonstrator, phase 1

UK businesses can apply for up to £5.8 million to collaborate on a digital security by design demonstrator project in which an additional technology ‘ingredient’ is required. This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Start new application

Or sign in to continue an existing application.

Competition sections

Description

The objective of this competition is to develop a demonstration of a product and/or service in which capability enabled hardware will be used to provide a more secure solution

Capability enabled hardware’ includes security features or safeguards that are built in the processor architecture and hardware system so that it becomes more secure in the face of a range of security vulnerabilities.

The competition aims to:

  • widen the pool of technology and research providers in order to expand the impact of capability enabled hardware
  • develop a market demonstrator showcasing the new security capability in a vertical industry segment or in applications that may cut across several vertical industry segments
  • enable innovators developing secure products or services to work alongside early technology providers

Your project must:

  • use the technology platform prototype and specify the quantity of prototype hardware boards that are needed in the demonstrator
  • extend the use of the technology platform prototype to a specific industry sector by developing and integrating an additional technology ‘ingredient’ or ingredients

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

This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition. Phase 1 is an expression of interest (EoI) for which no funding will be allocated.

The success of phase 1 applications will be subject to the outcome of a scope check, and an interview process involving a panel of experts. Successful applicants in phase 1 will be invited to proceed to phase 2 and apply for funding.

In phase 2 short-listed consortia will be invited to prepare and submit a full project proposal.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

Your project’s total eligible costs must be greater than £5 million but no more than £25 million. Your total requested grant must be no more than £5.8 million.

Who can apply

State aid

Any UK registered 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

You can claim up to £5.8 million in grant for your project. Your project’s total eligible costs must be greater than £5 million and no more than £25 million.

Projects must start by 1 October 2020 and end by January 2024. We expect projects to last a minimum of 24 months.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

The lead organisation must show one of the following:

  • that they operate in an industry sector requiring secure products or services
  • evidence of a credible and recognisable influence that they have on the target market or markets
  • that they can lead on a new market or sector

Project team

The project team must consist of at least 3 partners, including the lead organisation.

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, public sector organisation, charity 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

A typical consortium may be constructed around 3 areas:

  • one or more partners responsible for the new technology ‘ingredient’
  • one or more partners responsible for the new product or service
  • the partner responsible for the adoption or use of the product or service

Partners with no funding

Projects can include partners that do not claim grant funding from this competition (for example, non-UK businesses). Their costs will count towards the total project costs and these partners will count as part of the project team.

Partners that do not receive any funding must provide a letter of support indicating their commitment to the project.

Multiple applications

Any eligible business can lead or participate only in one application.

A named individual at any academic institution, RTO, public sector organisation or charity cannot collaborate on more than 2 applications.

Previous applications

Resubmissions

You cannot use a resubmission to apply for this competition. A resubmission is a proposal Innovate UK judges as not significantly different from one you have submitted before.

If you wish to resubmit the proposal you submit for this competition, 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

You can claim up to £5.8 million in grant to fund a business led demonstrator project in this competition. We expect your project’s total eligible costs to be greater than £5 million.

Projects in this competition will be industrial research.

Organisations that are primarily engaged in commercial or economic activity (known as selective advantage) as part of the project must ensure their request for funding does not exceed the limits defined below. This includes organisations that typically act non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

Your project could get funding for its eligible project costs of:

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

The research organisations in your consortium undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can claim up to 100% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. However, the consortium must be appropriately balanced to justify that the objectives and eligibility conditions of the competition are fully met and do not breach state aid rules.

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 ISCF Digital Security by Design (DSbD) challenge aims to update the digital computing infrastructure by creating a new, more secure hardware and software ‘ecosystem’. These new security capabilities will underpin future digital products and services.

Your project should include something complementary which adds value to the demonstration of the technology platform prototype in order to make use of or further develop its capability hardware extensions.

These complementary technology components are known as ‘ingredients’.

The aim of this competition is to develop a demonstrator of a product and/or service in which capability enabled hardware will be used to provide a more secure solution.

The competition provides an opportunity to develop and integrate an additional technology ingredient or ingredients into a demonstrator, which must be based on the technology platform prototype hardware that is being developed by the DSbD programme.

This approach is expected to increase the breadth of use-cases to drive future DSbD demonstrators and ultimately increase pathways to market adoption and to economic impact.

Your application must describe:

  • the use case or use cases and why and how it will benefit from the proposed demonstrator
  • why the demonstrator requires an additional technology ingredient or ingredients
  • how you will justify the social and economic benefits realised by the demonstrator
  • how you will assess potential productivity increase through the use of the demonstrator
  • how you expect the results of the demonstrator to affect future products or services
  • how the consortium will engage with the DSbD’s Social Science Hub+ activities, including a bi-annual event

Research categories

We will fund industrial research projects as defined in the general guidance.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding:

  • projects that do not construct a physical demonstrator using the technology platform prototype
  • technology ingredients that are not demonstrated in the context of capability enabled hardware as specified in the DSbD challenge
  • projects that do not demonstrate the need for more secure products or services

16 March 2020
Competition opens
17 March 2020
Briefings: see the presentations and recordings
25 March 2020
Online Q&A session: watch the recording
13 May 2020 12:00pm
Competition closes
19 May 2020
Invite to interview
1 June 2020
Interview panels, week starting
8 June 2020
Applicants notified

Before you start

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

Phase 1 expression of interest applications will not be assessed but will be checked against the competition’s scope.

We encourage you to view the presentations and video recordings from the DSbD programme’s September 2019 workshop and November 2019 workshop. This will help your chances of submitting a relevant and quality application.

Interviews

If your written application is deemed to be within the scope of the competition, you will be invited to attend an interview, where you must give a presentation before an interview panel of experts. Interviews will take place in London.

You must send us, by the deadline stated in the invitation email:

  • a list of who will attend the interview
  • your interview presentation slides

List of attendees

Agree the list with your consortium. Up to 3 people from your project can attend, of whom one must be from the lead partner and one from the partner responsible for the adoption or use of a product or service. They must all be available on all published interview dates. We are unable to reschedule slots once allocated.

Presentation slides

Your interview presentation must:

  • use Microsoft PowerPoint
  • be no longer than 20 minutes
  • have no more than 20 slides
  • cover all the application questions
  • not include any video or embedded web links

Additional information such as charts or diagrams can be included in your presentation, subject to the maximum allowable slides.

You cannot change the presentation after you submit it.

Interview

After your presentation the panel will spend 30 minutes asking questions. You will be expected to answer based on the content of your application form.

Feedback

Following the interview, you will receive feedback from Innovate UK on the published notification date. The notification will also state whether you will be invited to phase 2 in order to prepare and submit a full project proposal.

What we will ask you

The application is split into 2 sections:
  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.

1. Project details

This section sets the scene 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?

Project summary

Describe your project briefly and be clear about what makes it innovative.

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.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

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

Question 1. Project outline

What is the need for your proposed demonstrator and how you will assess your demonstrator?

Describe or explain:

  • the use case or use cases
  • why and how it will benefit from the proposed demonstrator
  • why the demonstrator requires an additional technology ingredient
  • how you will justify the social and economic benefits realised by the demonstrator
  • how you will assess potential productivity increase through the use of the demonstrator
  • how you expect the results of the demonstrator to affect future products or services
  • how the consortium will engage with the DSbD’s Social Science Hub+ activities, including a bi-annual event

Question 2. Project team

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

Describe or explain the profile, responsibilities, skills and experience of all members of the project team pertinent to the competition’s scope and the application’s objectives.

You can submit one appendix describing the skills and experience of the main people working on the project to support your answer. It must be a PDF and can be up to 4 A4 pages long and up to 10 MB file size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 3. Project resources

What is the size of your project, the total eligible costs and the anticipated grant request? How will you use the technology platform prototype?

Describe or explain:

  • a high-level breakdown and partner allocation for the required resources and associated costs
  • size of your project, the total eligible costs and the anticipated grant request
  • justify your use of the technology platform prototype for the development of the demonstrator, including the required quantity of prototype hardware boards as part of your integration plan for the identified use case or use cases

Each non-grant requesting organisation must submit a letter of support indicating their commitment to the project. The letter must be on headed paper, stating the supported project activities and their associated value. It must be dated and signed by an authorised representative of the organisation.

The letter or letters must be submitted as one appendix in an A4 page format single PDF file and up to 10 MB file size. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Background and further information

The Digital Security by Design ISCF challenge aims to radically update the foundation of the UK’s insecure digital computing infrastructure. The challenge will:

  • increase cyber security for businesses, government and the wider public and economy
  • increase productivity for the UK through reduction of days lost to cyber-attacks
  • make the UK a market leader through new capabilities fostering the trust that is necessary for successful adoption of future digital services in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The challenge is being delivered through a £70 million programme funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund that is matched by industry funding of up to £117 million.

Briefings

We had planned a briefing event on 17 March but it was cancelled because of coronavirus (COVID-19). We have recorded a series of presentations. Watch the recordings and see the slides

We will be holding an online questions and answers (Q&A) session on 25 March. Register to attend

Extra help

If you want help to find a project partner, 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 between 9am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

Help from Enterprise Europe Network Upon award you will be contacted by your local Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) Innovation Adviser, acting on behalf of Innovate UK, who will discuss the growth opportunities for your business and offer bespoke business support services to help you maximise your project and business potential.

This service forms part of your Innovate UK offer under our commitment to help UK SMEs to grow and scale. It is only available to SMEs. Please engage positively with your EEN contact so that, working together, you can determine the most appropriate form of growth support for your business.

Need help with this service? Contact us