Innovation in time resilience, dissemination and application – demonstrator

Key Features

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £4.7 million for business led innovation in resilient time, frequency and synchronisation.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £4.7 million

Opens: 14th Mar 2022

Closes: 1st Jun 2022

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is working with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to invest up to £4.7 million in innovation projects that contribute to resilient time, frequency and synchronisation (TFS) and its dissemination and application.

The key areas for development are:

  • resilience
  • distribution
  • trust, assurance and security
  • integration and processing of signals


The aims of this competition are to:

  • support and enable business led innovation across the UK supply chain in resilient time, frequency and synchronisation (TFS) for the development of products, services and end user applications
  • develop a TFS ecosystem and capability for relevant industries and critical national infrastructure
  • disrupt and create new markets, both in the UK and globally, to improve the provision of TFS

Your project must deliver a demonstration for an innovative development and show a route to market.

Your project must be focused on one or more of these development areas relating to the dissemination of TFS:

  • products
  • services
  • protocols and algorithms
  • standards

Innovate UK are looking for your projects to be scalable, geographically or across applications. Interoperability for international use is of particular interest.

Your project should lead to the following types of impact for the UK:

  • economic, including new revenue, cost savings, other economic impacts
  • national capability in TFS

During the project, NPL can provide up to 12 hours of free consultancy and free access to highly accurate and traceable time and frequency signals. The access will come from four sites in the South East of England and one site in Scotland.

Specific Themes

Your project must focus on one or more of the following themes:


Your project must contribute to the resilience of time dissemination in one or more of the following:

  • availability (continuity of signal)
  • redundancy and holdover
  • alerting and monitoring

This could include, for example, developments relating to signal processing for time or frequency.


Your project must enable end users to have improved access to time or frequency signals.

You must include one or more of the following:

  • dissemination to multiple users
  • scalability
  • accessibility (geography)
  • ubiquity and availability, including locations where Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals are not available

For example, developments could include scalability to users at the edge of networks or to those currently without access.

There is also interest in developments relating to the application or extension of existing infrastructures such as that for communication.

Trust, assurance and security

Your project must contribute to the trust, assurance and security of time or frequency signals from the source to the end user, or a defined subset of this path.

You must include one or more of the following:

  • integrity
  • accuracy: absolute time value at the end user compared to the traceable source
  • confidence in end-to-end transmission
  • validation

This could, for example, relate to audit and certification of time signals at various levels of accuracy or signal integrity when transferring time signals over distances and mediums. Algorithms and protocols, especially those that increase the integrity of timing signals, are also in scope.

Integration and processing of signals

Your project must contribute to one or more of the following:

  • integration of multiple time or frequency sources
  • innovation in processing hardware or software relating to time or frequency signals


Your project must:

  • have total costs between £70,000 and £1 million
  • start by 1 November 2022
  • end by 31 March 2024
  • last between 9 and 18 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • if collaborative, partner with other UK registered businesses, a research and technology organisation (RTO), academic institution, public sector organisation, charity or not for profit.

Academic institutions and research organisations cannot lead or work alone.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • academic institution
  • public sector organisation
  • charity
  • not for profit

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.


Innovate UK are not funding projects that are:

  • exclusively related to atomic clock development
  • exclusively related to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)
  • dependent on export performance, for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example if they insisted that a baker use 50% UK flour in their product

Projects which involve the integration of atomic clocks or GNSS into timing systems would be in scope.

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £4.7 million to fund innovation projects across both strands for this competition.

If the majority of your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your 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

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 organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.