Organisations can apply for a share of £7,610,000, inclusive of VAT, to deliver innovations to address railway priorities across 3 themes.
Programme: Department for Transport
Award: Share of up to £7,610,000
Opens: 20th Apr 2022
Closes: 8th Jun 2022
This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by the Department for Transport (DfT). The aim of the competition is to deliver high maturity demonstrations of innovations to the UK railways.
This competition is part of a larger ‘first of a kind’ demonstrator initiative, on behalf of DfT. The initiative aims to accelerate innovation in the UK rail sector and enable technologies to be readily and efficiently integrated into the railway system. This competition is the sixth in the first of a kind portfolio.
This first of a kind competition has three themes:
It is your responsibility to ensure you are submitting your application to the correct theme for your project. You will not be able to transfer your application and it will not be sent for assessment if it is out of scope.
In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process.
Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, possibly competitive, procurement exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution
The aim of the first of a kind competitions, is to deliver demonstrations to the UK’s railways. These must support low emissions and a greener railway, enhance rail freight, and address a range of key network performance priorities.
You must demonstrate how proven technologies can be integrated into a railway environment for the first time as ‘first of a kind’ demonstrations. This competition aims to support innovative suppliers in preparation for market readiness.
You must create a highly interactive and innovative demonstrator in your phase 2 project. This should be in an environment where railway customers and industry representatives can witness the product as a compelling business proposition.
Example environments can include:
Your project must:
You must provide evidence, showing your innovation can attract customers, get insurance, supply warranties, and attract financing.
Your evidence must show:
You must demonstrate potential benefits to passengers and customers, including:
DfT will give preference to applications which:
You must define your goals in your phase 1 application and outline your phase 2 plan, including details of a full evaluation of the cost and benefits of your proposed phase 2 activity.
You must address reduced carbon emissions and the impact of the railway on the environment. Your project can focus on one or more of the following:
Your phase 1 project:
Your potential phase 2 projects can start by 1 March 2023 and must end by 31 October 2024, with a duration of up to 20 months.
To lead a project, you can:
Applicants are welcome from all sectors.
Your project must involve:
These criteria can be met by a single organisation or up to three separate organisations.
You must also:
Proposals into this competition must already be high maturity at Rail Industry Readiness level 5 or above. You must evidence this as part of your application.
DfT welcome projects that include either an:
This competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian entity as lead or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian source.
If you have previously been funded for the same or similar innovations, you will not be eligible for this competition.
If your online application is assessed as eligible, you may be invited to attend an interview, where you must give a presentation.
DfT will not fund projects that:
For theme 1 – Low emissions and a greener railway a total of up to £420,000, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to phase 1.
The phase 1 project R&D contracts will be up to £60,000 inclusive of VAT. We expect to fund up to 7 projects.
Phase 2 involves up to 3 contracts being awarded to organisations chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants. Up to £740,000 inclusive of VAT will be allocated for each contract, to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 20 months.
The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:
You must select whether you are VAT registered before entering your project costs.
If you select you are VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT.
If you select you are not VAT registered, you must enter your project costs exclusive of VAT and no VAT will be added.
Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.
R&D does not include:
Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.