SBRI: improve firefighters’ operations and safety with digital technology

Key Features

Organisations can apply for a share of £1.25 million (including VAT) for an instantly deployable solution for real time tracking of firefighters at incidents.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of £1.25 million

Opens: 15th Oct 2018

Closes: 28th Nov 2018

! This scheme is now closed


This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition with funding provided by the GovTech Catalyst.

The aim of the competition is to instantly track firefighters inside a building in hostile and hazardous conditions. This will improve operational situation awareness and safety.

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 apply to take part in phase 2.


The aim of the competition is to accurately monitor and track a firefighting crew’s location in real time. This is to improve situation awareness and safety.

The solution must:

  • be instantly deployable at unfamiliar locations
  • operate on a self-contained mobile secure local network
  • provide real-time, horizontal and vertical location (such as in a specific room on a specific floor) and tracking data
  • allow seamless location data sharing across multiple agencies, local and remote software platforms
  • present real-time data in 3D with augmented or holographic technology

The necessary technology mostly exists already, but a co-ordinated approach is needed to develop a holistic solution.

Innovate UK are particularly encouraging applications that are open to innovation and re-imagining technology applications to work in hostile and challenging environments.


To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with others from business, the research base or the third sector as subcontractors

Funding Costs

Innovate UK estimate the feasibility study R&D contracts will be up to £50,000, including VAT, for each project for up to 3 months. They expect to fund up to 5 projects. The assessors will consider fair value in making their evaluation.

Phase 1: technical feasibility

Projects should last up to 3 months. They can range in size up to a total cost of £50,000 including VAT. The total funding available is up to £250,000, including VAT.


Innovate UK will not fund projects that include:

  • proprietary hardware or software
  • unaffordable yearly revenue licensing and maintenance costs
  • insecure data transfer or management
  • solutions that are not user-friendly or not easy to operate