Process

  • Government department or other public body identifies specific challenge
  • This is turned into an open competition for new technologies and ideas
  • Interested companies submit an application
  • All submitted ideas are assessed for impact on the challenge and technical and commercial feasibility
  • Development contracts (typically £50k to £100k) to assess the feasibility of the idea are awarded to the most promising proposals 
  • First feasibility phase (generally 2-6 months)
  • Second assessment stage – not all projects will progress to phase two
  • Second phase contract awarded – usually to develop prototype or demonstrator – for up to two years (typically up to £1m); this is the principal period for research and development aimed at producing a well-defined prototype
  • Successful company is free to further develop and exploit their product or service, offer it to other customers and take it to market where it is open to competitive procurement