About FutureScope

  • What is FutureScope

    FutureScope is Digital Catapult’s acceleration framework to develop and advance the potential of future UK tech leaders (in advanced digital technology).

    It is cross-technology, impact-driven and fully accessible – with expert and timely support at every stage of business growth.

    Delivered by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology, FutureScope brings together our diverse range of acceleration programmes and activities that uniquely connect small business potential to the growth of UK industry.

    FutureScope enables startups and scaleups to collaborate across technologies, business stages and markets, and address real-world challenges through innovation. Participants receive expert and timely support at every stage of their business growth, benefiting from our market-leading expertise and facilities.

    The framework is based upon six programmes based to support all stages of business maturity – initiate, incubate, experiment, accelerate, build and scale.

  • What is Digital Catapult

    Digital Catapult is the UK authority on advanced digital technology. Through collaboration and innovation, we accelerate industry adoption to drive growth and opportunity across the economy.

    We bring together an expert and enterprising community of researchers, startups, scaleups and industry leaders to discover new ways to solve big challenges to unlock the UK’s future potential. Through our specialist programmes and experimental facilities, we make sure that innovation thrives and the right solutions make it to the real world.

    Our goal is to accelerate new possibilities in everything we do and for every business we partner with the journey – breaking down barriers, de-risking innovation, opening up markets and responsibly shaping the products, services and experiences of the future.

    Digital Catapult is part of the Catapult Network that supports businesses in transforming great ideas into valuable products and services. We are a network of world-leading technology and innovation centres established by Innovate UK.

    Visit www.digicatapult.org.uk for more information.

  • Who is FutureScope delivered by?

    FutureScope is delivered by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology. Through collaboration and innovation, we accelerate industry adoption to drive growth and opportunity across the economy. Over the last seven years, Digital Catapult has helped over 1,700 early stage and scaleup businesses from across the UK, and the companies that we have worked with since 2017 have raised over £320 million of early stage funding as a result of passing through our programmes.

  • What does the programme offer? Why should I apply

    Digital Catapult is unique in its ability to connect high potential scaleups with established businesses, investors, government and public sector, research and academia – to discover new ways of solving industry challenges, increasing productivity and opening up new markets.

    Across the framework and programmes, a range of sessions and events are provided to support participants in scaling their commercial, operational and technical activity.

    These may vary across programmes where relevant but typically include:

    • Regular interactions with the Digital Catapult team, industry experts, corporate partners and growth coaches to assess, iterate and accelerate your business processes, and significantly expand your network of peers, investors and customers
    • Diagnostic sessions with your leadership team to determine current technological, commercial and strategic needs
      Workshops to develop and improve business planning, commercial strategy, pricing and positioning, operational processes and investment readiness
    • Networking events, roundtables and introductions to industry leaders, relevant investors and potential customers
    • Peer support from other scaleups on the programme, sharing learnings and insights gained from the programme as well as previous expertise
    • A showcase during which the FutureScope participants will present to an invited audience of investors, partners and industry representatives
    • The opportunity to join the Digital Catapult alumni network, which keeps them informed of opportunities and relevant updates from the Digital Catapult, and additional opportunities to engage with Digital Catapult and other alumni
  • What are the FutureScope programmes?

    The FutureScope programmes have been designed to support all stages of maturity with applications opening across the following programmes.

    • Initiate – Support for growing new skills. At this stage your business may not be established or formed yet, and you might be looking to upskill or reskill on technology and business skills.
    • Incubate – Support for product service incubation. At this stage you’ll be starting to form ideas for your product and business, looking for help in validating your plans and getting your business off the ground.
    • Experiment – Support for experimentation and development. From trialling new technologies to experimenting with the art of the possible, this programme aims to provide you with the opportunity to discover and push the limits of your tech capabilities. Whether you want to take your core technology to the next level, or explore what adding a new technology to your solution could look like – our technologists will be there to help you take the next step, and even develop proofs of concept.
    • Accelerate – Focused on early-stage business and investment support. Focusing on early stage technology startups, Accelerate is designed to help you hone your business acumen, helping validate product market fit and providing valuable business and investment support.
    • Build – Building demonstrations and minimum viable products with relevance to industry challenges. Our Build programme will see your business apply solutions directly to industry – developing minimum viable products and demonstrations to show how your tech solutions can solve real world industry challenges.
    • Scale – Focusing on growth and early stage scale support, for companies at Series A+ stage of funding. Designed to scale your business and develop a strong ecosystem of critical support for tech leaders, the Scale phase helps businesses with scaling operationally and commercially, and securing higher investment rounds.
  • How are FutureScope programmes/applications themed

    Applications are themed around industry challenges typically within the manufacturing or creative industries. Across the year we’ll open various applications across with the choice to join relevant programmes within these. For example we have previously run industrial net zero themes for our accelerate, build and scale programmes.

Application Process

  • What is the application process?

    The application process is straightforward, and consists of a submitted application, followed by a number of an online interviews between selected applicants and the Digital Catapult team:

    1. Register your interest and chose an open application
    2. Interested parties will receive an email with a link to the full application form
    3. Applicants must complete the submittable form by the advertised application closing date
    4. Application forms reviewed and shortlisted
    5. Interview with Digital Catapult team
    6. Participants selected and contracts signed
  • Who can apply

    FutureScope has been designed to support businesses across all stages of maturity working across the advanced digital technology stack, including:

    • Immersive technologies including virtual, augmented and cross reality
    • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
    • Future networks including 5G and IoT technologies
    • Distributed systems such as distributed ledger technologies

    For specific business maturity please see the requirements for each programme of activities.

  • What information will the programme ask for in the application form?

    Specific to application briefs and requirements, the application form will seek for more details that help us to understand your solutions, ideas and relevance to the programme.

    These questions typically seek to understand:

    • Company information (for example, company name, full name, email address, founder details and category)
    • Progress (for example, stage of company, revenue and customers)
    • Idea (for example, strength, originality, relevance, scalability)
    • Team (for example, team experience and skill set)
    • Challenge application and delivery proposed (for example, relevance, suitability of proposed technical delivery)
    • Equity and legal (for example, investment information, non-compete and de minimus state aid compliance)
    • Programme participation – ability to commit to attending our workshops and events
  • Who will my application data be shared with?

    The application information will only be used for the purposes of the programme and its evaluation, and will only be retained for the duration of the programme, for participants on the programme for the evaluation period (maximum five years) and otherwise to comply with legal requirements. This application information is only shared with Digital Catapult and it’s programme partners, where information is shared outside of Digital Catapult this will be made clear in the application form/programme agreements.

  • Can I save my application form?

    Participants must first complete the registration of interest form on the FutureScope website, upon completion you will receive a link to the full Submittable form.

    The Submittable application form can be saved to allow you time to save and come back to your answers. Applicants must submit the application forms in full to be considered for the programmes, we are not able to see in draft forms. Upon submission of this form you are not able to revise or edit the form anymore.

  • How will Digital Catapult choose the successful applicants?

    FutureScope applications will be selected based on the following criteria. Please note individual briefs will have specific requirements listed on the application brief.

    Stage of maturity to programme requirements:
    Applicants must be able to demonstrate their business and product maturity as relevant to the specific programme.

    Technical and sector assessment:
    The product/service uses suitable advanced digital technology or a mix of those as its core proposition to tackle the challenge themes and sector fit.

    Originality and strength of the idea:
    The idea is compelling and original whilst also demonstrating strong vision.

    Growth potential:
    The application should be capable of market demand, with the potential to achieve growth and reach its full range of capabilities beyond FutureScope.

    Team quality and expertise:
    The team is of adequate size and is equipped with the relevant technical, financial and business skills, and has the ability to deliver the solution successfully.

    Environmental and social impact:
    The idea takes into account sustainability alignment and environment factors.

  • Does my organisation need to be a UK registered company to enter?

    Collaborations may include international contributors, but to complete the Programme (i) the team must have an establishment in the UK, and (ii) the majority of work should be carried out in the UK and teams need to be able to commit to attending the workshops and Industry Prototype Presentation event.

  • I don’t quite fit some of these criteria, can I still apply?

    The FutureScope framework aims to offer opportunities throughout the year across all stages of maturity.

    Our applications are often themed to industry challenges across manufacturing and creative industries.

    If our active applications aren’t right for the maturity of your business or its specific focus, please register your interest to stay in the loop on future opportunities offered by Digital Catapult’s range of FutureScope programmes

  • Will I receive feedback on my application?

    Unfortunately, because of the high volume of applications, we can’t provide feedback on applications that do not progress to the interview stage. We will of course notify everyone that applies of the outcome of their application via email, this will be an automated email

  • There’s no active applications, how can I get involved?

    If there are no open applications or the applications that are open are not of interest/relevance then you can register to stay up to date on Digital Catapult and the FutureScope programme here.

  • What if my application is not successful – can I reapply for a later programme?

    Yes of course, your application may not have been relevant to the theme or stage of business, as we run applications across all stages of maturity and across industry themes as new applications open you are welcome to apply to these future opportunities.


  • Does Digital Catapult invest in participating startups

    Digital Catapult is not an investment firm or venture capitalist. We do not provide any private investment, the programme will help you through investment focused activities to understand the investment landscape, the different routes to accessing finance and how to build relationships with the investor community.

    Participants keep 100% of any investment raised as part of the programme – Digital Catapult and its partners do not take any equity from participating companies.

    Certain programmes however will provide focused funding for programme activities and this is made clear in the application brief.

  • Does FutureScope offer funding

    Funding within the FutureScope framework is provided on a per programme basis.

    Not all programmes and cohorts will provide funding – where funding is provided this will be made clear on the application process and expected use of funds. For example our build programme will typically provide funding for the development of proof of concepts or minimum viable products.

    Where funding is available it will be made clear in the application brief.

  • Is there a fee for startups or members of the innovation community to be involved?

    For startups and scaleups, there is no fee for participating in FutureScope, though participants will be expected to cover their own travel expenses for any in-person events they attend.

Industrial Net Zero

  • What are some examples of how scaleups are tackling challenges in industrial net zero?

    Advanced digital technologies can deliver a raft of benefits for an organisation’s green credentials, helping businesses measure environmental impact, reduce waste, optimise usage and extend the life cycles of vital assets.

    Some examples of the challenges we might expect applicants to be tackling include, but are not limited to:

    • Material resource optimisation – Optimising the outputs of an organisation or facility, without increasing input or sacrificing quality
    • Zero waste manufacturing – Designing and utilising products for reuse, remanufacturing and recycling to enable a more sustainable circular economy
    • Circular economy – Enabling an economy in which materials are reduced, reused, remanufactured or recycled
    • Net zero agriculture – Reducing the emissions of our foodstuffs and enabling more sustainable land use
  • My company doesn’t quite fit some of these criteria, can I still apply?

    Across the industrial net zero themed applications – Industrial Net Zero Accelerate, Industrial Net Zero Build UK India and Industrial Net Zero Scale, all applicants must be applying advanced technologies to tackle the challenges of industrial net zero, and must be incorporated and headquartered in the UK. If your application doesn’t quite fit other criteria and you still believe the programme would benefit your company, you’re very welcome to apply.

    If this particular programme isn’t right for the maturity of your business or its specific focus, sign up here to stay in the loop on future opportunities offered by Digital Catapult’s range of FutureScope programmes.

Industrial Net Zero Accelerate

  • What are the requirements for the Industrial Net Zero Accelerate programme?
    • Applicants must be a UK based registered company – or prove they have an establishment in the UK and undertake the majority of the activity in the UK.
    • Applicants must develop solutions enabled by advanced digital technologies.
    • Applicants must have a product-based business at the minimum viable product stage (for example, at least TRL5 on technology readiness level)
    • Applicants must have two or more team members
    • Applicants must be considered as an early-stage business, for example, a business that received under £1,000,000 in private investment or public funding
    • Applicants must be looking to raise pre-seed or seed investment in the next 12 months
  • What are the key dates for Industrial Net Zero Accelerate?

    Please see below the programme key dates:

    • Applications open Monday 13 September
    • Application Closing Deadline Sunday 31 October at 23:59
    • Programme start date: Friday 10 December 2021
    • Kick-off: w/c 13 December 2021
    • Workshops: weekly January – March 2022
    • Mentorship: ongoing from Monday 3 January 2022 – Friday 18 March 2022.
    • Showcase: March 2022, to be confirmed.
    • Programme End Date: March 2022

Industrial Net Zero Scale

  • What is the FutureScope Industrial Net Zero Scale programme?

    Scale is FutureScope’s 16 week programme for high-potential pre-scaleups and early stage scaleups, to support them in accelerating their existing technology, operations and commercial activity.

  • What are the programme timelines for FutureScope Industrial Net Zero Scale?

    Please see below the programme key dates:

    • Applications open: 17 November 2021
    • Applications close: 23 January 2022
    • First stage of interviews/judging begins: 24 January 2022
    • Selected applicants informed by: 31 January 2022 (TBC)
    • Programme begins: 14 February 2022
    • Benchmarking sessions begin: 21 February 2022
    • Showcase: March 2022 (date TBC)
    • Programme ends: 03 June 2022
  • Is my company too early-stage to apply? How can I tell?

    It’s expected that successful applicants for FutureScope Scale will be able to demonstrate a reasonable level of market validation in their technology and execution, and that this validation can best be demonstrated by having previously raised investment, or achieving significant commercial revenues.

    If your company is not at the point at which it can satisfactorily demonstrate either, it is likely too early-stage for Scale. FutureScope offers opportunities for companies at different stages of their lifecycle, so please take a look at our current and future opportunities and register to stay up to date.

  • Who can apply for the Industrial Net Zero Scale programme?

    The theme of this current Scale programme is industrial net zero.

    The programme will therefore be tailored to support companies focused on applying and scaling advanced technologies (AI and ML, future networks including IoT and 5G, DLT, immersive technologies including VR, AR and XR). The first cohort will focus on companies tackling to tackle challenges in industrial net zero. Future cohorts will focus on other key challenges in the manufacturing and creative sectors, so please sign up to stay in the loop on future opportunities.

    They should also meet the following application criteria:

    • Have previously raised a seed or series A round of investment, and/or can demonstrate significant commercial revenues of at least £500,000 in the previous 12 months (or £150,000 in the previous three months)
    • Are selling (or aiming to sell) to larger small businesses and/or enterprise customers at an average order value of approx. £10,000 per annum or higher
  • Is Scale just for CEOs or can anyone in the company participate?

    The majority of FutureScope Scale’s content caters specifically for scaleup CEOs. However, there will be a number of workshops and events better suited to other members of the leadership team, particularly those in commercial, technical or operational roles.

  • How much time do I need to commit to the programme?

    The time commitment required for successful participation in the programme is approximately 40 hours over the 16 week period.


Programme Participation

  • Is FutureScope expected to be in-person, or remote and how does it respond to COVID-19?

    Digital Catapult is aware of the business impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and knows that startups and scaleups need our support now more than ever. The health and safety of individuals is a priority to Digital Catapult, therefore where possible the majority of our activities are planned to be delivered remotely/online.

    Across various programmes we do expect to organise a small number of in-person events at Digital Catapult’s London offices, such activities may include programme kick off, industry roundtables and showcase event. Participants will be informed with plenty of notice and will be subject to updated COVID-19 -related guidance on restrictions and best practice.

  • Is the whole team/company expected to attend programme activities?

    No, just the founders or other key representatives in relation to the topic of the workshop need to attend.

  • What if I am involved in another external or Digital Catapult programme?

    Unless otherwise stated in programme specific requirements or terms and conditions, participating or having participated in accelerator or other startup support programmes does not preclude you from taking part in FutureScope, so long as the timings do not cause a conflict of interest and you are eligible to receive the state aid as outlined in the T&Cs.

    If you have been part of any previous Digital Catapult programme you are welcome to join. For other programmes, your participation will be dependent on the terms of the programme itself and what you have agreed to in the terms and conditions.

  • Will FutureScope provide me with a workspace?

    Digital Catapult does not offer workspace to the startups onboarded on the programme.

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FutureScope is delivered by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology.