1. Programme Description

1.1 The Programme

Delivered by Digital Catapult, as part of the FutureScope cross-technology acceleration programme (“Programme”), the Experiment Track is designed for businesses that have developed research or products that require maturity. 

This call addresses the challenge of new ideas in resilient hardware for safety and security-critical applications so that we reduce high threat scenarios for the UK’s digital growth ambitions (“Project”).


1.2 The 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 the big challenges limiting 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 – breaking down barriers, de-risking innovation, opening up markets and responsibly shaping the products, services and experiences of the future.

Digital Catapult works with organisations on projects involving at least one of the technologies from its “Advanced Digital Technology Stack”: Artificial Intelligence, Immersive, Internet of Things, Distributed Ledger Technologies and Future Networks.


1.3 The Programme Judges

During the application stage, the judges will be responsible for scoring the applications according to the criteria set out in these Programme Competition Terms. The judges have/will be chosen based on (i) their experience and expertise, and (ii) ability to exercise independent judgment.

Internal Judges

A number of judges from Digital Catapult will help judge the applications.

Challenge Owner Judges 

A number of judges from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will help judge the applications.


1.4 The Programme Partners

Programme Industry Partners



1.5 Applicants & Participants

You are considered an “Applicant” if you apply to this competition.

You are considered a “Participant” if you are successful with your application and complete all pre-Project activities (e.g. signing the Participation Agreement).


Note: this is not a prize competition.

2. Programme Benefits

Participants on the Programme will receive the following benefits:

  • A unique opportunity to research and discuss solutions in-depth with key stakeholders from the NCSC.
  • The opportunity to undertake a funded research programme and explore developments, which your company may have discounted due to commercial constraints whilst broadening the cyber-security skills of your staff.
  • In-depth and valuable feedback from experts across the country in cyber security.
  • Access, visibility, and potential opportunities within the product resilience sector.
  • Funding for your research and collaboration of up to £80K (excl. VAT) for a 3-to-9-month research programme.
  • The opportunity to become an associated partner of the new ecosystem being created around future cyber-product resilience by Digital Catapult.

3. Programme Obligations

Participants on the Programme must commit to the following obligations:

  • Attend, and present at the Pitch Day on week commencing 25 April 2022.
  • Attend the kick-off event hosted by Digital Catapult on 5 May 2022.
  • Provide NCSC with the required information to complete the on-boarding process.

4 Applicants

4.1 Minimum Requirements 

  • Applicants must be registered as a UK company with a physical office in the UK.
  • Applicants must have a UK business bank account. 
  • Applicants must undergo Government security checks as required for their companies and staff, including declaring any overseas workers or board members. 


4.2 What we’re looking for

We are looking to meet businesses that can offer research and potential solutions that allow them to access and try new ideas on hardware resilience with new or different architectures and technologies for high threats.

In addition, we would like to hear from applicants who have hardware resilience expertise and who are focused on reducing the high development cost of assurance products.

Join us if you are an organisation ready to take on new risks, confident of your development capabilities, different from the traditional companies in the sector, and with ideas that enhance technology flexibility.

Moreover, don’t leave your application for later if as an organisation you have experience in lean testing and evaluation, overcoming legacy architectures with your partners, skills in product resilience, and experience innovating despite legal, security, and commercial restrictions.

Finally, this application might help you become an associated partner of the ecosystem being created around cyber product resilience by Digital Catapult, if as an organisation you are deeply aware of the critical implications to the UK of reduced security and the impacts of lack of new perspectives for product resilience.

Research proposals and solutions must provide robustness and functionality, be novel and scalable, with the thought process and any limitations documented.

5 Key Dates 

  • Open Call – Applications Open – 16 February 2022
  • Open Call – Application Deadline – 3 April 2022
  • Notification to successful applicants – 5 May 2022
  • Project:
    • Start Date: 5 May 2022
    • End Date: Between 3 to 9 months from the Project Start Date

6 Application 

6.1 What information should my application contain? 

Applicants must answer all required questions in full using the online application form. 


6.2 Who will see my Application?

Digital Catapult Representatives

Relevant Digital Catapult representatives will see your application in order to assess the application, and otherwise in the administration of your application and if successful, participation in the Programme.

Internal Judges

The internal panel of judges will see the complete application (including applicant company name), except for personal information fields.

Challenge Owner Judges 

The challenge owner judges will see the complete application (including applicant company name), except for personal information fields.


6.3 Key contact information 

Applicants will appoint a main contact for the Programme (“Key Contact”). This person will be Digital Catapult’s main point of contact for the competition and, if successful, defining the Project activities, including: workshop and event commitments, team members’ availability, ongoing activities, and assessment of progress during and after the Project.

Digital Catapult will use this personal information for the purpose of carrying out due diligence on Applicants prior to the point of selection onto the Programme and to notify successful and unsuccessful Applicants over their submissions. The personal data we collect may be shared with and processed by Programme Partners for the purpose of assessing the Applications and providing benefits to the Participants on the Programme, as set out in these T&Cs.


6.4 Submitting your application

You must submit your application via the Submittable form (“Submission Method”).

All applications must be submitted via the Submission Method by the Application Deadline.  

Once your completed application has been received, Digital Catapult will send you a confirmation receipt by email. If you do not get a receipt within twenty-four (24) hours of the next working day, please email us at [email protected] with the subject ‘Shooting Star Application Submission’.


6.5 Not Used

7 Selection

7.1 Qualification

Digital Catapult will undertake an initial assessment of the Applicants against the Programme Requirements.


7.2 Selection process

All qualifying applications will be reviewed and scored by the Judges.


7.3 Scoring 

The scoring criteria will be assessed by the Judges based on statements in the areas below. Each criterion will be scored on a range from 0 to 5. 0 being an “Unacceptable or No submission” score for each criterion and 5 being an “Excellent” score for each criterion. This scoring will be applied to all applications and will be equally weighted. A zero score in any of the criteria set out below will automatically result in a failed Application.

There are 8 criteria upon which applicants will be assessed:

  • Novelty of your proposed research idea.
  • Team expertise, experience, and commitment.
  • Feasibility of the research proposed (for example, that it is technically and financially feasible).
  • Applicability and scalability of the research or solution.
  • Robustness and functionality (for example, that the research allows further development).
  • Openness to learn and collaborate.
  • Identification of the thought process behind the solutions.
  • Awareness of the research or solution pitfall or black holes.

Furthermore, in each case, Digital Catapult will be selecting participants on a portfolio basis to ensure the Programme is able to deliver consistent support and activities that provide value to all Participants.


7.4 Due diligence 

We will carry out due diligence on applicants prior to the point of selection onto the Programme. Applicants must be willing to submit further information or documentation upon request to qualify as ‘successful’.


7.5 Shortlisted and Successful applicants 

Applications that have met the criteria referenced at 7.3 will be reviewed by NCSC. Applicants who pass this review will be asked to enter into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with NCSC. Once the NDA is signed, shortlisted applicants will be provided with a draft programme agreement (“Programme Agreement”) setting out the contractual terms which apply to the Programme, and will progress to the next stage of the application process. 

Successful applicants will be asked to enter into the Programme Agreement with NCSC. The Programme Agreement is non-negotiable, save for the intellectual property provisions in exceptional cases only.  

In order to be accepted onto the Programme, successful applicants must sign the Programme Agreement.


7.6 Exclusion grounds

NCSC will undertake background checks during the commercial on-boarding process which in exceptional circumstances may preclude a successful applicant from participating in the Programme. Failure to provide additional information if/as required to assist the NCSC with these checks will likely result in exclusion.

8 Competition Terms – Specific

8.1 Not used

8.2 Not used

8.3 Applicants

Digital Catapult reserves the right to accept any application which does not fulfil the minimum requirements. 


8.4 Key Dates

Digital Catapult reserves the right to change the Key Dates at its sole discretion. No extension to deadlines will usually be granted, with very limited exceptions where the Applicant requests an extension due to reasonable extenuating circumstances, beyond the Applicant’s control and unforeseen to them, subject to the Applicant providing evidence that proves the extenuating circumstance; and the applicant informing Digital Catapult as soon as reasonably practicable following the extenuating circumstance becoming apparent. Digital Catapult reserves the right to consider the factors and decide whether such circumstances are extenuating and whether granting an extension is fair to other applicants. No extension granted will be for greater than two working days.


8.5 Applications

All information and documents requested must be submitted. Failure to submit all requested information and documents may result in the application being rejected. Digital Catapult will not use outside information in respect of your application unless otherwise indicated, other than to undertake due diligence.  Digital Catapult reserves the right to not work with people or an organisation which could impact its reputation. 


8.6 Previous Applications

Digital Catapult reserves the right to either (i) reassess an application from a previous competition (together with information gained from an update meeting), or (ii) accept as a successful applicant an organisation that was previously successful in a previous competition, but whose participation was deferred to a later Programme.


8.7 Key Contact Information

In submitting the Application, the Applicant confirms that it has made the Key Contact (and any other person whose personal data has been submitted, aware of, and has the lawful grounds to enable Digital Catapult to, process the personal information of the Key Contact (and any other person) as set out in these Competition Terms and Digital Catapult’s privacy policy (https://www.digicatapult.org.uk/privacy-policy/).


8.8 Programme Agreement

Digital Catapult reserves the right to make amendments to the Programme Agreement up until the point of execution by both parties.


8.9 Participant Programmes

Digital Catapult reserves the right to offer Participants access to its Participant Programmes, such as its Platinum Awards.

9 Competition Terms – General

9.1 Data Collection, Storage & Use 

Digital Catapult and NCSC are independent controllers of the personal data collected. Digital Catapult’s privacy policy can be found at https://www.digicatapult.org.uk/legal/privacy-policy/ and NCSC’s privacy policy is available on request. Each controller is individually responsible to you for how that controller respectively stores, uses and processes your personal data in accordance with that controller’s privacy policy. One controller is not responsible to you for the other controller’s storage, use or processing of your data. Actions taken by one controller (e.g. deleting personal data) will be independent of the other controller.

Digital Catapult will store your application and the scoring it has received for the entire duration of the Programme.  If you are a successful Applicant, we shall also store your Application for a period of up to five (5) years following the end of the Programme.  For administration purposes, contracts may be stored for up to seven (7) years, contracts providing State aid for up to eleven (11) years, and deeds for up to thirteen (13) years from the end of the Programme.


9.2 Confidentiality 

The information provided in your Application will be kept confidential and only used and disclosed as reasonably necessary for the purpose of assessing Applications, and, if admitted onto the Programme, for working with you on the Programme.  This may include with our Programme Partners as indicated above.

For practical reasons, NDAs will not be signed by Digital Catapult or the Partners before applications are submitted. The activities we provide can only be achieved through trust of the tech community. It is therefore not in our interest to release your sensitive information. Applicants will be required to sign an NDA if they pass the NCSC review, as explained in paragraph 7.4 above.

The scoring of your Application will also be treated as confidential information.

As your Application will be transmitted over the Internet, ultimately Digital Catapult cannot guarantee its security.


9.3 Intellectual Property 

We respect the intellectual property of others and we ask our Applicants to do the same. 

In submitting the Application, you promise that you have and continue to have all necessary rights, licenses, permissions and consent to provide the content in your application to us, and for Digital Catapult to use the Application as we have set out.

We will not remove from Applications any proprietary labels or copyright assertions. 


9.4 Disclaimers 

We accept no liability for any consequences, whether direct or indirect, that may arise from your participation in the Programme Competition, your reliance on any statements we may have made about the Programme, or its suspension or withdrawal.

In any case, to the extent permitted under law, Digital Catapult’s liability shall be limited to one thousand (£1,000) pounds. 


9.5 Jurisdiction

The Programme Competition is governed by English law and the Applicant agrees that any dispute shall be exclusively resolved in their English courts.

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