Frequently Asked Questions

Select each question below to expand

  • What is the FutureScope Smart Manufacturing Experiment programme?

    The FutureScope Smart Manufacturing Experiment from Digital Catapult will increase the level of knowledge and skills in smart technologies within the manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland and the UK, enabling businesses to take advantage of the substantial market opportunities offered by smart technologies – from data management and analytics, to 5G connectivity and machine learning.

  • What will this programme consist of?

    It is an accessible and practical 12-week educational workshop series for up to 15 manufacturing companies covering nano manufacturing, photonics, 5G, smart technologies and their industrial use cases. Participants will use their new knowledge to design actionable solutions for identified company challenges or opportunities.

  • Who will be running the FutureScope Smart Manufacturing Experiment Programme?

    Digital Catapult is delivering the programme as part of the Smart Nano NI consortium. Digital Catapult will run the accelerator alongside Digital Catapult’s technologists in Nanotechnology, Photonics, 5G, Industrial IoT, Machine Learning, Distributed Systems, and AR/VR.

  • What is Smart Nano NI?

    Smart Nano NI is a Northern Ireland consortium collaborating to develop game-changing advanced prototyping and smart manufacturing methods to deliver new technologies. The consortium shares a niche capability around nano manufacturing and world-leading knowledge in photonics. The consortium has been awarded £42.4m by UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund. The total project value including leveraged funding from other sources is £63.9m. Our collaboration is aimed at driving self-sustaining local industry and economic growth through research and innovation.

  • Who can apply to the Smart Manufacturing Experiment programme?

    Companies currently involved with, adjacent to, or intending to support the UK manufacturing sector within the next 12 months.

  • What are the eligibility criteria for the Smart Manufacturing Experiment programme?
    • Applicants are working in or adjacent to the Northern Ireland or wider UK manufacturing sector.
    • Applicants must be eligible to receive £5,000 in-kind of State Assistance 
    • Applicants must be a UK based registered company, or prove they are a company that has an establishment in the UK.
    • Applicants must have the need or desire to develop solutions enabled by at least one of the technologies from the Advanced Digital Technology Stack: Artificial Intelligence, Immersive, Internet of Things, Distributed Ledger Technologies and 5G/Future Networks.
  • What are the key dates for the Smart Manufacturing Experiment programme?

    Applications Open: 02 August 2022
    Applications Close: 20 September 2022

    If successful, you will be required to attend sessions on a Wednesday afternoon for 12 consecutive weeks. 

    Week 1 – 12 October 2022
    Week 2 – 19 October 2022
    Week 3 – 26 October 2022
    Week 4 – 02 November 2022
    Week 5 – 09 November 2022
    Week 6 – 16 November 2022
    Week 7 – 23 November 2022
    Week 8 – 30 November 2022
    Week 9 – 07 December 2022
    Week 10 – 14 December 2022
    Week 11 – 11 January 2023 (Zoom Catch-up Session)
    Week 12 – 18 January 2023 (Demo Day)

    What is the deadline for applications to be submitted?

    Tuesday 20 September at 23:59

    What happens if my application is successful?

    If your application is successful, you will be notified by email by 30 September. A welcome pack will also be sent to you.

  • Who are the judges and when will I hear back on the result of my application?

    Applications will be judged by a team of experts from Digital Catapult and other organisations specialising in smart technologies. Successful applicants will be informed on the result of their applications by 30 September.

  • Where will the Smart Manufacturing Experiment programme be based?

    Ormeau Baths, 18 Ormeau Avenue, Belfast. Off-site visits may occur at Queen’s University Belfast

  • Does my company need to be UK or NI registered to apply?

    Yes. Your company must be registered on Companies House as a UK or NI business.

  • What if I am currently involved in another accelerator programme or have been involved in a previous Digital Catapult programme?

    Participating or having participated in accelerator or other startup support programmes does not preclude you from taking part in the Smart Nano NI Project.

    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, the capacity of your team and what you have agreed to in the terms and conditions. De minimis funding will also need to be considered when applying to join the programme.

  • How will successful participants be selected for Smart Manufacturing Experiment?

    The judges will score responses to questions on submittable, and each question is weighted equally with a maximum score of 30 points.

    During the application process we reserve the right to conduct enhanced financial or legal due diligence to ensure applicants will be able to meet all commitments.

  • Will Digital Catapult take equity in the participating companies?

    No, Digital Catapult does not take equity in participating companies.

  • How is my information treated?

    The application information will be used in compliance with GDPR regulations. It will only be used for the purposes of the programme and its evaluation, and will only be retained for the duration of the programme.

  • How is the programme funded?

    The programme has been made possible by the Smart Nano NI consortium, which has been awarded £42.4m UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund. The total project value including leveraged funding from other sources is £63.9m.

  • Do you provide funding for participants?

    The programme does not provide funding for participants, however you will receive in-kind support to the value of £5,000.

  • Is travel and subsistence covered for Smart Manufacturing Experiment?

    No, unfortunately the terms of our funding dictate that we are unable to support travel and subsistence for participants.

  • What are the roles of the different consortium partners in the programme?

    This initiative is being delivered solely by Digital Catapult as part of the SmartNano NI programme. There may be future opportunities to engage with consortium partners in further Smart Nano initiatives delivered by Digital Catapult.

  • What resources are made available to participants during the programme?
    • Collaborative work space at Ormeau Baths
    • Demonstrations & Use Cases of Equipment and Technologies
    • Use of the Immersive Lab at Ormeau Baths
    • Off-site visits to Queen’s University Belfast
    • 1-2-1 time with dedicated Technologists
  • What will be the outputs of this programme for my business?

    Applicants will develop skills in Smart Technologies, and will have the insight on how to use these technologies to solve the challenges identified within their business. Digital Catapult will support the applicants on creating a roadmap to put this plan into action.

    Applicants will become Alumni of Digital Catapult and will be made aware of other programmes.

    You will also have the chance to be involved in communications and publicity around the programme, resulting in exposure for your business.

  • How will matters of commercial sensitivity be managed by the programme team?
    • All the information you share with the Innovation Team will be confidential.
    • Only share what you feel comfortable with at the Demo Day.
    • Participants will be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.
  • Will any of the workshops be available to watch online if I am not available to attend some of them in person?

    No, webinars and masterclasses will not be available online for this programme. Digital Catapult is exploring the potential of offering a hybrid programme in the future.

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