1.1 The Programme

Delivered by Digital Catapult, as part of the FutureScope cross-technology acceleration
programme (“Programme”), the Experiment Track allows companies to trial new technologies
experimenting with the art of the possible (“Participants”). The Experiment Track aims to provide
Participants with the opportunity to discover and push the limits of their tech capabilities.

This call addresses the challenge of embedding photonics technologies within commercial
industries such as manufacturing, construction, medical and agritech.

1.2 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 the journey – 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 5G/Future Networks.

1.3 The Programme Judges

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

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

1.4 The Programme Partners

The following organisations are partnering with Digital Catapult to deliver the Programme:
Programme Funders: Digital Catapult is working as InnovateUK’s delivery partner on this IUK
funded programme. InnovateUK is the UK’s innovation agency, and is part of UK Research and

Programme Industry Partners: During the Project, Programme industry partners may include
industry organisations that support the Project through delivery of relevant workshops, hosting
office hours, and/or through providing discounted services or products.

Programme Investment Partners: During the Project, Programme investment partners may
include venture capital funds as well as angel funds that actively support the Project through
delivery of investment workshops and/or office hours.

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).


Participants on the Programme will receive the following benefits:

  •  Access to demonstrations and trial state of the art photonics equipment.
  • 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 participants on the Programme, sharing learnings and insights
    gained from the Programme as well as previous expertise.
  •  A showcase during which Participants will present to an invited audience of investors,
    partners and industry representatives
  •  Upon successful completion of the Project, the opportunity to join the Digital Catapult Alumni
    Network, which keeps them informed of opportunities and relevant updates from the Digital
    Catapult, and which provides additional opportunities to engage with Digital Catapult and
    other Alumni.



Participants must be willing to commit to the following key obligations:

  •  Attend the kick-off event hosted by Digital Catapult at its offices in Ormeau Baths, Belfast on
    05 th April 2023.
  • At least two representatives from the Participant to attend 75% of the in-person workshops
    held in Ormeau Baths, Belfast, progress check-in meetings/calls, and webinars hosted by
    Digital Catapult from April to June 2023.
  •  Attend, present and/or demonstrate at the showcase event at its Northern Ireland facility on
    14 th June 2023.
  • Demonstrate how Photonics technology can be used in the Participant’s business.
  •  Participant shall complete the Digital Catapult’s EDI Survey (please note each question will
    have a “prefer not to say” option).
  • Participant agrees to be visibly (name and logo) associated with the Programme, whilst on the
    Programme, and afterwards as a former participant and beneficiary. This includes marketing
    collateral, such as website, print and digital materials.
  •  For a maximum period of five years following the Project end date, Participant shall use its
    reasonable endeavours to answer specific questions from Digital Catapult relating to its
    growth and progress to assist Catapult demonstrate the impact of its activities. This shall
    include: (i) participation in an annual telephone conversation of one hour, and (ii) participation
    in a two early survey issued by Digital Catapult.


4.1 Minimum Requirements

  • Applicants must have a UK business bank account for any payments to be made.
  •  Applicants must be a UK based registered company, or prove they are a company that has an
    establishment in the UK, and undertake all project activity in the UK.
  • Applicants must be eligible to receive £8000.00 in State Assistance (see section 8.2 below for
    further details).
  •  Applicants must 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.

4.2 What we’re looking for

With an emphasis on quality control, FutureScope Photonics Experiment: Learn is aimed at
companies in Northern Ireland in the following sectors which would like to adopt commercial
photonics solutions into their processes:

  •  Manufacturing – sorting, quality control, laser-based processing of materials.  Checking and
    comparing parts at goods inwards against drawings instead of manual intervention.
  • Construction – monitoring structural health, material inspection
  •  Medical – diagnosis, treatment, lightstyle visualization.
  • Agritech – vertical farming, crop monitoring, laser welding


  • Open Call – Applications Open – 13th February 2023
  •  Open Call – Application Deadline – 19 March 2023
  •  Intended notification of all Applicants – 24 March
  •  Intended public announcement of successful Participants: [12 th April 2023]
  •  Programme:
    o Start Date: 5 April 2023
    o End Date: [24 th May 2023]


6.1 What information should my application contain?

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

6.2 Who will see my Application?

The following people will see your application:

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

Programme Funders: Relevant IUK representatives will see your full application in order to
assess the application, and otherwise in the administration of your application and, if successful,
participation on the Programme. This includes undertaking its statutory duties.

The Programme Judges will see your full application, except for your company name and
personal information fields.

6.3 Key contact

Applicant 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, Applicant’s Programme activities, including: workshop and event commitments, team members’ availability, ongoing activities, and assessment of progress during and after the Programme.

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 for the provision of benefits to the Participants on the Programme, as set out in these Competition Terms.

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 “FutureScope
Photonics Learn Application Submission”.
6.5 Digital Catapult’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Survey

In addition to your application, you will be required to complete Digital Catapult’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Survey (‘Survey’). Whilst the completion of this Survey is mandatory, please note that your responses to this Survey will be kept separately from your application and will have no effect whatsoever on your application to the Programme.

Digital Catapult (as the Data Controller) will collect and process your personal data, including the following special category data to help Digital Catapult improve its services in respect of equality, diversity and inclusion:

  • Racial and/or ethnic origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Health (including disability)
  • Religious and/or philosophical beliefs

The data collected and processed may be shared with relevant third parties and/or published but only in an aggregated form, which means you will not be personally identifiable.

Your personal data will be kept for 15 months from the time you respond to the Survey. Should you apply to another of Digital Catapult’s opportunities within the 15 month period, we will provide you with the option to allow us to re-use the data we already hold, to resubmit the Survey or to delete your Survey data. If you choose to complete the Survey again, we will keep your updated data for 15 months from the time you resubmit the Survey.

Please note you are responsible for the accuracy of the data you share with Digital Catapult and you agree to inform us if your data needs to be updated.

For more information on Digital Catapult’s collection, use and protection of your personal data and your rights in regards to your personal data, please see Digital Catapult’s privacy policy (https://www.digicatapult.org.uk/legal/privacy-policy/) or contact us at [email protected]. If you have specific queries on our use of your Survey data (including a request to delete your Survey data), please contact us at [email protected].


7.1 Qualification

The 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 Programme Judges.

7.3 Application Scoring criteria and weighting

The scoring criteria will be assessed based on statements in the areas below. Each criterion will
be scored on a range from 0 to 10. 0 being an “Unacceptable or No submission” score for each
criterion and 10 being an “Excellent” score for each criterion. This scoring will be applied to all
applications and will be equally weighted.

Applicants will be assessed based on their answers to the following questions:
1. Describe your current quality control process.
2. Describe how photonics technologies may improve your quality control process.
3. What is the positive impact on your business of introducing photonics technology to
your quality process?

Participants should provide as much evidence and detail as possible in their answers.

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 Successful applicants

Successful applicants will be notified and provided with a standard agreement for review and
execution (“Programme Agreement”).
The Programme Agreement is a standard agreement and not negotiable. We do try and ensure
these contracts are fair and reasonable.
In order to be accepted onto the Programme, successful applicants must sign the Programme


8.1 Benefits

All the benefits provided under the Programme by third-party organisations (“Suppliers”) are
subject to the Supplier’s terms and conditions stated in the Programme T&Cs.

Any optional benefits provided by third party organisations whose terms and conditions are not
contained in the Programme T&Cs will be agreed between the Participant and the Supplier

Digital Catapult reserves the right to amend the list of benefits at its sole discretion.

8.2 State Assistance

Participants shall receive the grant as Minimal Financial Assistance (“MFA”), or to the extent
applicable under the Northern Ireland Protocol, the de minimis aid regulations (COMMISSION
REGULATION (EU) No 1407/2013), collectively referred to herein as “State Assistance.

The total State Assistance received or due to be received by an individual Participant (including
any associated companies e.g. subsidiaries), originating from a United Kingdom source, must not
exceed £315,000, or €200,000 (approximately £165,000) for Northern Ireland Companies (or any
other company subject to the Northern Ireland Protocol), each in aggregate across the
Participant’s current fiscal year (as at the Agreement Date) and the previous two fiscal years.

This Programme has been assessed as providing £8000.00 for Participants.

Before signing the Programme Agreement, Applicants will therefore be asked to sign a declaration
confirming that you are eligible to receive the State Assistance.

8.3 Applicants

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

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 usually 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. 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 it believes could impact its reputation.

8.6 Previous Applications

Not used.

8.7 Personal Data

Digital Catapult is the Controller for the personal information submitted in the Application for the
purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018.

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 each Controller (including its processors) to, process the personal information of the Key
Contact (and any other person named in the Application and open call process) as set out in
these Competition Terms and in accordance with the respective privacy policies: Digital Catapult

8.8 Programme Agreement

Digital Catapult reserves the right to make amendments to the Programme Agreement it issues
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.


9.1 Data Retention

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 Assistance 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 Programme Partners
as part of this Programme Competition. 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. Confidentiality provisions are included in the Programme Agreement.
The scoring of your Application will be treated as sensitive 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 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

These Competition Terms and the Programme are governed by the laws of England and Wales.
Any dispute arising out of or in connection with these Competition Terms, including any question
regarding their existence, validity or termination, shall be referred to and finally resolved by arbitration under the London Court of International Arbitration Rules, which Rules are deemed to
be incorporated by reference into this clause.

The number of arbitrators shall be one.

The seat, or legal place, of arbitration shall be England.

The language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be English.

The physical location of the arbitration shall be:
a) London, where Digital Catapult is defending proceedings; or
b) London or Belfast, where the Participant is defending proceedings, as elected by the

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