Frequently Asked Questions

Select each question below to expand

  • Will any of the workshops be available to watch online if I am not available to attend some of them in person?

    The in-person workshops and sessions will not be recorded.

    Apart from the 4 in-person sessions, additional webinars and masterclasses will be available to attend online for this programme. These may be recorded.

  • What resources are made available to participants during the programme?
    • Talks and supporting learning material on a range of Smart Manufacturing Technologies
    • Demonstrations & Use Cases of Equipment and Technologies
    • Talks, workshops and supporting learning material on Innovation Practice
    • Support in framing of business challenges and development of a feasible solution proposal
    • 1-2-1 time and guidance through the innovation process from a dedicated facilitator
    • 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 of the information you share in one to one settings and communications with Digital Catapult’s  Innovation or Technology Teams will be confidential to Digital Catapult.
    • Only share what you feel comfortable with on Graduation Day.
    • We may present synopsised summaries of your work to the Smart Nano NI consortium and our funders (UKRI) for reporting purposes
    • An opportunity to redact sensitive parts of your material is provided before it is shared outside of Digital Catapult for this purpose
    • Workshops take place in person with multiple Participant companies present, and possibly representatives of our Collaboration Partners or Sponsors in attendance. We ask participants to be aware that this essentially an open forum and act accordingly regarding sensitive information.
    • Participants may be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements. 
  • Is travel and subsistence covered for subsistence?

    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.

  • 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 £1,500.

  • 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.

  • 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 will successful participants be selected?

    The judges will score responses to questions on Typeform, and each question is weighted equally.

    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.

  • 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 do I apply to join the programme?

    Please follow this link to complete the simple application form.

  • 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. 

  • Where will the programme be based?

    North-West Regional College (NWRC), Springtown Industrial Estate, Springtown Rd, Londonderry BT48 0LY


  • 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 before the 6th October 2023. 

  • What is the deadline for applications to be submitted?

    23:00, Wednesday 4th October 2023

  • What happens if my application is successful?

    If your application is successful, you will be notified by email by 6th October. A welcome pack will also be sent to you. 

  • What are the key dates for the programme?

    Applications Open: 30th August 2023

    Applications Close: 4th October 2023

    If successful, 2-3 individuals from your company will be required to attend five key dates:

    One remote onboarding session on Wednesday the 4th of October,  2pm to 4pm

    Four in-person sessions at NWRC Springtown, Derry/Londonderry:

    • Wednesday the 18th of October, 10am to 4pm
    • Wednesday the 1st of November, 10am to 4pm
    • Wednesday the 15th of November, 10am to 4pm
    • Wednesday the 29th of December 2023, 1pm to 4pm

    Please note, these dates are subject to change. We will keep you informed with any updates. 

  • What are the benefits of this programme?
    • Training in Smart Technologies, their industrial application, use cases & market potential
    • Six hours with global experts in smart technologies
    • Training in innovation methodologies, tools & business challenge and opportunity mapping
    • Identify and plan an industry challenge or opportunity solution
    • Individual project mentor support & open-office hours in which you can spend one-to-one time with the wider team
    • Peer Review; Get feedback and support from peers in the manufacturing ecosystem
    • Cross-sector Networking
  • What are the eligibility criteria for the programme?
    • Applicants are working in or adjacent to the Northern Ireland or wider UK manufacturing sector.
    • Applicants must be eligible to receive £1,500 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/or 5G/Future Networks. (Swap Distributed Ledger for Digital Twins)
  • Who can apply to the programme?

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

  • 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.

  • What will this programme consist of?

    It is an accessible and practical 8-week educational workshop series for up to 10 manufacturing companies covering Industrial Photonics, IoT, 5G, and other smart technologies and their industrial use cases. Participants will work with Digital Catapult’s help to use their new knowledge to scope out actionable solutions for identified company challenges or opportunities.

  • Who will be running Digital Catapult Smart Nano Acceleration Programme: Smart Manufacturing?

    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, AR/VR and Digital Twins.

  • What is the Digital Catapult Smart Nano Acceleration Programme: Smart Manufacturing?

    The Smart Manufacturing Accelerator 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.

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