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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/competition-guidance-for-sbri-first-of-a-kind-round-3-resilience-freight-noise-and-environment/competition-guidance-for-sbri-first-of-a-kind-round-3-resilience-freight-noise-and-environment
1. Dates and deadlines
|Competition opens||25 February 2019|
|Competition briefing events||26 February London
28 February Manchester
7 March Cardiff
|Final date for registration||Midday 17 April 2019|
|Deadline for submission of the full application
|Midday 24 April 2019|
|Decision to applicants||24 May 2019|
|Contracts awarded||21 June 2019|
|Feedback provided||21 June 2019|
These guidance notes complement the invitation to tender and are designed to help with completing the application form.
Please read the full competition scope and invitation to tender before you make your application.
There is up to £5.5 million, including VAT, of funding available from the Department for Transport. This is for projects that tackle the technical challenges described in the brief for this competition.
3. How to apply
Before you apply into this SBRI competition, it is important to understand the whole application process. The information below is specific to this competition and may differ from Innovate UK’s general guidance for applicants.
You will receive an email acknowledgement of your registration followed by a second email up to 48 hours later. The second email will contain a username and password for our secure upload facility along with a unique application number and form.
Once you have received your unique username and password, you can sign in to the secure website to access additional documentation for this competition.
Submit your documents
You should submit:
- your application form with your unique application number for this competition
- project appendices as PDF documents, labelled with your application number
Once the competition submission deadline is reached, your application will be sent for assessment. Please read the Invitation for Tender for further detail on the assessment criteria.
We will notify you of the outcome of your application on the date stated in the timeline.
We will give feedback to successful and unsuccessful applicants approximately 4 weeks after you have been notified of the decision. You can access the feedback by signing in to the secure website where you uploaded your application documents. No additional feedback can be provided and there will be no further discussion on the application.
4. The application form
This section explains the structure of the application form and offers guidance on what to answer in each question.
The structure is as follows:
- application details
- details of lead applicant organisation
- contact details
- title and abstract for publication
- question 1: description of proposed idea or technology
- question 2: technical project summary
- question 3: current state of the art and intellectual property
- question 4: project plan and methodology and continued project management
- question 5: technical team and expertise
- question 6: application finances and justification of continued costs
- question 7: commercial potential
- question 8: application to the rail industry: practicality
- question 9: application to the rail industry: benefits
- question 10: declaration
- project appendices
Please make sure that you upload the final version of your application by the deadline. It is your responsibility to ensure that you do not upload a blank or incomplete application form. Be aware:
- you can only use the application form provided and it must be completed using Microsoft Word. It contains specific information, including a unique reference number for your project
- the application form contains specific fields. It is important that you complete each field and submit a fully completed form. Incomplete forms will be rejected
- the application form must not be altered, converted or saved as a different version of Microsoft Word
- the space provided in each field of the form is fixed. You must restrict your responses in each of the fields to the space provided. The typeface, font size and colour are predetermined and cannot be changed. Illustrations and graphics cannot be included in the application form. Please check your completed application form in print layout as any text that can’t be seen in this view or when the form is printed will not be assessed
- the light grey shaded fields are completed automatically from other information entered on the form, such as the total columns of a table. These cannot be overwritten
|Competition name||This field will show the full name of the Innovate UK competition to which the form applies. You do not need to enter anything here.|
|Document ID||This field is completed automatically.|
|Applicant number||This field is completed automatically and is the reference that you should use on all correspondence (this is the 5 or 6 digit number after the dash).|
|Project title||Enter the full title of the project.|
|Contract duration (months)||Enter the project duration. Projects must be no longer than 9 months.|
|Total contract costs||Projects can request a total of £350,000, including VAT.|
|Proposed start date||Please provide your proposed start date.|
|What is the best way to describe your innovation?||Please select from the options.|
|Theme||Please select one theme from the options.|
|Details of lead applicant||Enter the full registered name and other relevant details of your organisation.|
|Contact details||Enter the full name, postcode, email address and telephone number of the main point of contact between Innovate UK and the project.|
Title and abstract for publication (not scored)
To comply with government practice on openness and transparency of public-funded activities, Innovate UK has to publish information relating to funded projects. Provide a short description of your proposal in a way that will be understandable to the general public. Do not include any commercially confidential information, for example intellectual property or patent details.
Describe your project. Funding will not be provided to successful projects without this.
5. Competition questions
You must answer all questions.
Question 1. Description of proposed innovation idea or technology
Avoiding unnecessary technical jargon, describe clearly how your project will deliver the outcomes described in the competition scope. If necessary, you may include an appendix of up to 2 sides of A4. This can only include figures, diagrams and additional information, and must not be used as an extension of your answer.
Question 2. Technical project summary
Provide a summary of the technical basis of the project. This should include:
- an outline of the background to the project
- what the innovation is
- the main deliverables of the project
- highlights of the research and development which will prove the scientific merit of your project
- what might be achieved if your innovation manages to solve the competition challenges
Question 3. Current state of the art and intellectual property
Provide details of any competitors or market alternatives. What are the benefits of your innovation? Include details of any existing IP and its effect on your freedom to operate.
Question 4. Project plan and methodology
Your plan should identify the main areas of work within the project, with milestones and deliverables. You should focus on providing evidence that the technology can be made into a viable working product which achieves the proposed benefits. Record keeping and reports are particularly useful. You must provide:
- a Gantt chart as an appendix (in PDF format) of no more than 2 A4 sides
- detail of how you would handle any IP issues
Continued project management
Tell us about the project management processes you will use to meet your aims. Identify risks and mitigations. If you are applying from a university, include details of your plan for commercialisation of the results of your project.
Question 5. Technical team and expertise
Give a detailed description of the skills, expertise and track record of your team. Include the relevant knowledge and skills of each member and the proportion of time each will spend on the project. Also include relevant commercial and management expertise.
Question 6. Application finances and justification of continued costs
The costs quoted must reflect actual costs at a ‘fair market value’ and should not include profit. Provide a summary of costs for the project and a justification of the costs. All costs must include VAT.
If there is significant use of subcontractors, explain how they will be used and the costs of each. Please note the assessors are required to judge the application finances in terms of value for money. In other words, they need to decide whether a proposed cost for effort and deliverables reflects a fair market price.
The costs should cover the following, as applicable.
Directly incurred costs are specific to the project and are the amount actually spent, supported by an audit record in justification of a claim. They include:
- individual labour costs for all those contributing to the project
- material costs (including consumables specific to the project)
- capital equipment costs
- sub-contract costs
- travel and subsistence
- indirect costs
- other costs specifically attributed to the project
Indirect costs should relate to the amount of effort deployed on the project. You should calculate them using your own cost rates. They may include:
- general office and basic laboratory consumables
- library services and learning resources
- typing and secretarial work
- finance, personnel, public relations and departmental services
- central and distributed computing
- capital employed
We may request an itemisation of costs and methods of calculation to support the application at a later date.
Question 7. Commercial potential
Describe how you would realise the proposed commercial solution and give relevant timescales. Describe the competitive advantage this technology has over existing and alternative technologies that can meet the market needs.
Question 8. Application to the rail Industry: practicality
Explain how your idea will be applied to the rail industry, in particular how your demonstration:
- delivers a plausible innovation that has a good probability of being successfully exploited on one or more railway systems operating in the UK
- will deliver operational evidence, and an opportunity to assess public confidence and commercial incentives, to help accelerate the commercialisation of this innovation in the rail industry
- will support rail staff in gaining an understanding of the need and impact of this innovation, and an opportunity to assess the whole system benefits and opportunities
- will help open up markets for this rail innovation based on evidence, technical data and intelligence gathered from the demonstrator experience
Question 9. Application to the rail industry: benefits
Explain how your idea will be applied to the rail industry, in particular how your proposed demonstration:
- will give rail passengers an enhanced experience of using the railway, or give rail staff an enhanced experience of operating the railway
- will support SMEs and Tier 1 suppliers in demonstrating this rail innovation, with the potential to open up new rail export opportunities for the UK
- will provide an opportunity for media coverage of an innovation success, to help drive an increase in satisfaction levels for rail staff and rail customers
- will help to provide evidence of how relevant regulations may affect the delivery of railway innovations
- will help ensure that barriers and risks to commercialisation are evident and made manageable
Question 10. Declaration
Acknowledge that by applying, the lead applicant is consenting to the terms and conditions of the draft contract.
6. Assessment criteria
You will be assessed based on these criteria. As the independent assessors review your application they will weight their scoring as follows.
1. How well does the proposed idea, solution or technology meet the challenge as detailed in the brief?
2. How valid is the technical approach that will be adopted?
3. Have the applicants made a good case for application of this idea, solution or technology to the rail industry? (See particularly questions 8 and 9 on the application form)
4. How innovative is this project? To what extent does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area?
5. To what extent does the proposal show a clear plan for establishing technical and commercial feasibility and the development of a working prototype? How does the proposal demonstrate that there is a clear management plan What are the risks (technical, commercial and environmental) to project success? How effectively will these be managed? How appropriate are the milestones and evaluation procedures?
6. To what extent does the applicant appear to have the right skills, capabilities and experience to deliver the intended benefits?
7. How appropriate is the proposal financially? Is the overall budget realistic and justified in terms of the aims and methods proposed? Are the costs appropriate and justified?
8. Is there a clear commercial potential to lead to a marketable product, process or service and a clear plan to deliver that and route to market? How significant is the competitive advantage which this technology affords over existing or alternate technologies that can meet the market needs?
7. Project appendices
Appendices are submitted with the application form. These are for supporting information, if required, and you must not use them as overflow for answers to the application form questions. Each appendix should be no longer than 2 sides of A4.
In order that assessors can open and read the appendices, each appendix must:
- conform to the maximum length specifications listed below
- be submitted in portable document format (.pdf)
- be legible at 100% zoom
- display prominently the ‘Project title’ as entered on page 1 of the application form
- be named as set out in the instructions given in the guidance ‘the application process’
If you submit appendices longer than specified below, they will be truncated and the excess discarded.
Appendices may be printed or photocopied in black and white, so do not use colour as a way of highlighting important information.
Up to 2 sides of A4,
|Use appendix Q1 to provide additional information to support question 1 ‘Description of proposed idea or technology’, with pictures, diagrams or a brief technical document.|
Up to 2 sides of A4,
|Use appendix Q4 to provide a Gantt chart to support question 4 ‘Project plan and methodology’.|