How GovTech Catalyst funding applications are assessed

The selection criteria used to assess GovTech Catalyst funding applications.

Applications for funding are closed. This page will be updated when applications open.

When applications are open, follow these steps to submit a problem (also known as a ‘challenge’) you need to solve.

  1. Make sure your challenge meets the selection criteria.

  2. Make sure your organisation commits to your responsibilities.

  3. Answer the questions in the submission form

Make sure your application:

  • is from your main contact person
  • has the backing of the director or senior organisation representative supporting your application

Organisations can submit more than one challenge in each funding round.

Contact the GovTech Catalyst team with any questions at

Selection criteria

Your challenge must meet the following criteria:

  1. The problem must solve a current service or policy delivery problem that you understand very well. You must describe the problem, don’t talk about the solution you want.

  2. The problem must meet a clearly defined user need.

  3. Your problem must need technology innovation to solve it. If there’s a solution that’s already understood and available on the market, use your organisation’s existing procurement process.

  4. Other organisations beyond yours should benefit from solving this problem. We recognise that some technology innovation solutions may be more transferable than others.

  5. Your challenge must be the right size to respond to a feasibility budget of £50,000, with prospective solutions ready to buy with with an additional £500,000 investment.

Assessment scoring

This is how your challenge will be scored.

Criteria Maximum possible points
The problem describes an important public sector problem which could result in a new digital solution from business with a significant improvement in efficiency, policy or cost reduction for the public body. Yes/no
Demonstration of evidenced, clear user needs within the scope of public policy. 40
Understanding of the market, including approaches that have been tried in the past, in order to demonstrate the opportunity for innovation. 30
Demonstration of an empowered public sector team with sufficient time, money and people available to invest in the solution and plans to procure the final product. 30

Challenge submissions are reviewed by experts on:

  • innovation challenges
  • the policy area or the topic the problem addresses

Read about the process.

GovTech Catalyst funding rules

GovTech Catalyst funds can only be spent on certain activities and at agreed times.

Eligible activities

GovTech Catalyst funds can be spent on:

  • funding for research and development services contracts for the winning bidders
  • costs of external experts or assessors for phase 1 (the public sector body and the Government Digital Service will evaluate phase 2)

GovTech Catalyst funds cannot be spent on:

  • internal staff costs
  • staff travel and subsistence
  • costs for staging competition launch events

See the public sector’s team’s responsibilities for more information about the team and budget the public sector team must provide to support their challenge.

The public sector team are expected to work actively with the GovTech Catalyst team, with Innovate UK and with suppliers to proactively manage the development process and report on progress.

Contract funding and length

Research and development contracts are awarded at phase 1 and phase 2.

This is the amount of funding available and expected time for solution development for each phase.

Phase Funding per challenge Funding per winner Phase duration
Phase 1 Total funding available for each problem: £250,000 £50,000 for each winning solution (5 solutions for each challenge) 12 weeks
Phase 2 Total funding available for each problem: £1,000,000 £500,000 for each winning solution (2 solutions for each challenge) 12 months (including testing by the public sector body)
Published 21 May 2018
Last updated 9 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. Processes updated for Round 3.

  2. First published.