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SBRI: Future Telecommunications Challenge

Fund Name

SBRI: Future Telecommunications Challenge

Project Length

6-13 months

Project Value

Up to £7m

Deadline

23.11.2023

Organisations can apply for a share of £28 million, inclusive of VAT in this SBRI competition for the development and commercialisation of cutting-edge telecommunications technological solutions with a foundational role in communication networks.

The competition aims to drive advancements in telecommunication technologies that can be integrated into functional prototypes and comprehensive system solutions.

Check Your Eligibility

Fund details

Your proposal must demonstrate the development of innovative telecommunication technologies, fostering collaboration and innovation within the industry.

You must focus on close-to-market solutions, prioritising:

  • performance
  • coverage
  • security
  • resilience
  • spectrum efficiency
  • cost-effective deployment
  • energy efficiency

You must show how your solutions will:

  • drive advancements in telecommunication technologies
  • lay the groundwork for the networks of the future
  • generate protectable UK-based intellectual property

You must demonstrate how your advancements in telecommunication technologies can be integrated into functional prototypes and comprehensive system solutions. This includes enabling the evaluation of technological maturity for potential users, integrators, standards makers and regulators.

Specific themes

Network of Networks

Solutions for this challenge can include virtualised and software-based solutions:

  • with innovation and technological advancements in networking, developing a system that integrates terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks
  • enabling the delivery of high-speed connectivity to hard-to-reach areas, including densely populated urban areas, remote rural regions and maritime zones
  • leveraging a combination of network segments, including some combination of segments such as terrestrial and non-terrestrial, indoor and outdoor, Wi-Fi and cellular, or public and private
  • addressing the connectivity gaps and providing reliable, high-data-speed network access to underserved areas
  • delivering additional resilience and service consistency to already-served areas

Advanced Optical Networks

Solutions for this challenge must drive innovation and technological advancements in the field of optical networking. They must focus on achieving step-changes in data rates, latency, and energy efficiency in both local and long-haul networks.

To support the demand for faster and more reliable communication networks, project outcomes must push the boundaries of optical networking technologies, including beyond fibre, for future generations of networks.

Next Generation Wireless

Solutions for this challenge must drive innovation and technological advancements in wireless communications, especially transformational access techniques. These include technologies such as:

  • sub-terahertz
  • wireless optical
  • massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO)
  • optical and sensing domains

This can include virtualised and software-based solutions.

SBRI will NOT fund projects that:

  • are not original or in scope
  • duplicates someone else’s work
  • do not demonstrate significant support and engagement from potential future customers, setting out a clear route to market, throughout the project
  • do not address how any potentially negative outcomes (such as on the environment or society) would be managed
  • do not evidence the potential for their proposed innovation to generate positive economic or societal impact
  • would directly duplicate other UK government or EU-funded initiatives you have already been funded to deliver
  • are covered by existing commercial agreements to deliver the proposed solutions

Eligibility

Projects must:

  • start by 1 March 2024
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • have a duration of between 6 to 13 months

To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors

This competition involves up to 20 contracts being awarded to organisations. Up to £7 million inclusive of VAT will be allocated for each contract.

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