Procurement information

CLOSED    Opened: 31 January 2022   |   Closes: 09 March 2022


SBRI Competition – Open Digital Solutions for Net Zero Energy Organisations can apply for a share of £1.2 million, inclusive of VAT, to develop open solutions to accelerate decarbonisation of energy in the UK Eligibility 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 Contracts will be awarded to a single legal entity only. You must include a first product user for the solution in your project, if this is not the project lead.


This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The aim of the competition is to develop open software, hardware and data solutions that address the challenges off transforming to a net zero energy system in the UK. The competition will stimulate the development of collective equity for the sector and the creation of communities to support the development of reusable and open net zero energy solutions.

Your open solutions should accelerate the delivery of net zero energy in the UK. The outputs should be adopted by first users and have potential to be supported and adopted by the wider community and other users across the energy sector.

Projects in this competition must follow appropriate open approaches such as the Open Source Definition stewarded by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and have suitable open licencing, such as OSI approved licences. You must consider business model innovation options to support scaling and commercial growth based on open solutions.

The contract is completed at the end of the project. The successful organisation is expected to pursue the support, development, adoption and scaling of the open solution.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type


Project size

Projects can range in size up to total costs of £300,000, inclusive of VAT.

Who can apply

Your project

Projects are expected to:

  • start by 1 July 2022
  • end by 31 March 2023
  • last up to 9 months


To lead a project, you can:

Contracts will be awarded only to a single legal entity. However, you can employ specialist consultants, advisers or partnering organisations as subcontractors. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.

UKRI is looking for proposals that involve all the necessary stakeholders relevant to the proposed innovation, including a first user of the solution if that is not the lead organisation.


A total of up to £1.2 million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this competition. No further funding will be available as part of this competition after this single phase contract.

Each contract will be up to £300,000 inclusive of VAT, and cover each project for up to 9 months. UKRI expects to fund 4 projects.

The total funding available for the competition can change. The funders have the right to:

  • adjust the provisional funding allocations
  • apply a portfolio approach across multiple aspects including but not limited to technology, markets, business maturity, and geographies

Research and development

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design, and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.

R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production
  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs
  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes

Subsidy Control

SBRI competitions involve procurement of R&D services at a fair market value and are not subject to Subsidy Control criteria that typically apply to grant funding.


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