skip to Main Content

Frequently Asked Questions

General

How has the project changed due to COVID-19?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Connected Places Catapult has made changes to the scope and delivery of this Open Call to reflect the new reality of connectivity and travel. We have widened the scope of the opportunity to support more UK and South African / Kenyan partnerships to develop their solutions. Due to the inability to travel, the successful innovative partnerships will develop their solutions via the online platform with additional support from Connected Places Catapult’s experts and key stakeholders. Successful partnerships will have access to funding to develop a tech concept or solution, and to a powerful new network and massive project exposure.

When does the Open Call open and close?

Opening Date: 12.00pm (BST) 24 June 2020

Closing Date: 12.00pm (BST) 21 August 2020

When will I hear if I have been successful?

We aim to let all applicants know the status of their application by early September 2020.

Is there a document available that encompasses the Open Call challenge and processes?

All information can be found in our Open Call brief, which is available to download from the website.

Where can I find more details about the Open Call, e.g. evaluation criteria, themes, and challenges etc?

All the detailed information about the open call can be found on the Open Call page.All information can be found in the Project Brief here which can be downloaded on our website. Open Call challenges can be found here.

We will also be running a series of webinars where you can speak to the team directly:

Eligibility & Partners

Am I eligible to apply for the Open Call?

  • Have you provided a solution to one of the city challenges?
  • Is your project team formed of an Equitable Partnerships comprising of at least one UK SME and at least one South African or Kenyan organisation?
  • Is your solution between TRL 2-7?
  • Are you ODA compliant?
  • Have you provided information about your match funding?
  • Have you supplied the relevant information to all the application question?
  • Have you applied by the deadline of 12.00pm (BST) 21st August 2020?

What does TRL mean?

TRL stands for Technology Readiness Level. TRLs are a type of measurement system used to assess the maturity level of a technology. Each technology project is evaluated against the parameters for each technology level and is then assigned a TRL rating based on the projects progress.

 

What tier does my solution sit in?

What do we mean by an Equitable Partnership?

There are 6 basic principles an Equitable partnership must follow. These can be read in Appendix A in the brief.

  1. Consists of clearly and openly defined, but flexible, set of goals and objectives.
  2. Considers each partner’s goals, strengths, and weaknesses to define roles.
  3. Takes the context of the partnership into account.
  4. Engages with the wider community.
  5. Enables and relies on open communication between partners.
  6. Considers the sustainability of the partnership.

What would be the ideal role of a tech hub?

There are two ways tech hubs can be involved in the ULA programme: 
1. The ULA open call is a fantastic opportunity for SMEs and start-ups part of the tech hub community. Don’t let them miss out on this international opportunity that will generate commercial and business opportunities for them. 
2. In parallel to the Open Call, the ULA programme is also interested in engaging with tech hubs from Kenya, South Africa and the UK for peer learning and exchange opportunities. You will be part of a hand-picked cohort of tech hubs and benefit from a customised experience and have access to toolkits, funding opportunities and exchanges with your peers and our partner cities to open-innovate in the urban innovation space. Get in touch for more information.  

 

Does the funding support even start-up SME projects?

 Yes. We are supporting two types of partnerships:

Tier 1 partnerships are early stage organisations with a concept. You will be eligible for up to £25,000 in funding.  

Tier 2 partnerships have experience in commercialisation of product/service and have a prototype that need to be adapted to the African market. You are eligible for up to £40,000 in funding. 

Does the location of where my SME/organisation is based matter?

To be eligible to apply to this Open Call. All partnerships MUST include at least one UK based SME. In addition, the partnership must include a locally based organisaton.

Due to demand of applicants, preference may be given to partnerships that consist of an organisations based in the city they are applying to work in.

For example, a partnership looking to address Building Resilience in Informal Settlements in Cape Town would need to consist of at least one UK SME and at least one organisation based in South Africa (preference may be given to applicants with an organisation based in Cape Town).

Can my solution be cross-cutting across different cities?

Whilst we understand that the solution may be suitable to solve challenges in more than one of the cities, to be eligible for this funding, you must select one city to address the challenge in.  

However, we are looking for sustainable solutions that can be scaled after this project, so this should be stated in your application. 

Can an organisation / SME / start-up that is not based in UK, South Africa or Kenya apply?

Partnerships that apply to the Open Call should be formed of at least one UK SME and either South African or Kenyan organisations. The African partner should be local to the challenge.  

For example, if the partnership is addressing a challenge in Cape Town, the partnership should consist of a UK SME and a South African organisation.  

Organisations based outside of the UK, South Africa or Kenya are not eligible. 

I do not have a partner; can I still apply?

You are required to have an equitable partnership between at least one UK SME and at least one South African or Kenyan organisation in place to apply for the Open Call.

However, we can help you find a partner to apply with (please see ‘How can I find a partner?’).

How can I find a partner?

If you have a solution and are looking for a partner, we can help you do so.

  1. Join our Linkedin group
  2. Sign up for our match making platform
  3. Join a webinar
  4. Once you have found a suitable partner, you will then be required to submit a full application.

Submission

Does Connected Places Catapult offer a pre-proposal check?

The Catapult team will not assess any applications prior to their submission. We are happy to answer general questions about the scope and format of the Open Call viaULA@cp.catapult.org.uk or at any of our briefings, online webinars and support sessions, but we cannot make any statement about the feasibility or value of a proposal. Find out more about the webinars.

Can I submit documents that are not in English?

Unfortunately, not. We need to be able to assess your application and we cannot manage translations from other languages.

Evaluation

How will my application be reviewed?

Selection and contracting for successful partnerships will run for a minimum of 6 weeks. To select the successful applicants in a transparent way, the evaluation process will run in 3 stages.

  1. Eligibility check
    • The Urban Links Africa team will review all application to ensure eligibility of your application.
      • Have you provided a solution to one of the city challenges?
      • Is your project team formed of an Equitable Partnerships comprising of at least 1 UK SME & at least 1 African organisation?
      • Is your solution between TRL 2-7?
      • Have you provided information about your match funding?
      • Have you supplied the relevant information to all the application question?
      • Have you applied by the deadline of 12.00pm (BST) 21st August 2020?
  2. Evaluated by the Open Call Evaluation Committee.
    • If your application is eligible, then it will then be reviewed by an Open Call Evaluation Committee consisting of:
      • Challenge Owner
      • Sector representative
      • City representative
      • Connected Places Catapult Technical professional
      • Connected Places Catapult SME Development Manager
    • All entries will be evaluated by applying the following criteria (equally weighted):
  3. Interviews
    • Applications will be shortlisted, and semi-finalists will be invited to an interview on the 2nd September 2020 with the panel of experts to present their concept and answer any questions the evaluating panel may have.

Who will review my application?

If your application is eligible, then it will then be reviewed by a judging panel consisting of:

  • Challenge Owner
  • Sector representative
  • City representative
  • Connected Places Catapult Technical professional
  • Connected Places Catapult SME Development Manager

Are all partners checked and validated by Connected Places Catapult?

Your SME / organisation should be registered accordingly to the laws in the country in which you are based. For example, the UK SME must be registered and have a company house number.  

This information is required when applying. 

When will interviews be held?

2nd September 2020

Costs, Payment, and legal

What is the total budget available for projects?

The differing levels of project risk and degrees of support required by Tier 1 and Tier 2 partnerships is reflected in the funding amount available:

  • Tier 1 partnerships are eligible for up to £25,000
  • Tier 2 partnerships are eligible for up to £40,000

This amount is to be divided between all the organisations forming the partnerships.

ULA Open Call will fund 70% of the total budget of each project. The remaining 30% will need to be provided by the applicants either as in-kind support and resourcing or by bringing in funding to the project (match funding). For example, if allocated £25,000 in funding then the partnership with match fund with £7,500 worth of resources.

What is the funding process?

What counts towards as 30% match funding?

ULA Open Call will fund 70% of the total budget of each project. The remaining 30% will need to be provided by the applicants either as in-kind support and resourcing or by bringing in funding to the project (match funding). For example, if allocated £25,000 in funding then the partnership with match fund with £7,500 worth of resources.

Resources eligible to count towards the 30% match funding include:

  • Overheads (direct/indirect)
  • Material cost
  • Capital use
  • Subcontracting costs
  • Travel and subsistence
  • Workshop/laboratory usage charge outs
  • Training costs
  • Preparation of technical reports
  • Market assessment
  • Licensing in new technologies
  • Patent filing costs for new intellectual property (IP)

Is the match funding provided by the SME and African Partnership jointly?

Partnerships will fit into one of two tiers according to their maturity:

Tier 1 is eligible for up to £25,000 in funding  

Tier 2 is eligible for up to £40,000 in funding

As this is UK funded, the funding will be allocated to the UK SME. We advise a contract between the partnership to ensure fair distribution of this funding to the African partner.  

The 30% match funding should be provided by the partnership and you can decide how this is distributed, but it must be clearly stated in your application. 

What about IP?

In line with the principles of an equitable partnership, Connected Places Catapult will aim to provide you with helpful resources that you can use with your partner(s) to create a common understanding of both/all parties position on Intellectual Property (IP) and how best to handle the IP in your project.

What agreements and contracts will I have to sign?

You will be required to sign a contract with Connected Places Catapult

We will also suggest you sign a contract or an agreement with your partners. We can supply a template to aid this.

What is a conflict of interest?

Conflict of interest is any situation where the impartial and objective implementation of the project is compromised for reasons involving economic interest, political or national affinity, family or emotional ties or any other shared interest.

If applicants have a relationship with Urban Links Africa project partners and feel that this may lead to a conflict of interest, please declare the potential conflict of interest when completing your application. On your application form, you will be able to disclose the type of conflict of interest, names of organisation and people involved, the potential financial interests and rewards (if applicable), a possible violation of legal requirements (if applicable), measures to mitigate the potential conflict of interest and any other information you wish to disclose.

This information will be assessed by the Open Call Evaluation Committee.

Glossary

African Organisation

African organisations includes, but not limited to SMEs, large organisations, charities, NGOs and public sector organisations.

Equitable Partnership

An Equitable Partnership:

  1. Consists of clearly and openly defined, but flexible, set of goals and objectives.
  2. Considers each partner’s goals, strengths, and weaknesses to define roles.
  3. Takes the context of the partnership into account.
  4. Engages with the wider community.
  5. Enables and relies on open communication between partners.
  6. Considers the sustainability of the partnership

GCRF

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries

Informal settlements

According to the OECD, Informal settlements are:

1. areas where groups of housing units have been constructed on land that the occupants have no legal claim to, or occupy illegally;

2. unplanned settlements and areas where housing is not in compliance with current planning and building regulations (unauthorized housing).

SME – Small, Medium sized Enterprise

The main factors determining whether an enterprise is an SME are:

  1. Less than 250 staff head count
  2. Less than 50million Euro turnover

Read more here

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

TRL stands for Technology Readiness Level. TRLs are a type of measurement system used to assess the maturity level of a technology. Each technology project is evaluated against the parameters for each technology level and is then assigned a TRL rating based on the projects progress.

Match Funding

For the purpose of this Open Call, match funding means bringing in-kind support, resourcing or extra funding to the project. In this instant we are asking partnerships to contribute 30% of the total funding amount.

For example, if you are allocated £25,000. You will be required to contribute £7,500 in-kind support, resource or funding.