SBRI UK National Robotics Proving Ground: Feasibility studies Organisations can apply for a share of up to £500,000, inclusive of VAT, to develop high level design concepts for a UK National Robotics Proving Ground. Eligibility To lead a project, you must: be an organisation of any size work alone or with others from local authorities, business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector as subcontractors have concepts for robotics testing infrastructure that can be delivered in the UK Contracts will be awarded to a single legal entity only, however you can involve subcontractors in your project. Open now Opened: 11 October 2021 Closes: 10 November 2021

Programme: Innovate Uk


Opens: 11 October 2021

Closes: 10 November 2021


This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to support the development of the UK’s National Robotics Proving Ground.

The aim of the competition is to develop:

  • initial operating concepts
  • system architectures
  • specifications
  • visualisations
  • supporting systems and equipment
  • challenge prize competitions
  • other novel ideas

The outputs from this short competition, will inform UKRI what type of facilities can be developed with capital infrastructure funding and the scale of the funding required. Subject to approval of future funding, further support would be available from the UKRI infrastructure fund to develop concepts into real world construction and use.

Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, competitive, procurement or grant funding exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.

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

Funding type


Project size

Projects can range in size up to total costs of £75,000, inclusive of VAT.

Who can apply

Your project

Projects must:

  • start by 1 February 2022
  • end by 31 March 2022


To lead a project, you must:

Contracts will be awarded to a single legal entity only, however you can involve subcontractors in your project work. This work will still be the responsibility of the main contractor.

Eligibility Overview

Here is a diagram showing a summary of eligibility.
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Eligibility tree SBRI Robotics Proving Ground.pdf (opens in a new window)


A total of up to £500,000, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this competition.

Contracts awarded will be up to £75,000, inclusive of VAT, for each project. We expect to fund between 5 and 10 projects.

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

  • adjust the provisional funding
  • apply a ‘portfolio’ approach

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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