Help the Welsh Government to support better lives closer to home

What is the open innovation challenge?

The COVID-19 outbreak has deeply affected communities, society and individuals, whether the effects are on physical or mental health, economic impact, loss of jobs and income, living standards and the increased pressure on medical and social services.

To aid a recovery, the Welsh Government and the SBRI Centre of Excellence will fund organisations to develop new products or services that will support the long term health and wellbeing of Welsh citizens. The solution must help communities, businesses or the public sector adapt to the ongoing threats of COVID-19 and progress priorities contained in the Welsh Government Prosperity for All: Economic Action Plan.

The Welsh Government wants to identify and support projects that will support better lives closer to home and align with the following key themes:

Build Back Green - enabling businesses and communities to adapt to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19 with a focus on a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable Wales.

  • they are looking for solutions that enable people to continue to work closer to home, considering accessibility and safety whilst maintaining a sense of community and connection. Examples might be enabling communities to support a circular economy, reducing waste or increasing the efficient use of existing resources, or alternative uses for buildings, or addressing high levels of traffic or industrial emissions.

Sustainability and security of supply chains - supporting place-based and needs-led business supply chains that secure jobs and safeguard against further supply chain disruptions.

  • this could mean that communities have access to healthy food or decrease food poverty. They are especially interested in ideas exploring low-carbon or carbon-neutral methods with a focus on affordability and continuity of supply. This may include innovative growing methods, reducing/repurposing of waste and logistics.

Supporting mental and physical wellbeing for all generations - new products and services addressing mental health, access to care, or the resilience of communities.

  • projects might tackle greater access to resources in the community which support greater wellbeing, or increase the accessibility of active travel. Some solutions may reduce the impact of winter confinement on individuals’ physical and mental wellbeing. Others might increase access to cultural experiences, support the creative industries and ensure communities continue to value the arts, culture and natural environment that Wales is so well-known for.

Applications are invited to deliver rapid feasibility study research and development (R&D) projects, with funding available up to £50,000, including VAT.

There is £250,000 available for this challenge. It is expected that up to 5 projects in total (or more if budget permits) will be funded. The successful projects must commence delivery in January 2021 and complete by end of March 2021.


Open date: 4th November 2020

Briefing event: 12th November 2020

Deadline date for applications: 12:00 Noon GMT 27th November 2020

Meet and greet with suppliers’: 7th December 2020

Decision Release: 11th December 2020

Phase 1 contracts awarded and feedback provided: 11th December 2020

Feedback: 14th December 2020

Projects commence: 4th January 2021

Projects complete: 29th March 2021

Next steps

Learn about this challenge on the SBRI website