Can you support the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service to develop a resilient communication network?

What is the open innovation challenge?

The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) must be able to quickly alert firefighters to incidents within the local community. A resilient paging network is currently used to do this. This paging system uses several Communications bearers which currently include Airwave, the SFRS Wide Area Network (WAN), ISDN and PSTN.

Ofcom have announced that BT Openreach will be withdrawing ISDN and PSTN circuits from 2020, which will reduce the number of communications bearers available to SFRS.

SFRS would like to develop two GD92 compliant mobilising bearers, which do not depend on the Airwave or SFRS Wide Area Network (the other mobilising bearers which will be utilised, to provide four in total). This will allow Firefighters to quickly respond to incidents in the communities of Scotland and maintain a resilient service.

The solution will be offered to emergency services and other organisations, potentially worldwide, who provide similar services to remote communities. 

The current call is for Phase 1 of a potential 2-phase SBRI competition.

Phase 1

Research and development (R&D) contracts will be awarded, to explore the challenges and to develop and demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of solutions. 

It is anticipated that Phase 1 funding will be up to £30,000 (Inc. VAT) per contract for up to four contracts for a maximum of four months duration.

Phase 2

R&D contracts will be awarded to businesses chosen from the successful Phase 1 applicants, to develop a prototype and undertake field-testing in Scotland.

It is anticipated that two Phase 2 contracts of up to £150,000 (Inc. VAT) each will be awarded for up to 12 months.

Phase 2 funding details are only indicative at this stage.


Deadline for registration: noon, 30 November 2020

Deadline for enquires: noon, 02 December 2020

Deadline for applications: noon, 07 December 2020

Applicants notified of decision by: 11 January 2021

Contracts awarded: 15 January 2021

Feedback provided by: 15 January 2021

Next steps

Learn about this challenge on the Public Contracts Scotland website