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Guidance notes: before you start

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Applications for our 2023 Open Innovation Programme are now closed.

Please contact [email protected] if you experienced technical issues and were unable to submit your idea.

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You should familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions before you start

Decide which organisations will work with you on the project. Invite people from those organisations to help complete the application. The lead applicant must complete form.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion considerations are highly encouraged where appropriate in the proposal. Applications will continue to be assessed on their innovation merit, where innovation is defined as the potential for commercially successful exploitation of ideas.


The assessors will score your answers to questions 2 to 7, question 1 is not scored. You must answer all questions. Your answer to each question can be up to 2500 characters (approx. 500 words) long. Do not include any website addresses (URLs) or & in your answers.

  • 1

    Tell us about your idea

    In 5000 words, we ask you to describe your idea and what focus area your idea is applicable to. Be clear about what makes it innovative and how it relates to the scope of the competition. This section is not scored, but we will use it to decide whether the project fits the scope of the competition. If it does not, it may be rejected.

  • 2

    Level of Innovation

    What separates your idea from existing technology? How does your idea solve a technology gap or industry challenge?

  • 3


    What are the main work packages and deliverables of this project. How would you manage this effectively?

  • 4

    Value Potential

    Please provide details on the potential cost savings or a reduction of CO2e this technology would deliver.

  • 5

    Commercial Potential

    Please provide details of the market opportunities for your technology and how this technology will benefit the North East economy in terms of revenue and export potential.

  • 6

    Net Zero Focus

    How will your idea help achieve the Net Zero Goals?

  • 7

    Project Team

    Who is in the project team and what are their roles? Describe or explain: the roles, skills and experience of key team members.


Equality, diversity and inclusion

We collect and report on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data to address under-representation in business innovation and ensure equality, diversity and inclusion across all our activities. All participants must complete the EDI form as part of the submission. The form will ask you questions on the project teams gender, age, ethnicity and disability status. You will always have the option to ‘prefer not to say’ if you do not feel comfortable sharing this information.


If you need additional help or support

Net Zero Technology Centre is committed to making support for applicants accessible to everyone. We can provide help for applicants who face barriers when making an application. This might be as a result of a disability, neurodiversity or anything else that makes it difficult to use our services. We can also give help and make other reasonable adjustments for you if your application is successful. If you think you need more support, it is important that you contact [email protected] as early as possible during your application process. You should aim to contact us no later than 10 working days before the competition closing date.

Additional Information

Once you have submitted your application, you will not be able to make any changes.

When your application has been successfully submitted, an email notification will be sent to the email address you indicated on the form confirming your application has been received.

Please ensure that the email address you wish to link your application to is valid and will be active and accessible for the complete duration of the selection process.

Please fill in all fields as your application will be rejected if not fully completed.