• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Investment of up to £1.5m in feasibility studies to stimulate innovation in networked intelligent sensor systems, and new applications of them.

  • Programme: Feasibility studies

  • Award: Up to £1.5m

  • Opens: 09 Dec 2013, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 22 Jan 2014, 12:00

  • Closes: 29 Jan 2014, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

« go back

Enabling the Internet of Sensors

Competition results

The results of this competition are now available; see the PDF of the winning project proposals.


The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £1.5m in feasibility studies to stimulate innovation in networked intelligent sensor systems, and new applications of them. Our aim is to support the development of the ‘Internet of Sensors,' in which sensors enable all kinds of machines and appliances to communicate and co-ordinate with each other through the information network. 
Proposals must be collaborative and business-led. Project partners can include businesses of any size, as well as academic researchers. We expect to fund pre-industrial feasibility studies in which a business partner will generally attract up to 65% public funding for their project costs (75% for SMEs). 
We expect projects to last from six to 18 months, and to range in size from £50k to £150k. 
This competition opens on 9 December 2013. The deadline for registration is at noon on 22 January 2014 and the deadline for receipt of applications is noon on 29 January 2014. A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 11 December 2013


Sensors enable the physical world to interact with computers, providing a much richer array of data than is available via manual input. Sensors drive, and will continue to drive, the Internet of Things, in which all kinds of machines and appliances are able to ‘talk to each other' through the information network.
According to a recently published report from ABI Research, the Internet of Things currently involves over 10 billion wireless connected devices, and the report predicts that this figure will triple in size to more than 30 billion devices by 2020 as users plug more and more objects into the network. ABI predicts that by 2020 sensors will account for over 60% of the Internet of Things: with this level of involvement, it might be more representative to talk about the Internet of Sensors. The global sensors market is now estimated to be worth around £43bn. 
The aim of this competition is to extend the capabilities of sensor systems. It aims to encourage companies and academic researchers to investigate the feasibility of new concepts in this area, whilst addressing challenges in the application of connected sensor devices. 


We want this competition to stimulate innovation at the intersection between connected computing and the use of sensors, providing information that can inform intelligent decision-making.

Looking for partners to work on your project? 

Go to _connect to find collaborators and networks. 
In recent years we have seen a rapid progression from the Internet to the World Wide Web, to a world where connected and mobile computing is readily available. This competition recognises the fact that the use of sensors will be key as this progression continues, and provides new opportunities for innovation, especially in creating actionable information and intelligent systems. 
The scope of this competition is extremely broad. However, project proposals must include some form of sensor technology, and they must involve either connected computing or the creation of actionable information. 
We are looking for projects that address topics including, but not limited to: 
  • reliability: enabling sensor systems to operate for extended periods with low maintenance overheads 
  • low power: sensing devices that can capture, process, and communicate information with minimal power requirements 
  • energy harvesting: sensor systems that have the ability, for example, to scavenge for energy resources 
  • operating lifetime: through sensor repurposing, effective sensor health monitoring or self-healing 
  • miniaturisation: helping to integrate sensors within wearable, mobile and other connected computing platforms 
  • inter-operability: creating universal sensor platforms that can operate with generic sensors, as well as supporting and integrating sensing elements from different sources 
  • scalability: investigating technologies, in particular, that will allow very large numbers of sensor elements either to be added to a network or removed from a network 
  • without affecting network integrity 
  • intelligence: on-board processing to monitor and analyse data feeds and respond without human intervention 
  • data integrity: maintaining security and ensuring the reliable communication of transmitted data. 
Out of scope for this competition are: 
  • agri-food applications 
  • data processing and analysis that occurs outside the sensor system (or the network of sensors). 
Projects involving agri-food applications are out of scope, since the Technology Strategy Board recently ran a competition, Engineering solutions to enhance agri-food production, which covered sensor-based solutions. 
For projects focused on generating value from data outside the sensor system, see the Technology Strategy Board's forthcoming Data exploration competition, which is due to open early in 2014. 

Funding allocation and project details

We have allocated up to £1.5m to fund pre-industrial feasibility studies that address the technical challenges outlined in the scope above. 
Projects must be business-led and collaborative, and are open to all UK- based companies and research organisations. Businesses can attract up to 65% public funding of their total project costs (75% for SMEs).
We expect total project costs to typically range from £50k to £120k, with a maximum total project size of £150k. Projects should last between six and 18 months. 
Applications are assessed on individual merit by an independent panel of experts. We may apply a portfolio approach across the different areas covered in the scope above. 
Each partner in a project can receive funding towards their project costs – the funding is a percentage of their total eligible project costs and varies, depending on the type of organisation and the type of research. See general guidance on how projects are funded 
The Technology Strategy also runs regular Collaboration Nation events, which enable companies that have been successful in feasibility studies competitions to showcase the results of their projects to their peers and others, with a view to finding new partners to collaborate with and new sources of funding. For more information see the Feasibility Studies page

Application process

This competition opens on 9 December 2013. All applicants must first register via our website, and the deadline for registration is at noon on 22 January 2014. The deadline for applications is at noon on 29 January 2014
A briefing event will be held in London on 11 December 2013 to highlight the main features of the competition and explain the application process. Applicants are strongly recommended to attend this event. 

Key dates

  • Competition opens: 9 December 2013
  • Briefing event: 11 December 2013
  • Registration deadline: 22 January 2014, at noon
  • Deadline for receipt of applications: 29 January 2014, at noon

More information

To apply for this competition you must first register with us.


As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive.
The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the decision to offer an award has been communicated to applicants by email. Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public.
E-mail pressoffice@tsb.gov.uk with any queries.