• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Investment of up to £5m in projects that stimulate innovation in the UK location-based services sector.

  • Programme: Collaborative research and development

  • Award: Up to £5m

  • Opens: 28 Apr 2014, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 11 Jun 2014, 12:00

  • Closes: 18 Jun 2014, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Innovation in location-based services

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 £5m in projects that stimulate innovation in the UK location-based services sector. 
The aim of the competition is to support projects that capitalise on the increasing accuracy, coverage and speed of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as GPS and other non-satellite technologies such as iBeacon, Wi-Fi and radio frequency identification (RFID) to build innovative location-based services or improve the user experience of existing services. 
Proposals must be collaborative and business-led although project partners can include research and non-profit organisations as well as other businesses. We expect to fund mainly industrial research projects in which two or more partners will attract up to 50% public funding for their eligible project costs (60% for SMEs). 
We expect collaborative R&D projects to range in size from £400k to £1m, although we may consider larger projects. Projects should last between 12 and 24 months. 
The competition opens for applicants on 28 April 2014. The deadline for registration is at noon on 11 June 2014 and the deadline for applications is at noon on 18 June 2014
A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 6 May 2014. You can register for this event and other regional events by visiting – https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/creativektn/creative-industries-funding-programme-2013-14.
The London event will be filmed, offering a webinar facility for applicants unable to attend. 


The UK is a world-class player in the telecommunications technologies that underpin location-based services, with more than half of the world's GPS/GNSS devices designed in the UK. We are also world leaders in developing specialist high-value geolocation systems used, for example, in agriculture and on construction sites. 
The UK's design sector, too, is renowned for its breadth and depth, not just within the creative industries but across other business sectors, generating real innovation. This is especially significant within the digital economy, where design is a cornerstone to creating successful digital services. 
This expertise in design is estimated to be worth £15bn annually to the UK economy, including more than £100m in exports of design services. This is achieved primarily by ensuring that new products and services address the needs of the user as well as being attractive to the consumer. 
With the proliferation of smart phones, tablets, mapping applications and other GPS devices, geolocation services have become part of everyday life for the majority of people in the UK, especially in metropolitan areas.
There will be significant advances in the accuracy and timeliness of geolocation data over the next few years. Location accuracy will be improved to under two meters and there will be better coverage in town centres where tall buildings impede satellite signals. All this will open up far greater opportunities for designers to create new and innovative digital services which use location data. 


Users are at the heart of this competition. Projects must understand and address the needs of users, looking beyond basic navigation functions to produce innovative services based on geolocation or non-satellite technologies. 
Location-based data is being accessed and created at an ever-increasing rate, with growing use of location technologies such as GPS devices. 
We are interested in proposals that use location data to build services capable of addressing real-life problems. This competition encourages the application of user-centred design methods to explore the opportunities that arise from location-based contextual data. 
Proposals should address or lead to one or more of the following: 
  • services that optimise relationships between resources, technology, communities, businesses and events in the local environment 
  • applications that manage multiple data sets and integrate them in interesting and original ways to produce accurate information for unique or niche services 
  • applications that exploit indoor positioning systems, such as Wi-Fi, RFID and iBeacon, together with satellite navigation systems to track users, locations or resources 
  • applications that create a sustainable service by using content from existing open data platforms such as Open Street Map 
  • services that generate useful crowd-sourced content which refines and improves the service and is of value to third parties 
  • applications that seamlessly use mobile augmented reality (MAR), not as a novelty but to enhance the service and improve user experience. 
Successful projects will also need to be trusted services and must follow best practice for privacy regarding user data. They should also be inclusively designed for the broadest range of user needs such as older adults and/or those with moderate sensory impairments. 

Looking for partners to work on your project? 

Go to connect to find collaborators and networks. 

Funding and project details

We have allocated up to £5m to fund collaborative R&D projects that address the technical challenges outlined in the scope. 
Successful applicants can attract grant funding towards their eligible project costs. The percentage of costs that we pay varies, depending on the type of research being carried out and the type of organisation involved. 
For this competition projects must be business-led and collaborative. They should last one to two years. We are primarily seeking to fund industrial research with a business partner attracting 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for SMEs). 
We expect projects to range in size from £400k to £1m, with the maximum total project size being around £1m. We may consider larger projects but applicants should discuss this with us before making their application. 
Project partners can include any mix of businesses, of various sizes, as well as research and non-profit organisations. Participation from academic and research organisations will be capped at 30% of the overall project costs. 
Definitions of eligible costs and research categories, financial information on overheads and capital expenditure, and guidance on how to answer questions on the application form can be found in the Guidance for Applicants section of the competition website. 
Each partner in a collaborative feasibility project can receive funding towards their project costs. The funding is a percentage of the 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.

Application process

This competition opens for applicants on 28 April 2014. Applicants must register by 11 June 2014 and must submit their applications by noon on 18 June 2014
Applications are assessed on individual merit by an independent panel of experts. We may apply a portfolio approach across the themes/areas, subject to applications meeting the required quality threshold. 
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application on 25 July 2014. Successful projects should be ready to begin by September 2014. 
A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 6 May 2014 to highlight the main features of the competition and explain the application process. Applicants are strongly recommended to attend. 
You can register for this event and other regional events by visiting – https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/creativektn/creative-industries-funding-programme-2013-14. The London event will be filmed, offering a webinar facility for applicants unable to attend. 
Note: All deadlines are at noon.

More information

To apply you must first register with us through the competition page on the website. Registration opens when the competition opens and closes a week before the deadline for applications. 

Key dates

  • Competition opens: 28 April 2014
  • Competition briefing and webinar: 6 May 2014
  • Registration deadline: 11 June 2014
  • Deadline for applications: 18 June 2014, noon
  • Applicants notified of results: 25 July 2014, noon


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.