Organisations can apply for a share of up to £1.25 million to help the government find innovative ways to rationalise complex business regulations.

A real challenge for the government is to understand how evolving regulations interact with each other and their impact on businesses, while maintaining important protections for citizens and the environment.

Innovate UK – working with the Better Regulation Executive and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy – has up to £1.25 million for ideas to better understand the complexity of regulations and where they place disproportionate burdens on businesses.

This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition. Funding is through the GovTech Catalyst, which helps the public sector to identify and work with innovative businesses.

The competition will potentially run in 2 phases.

Phase 1 will award up to 5 organisations with contracts to demonstrate the technical feasibility of an idea for identifying regulatory obligations placed on businesses. These contracts will be worth up to £50,000 each.

Organisations that are successful could then get the chance to apply in a second phase. This would award contracts of up to £500,000 each for 2 applicants to develop a prototype of their technical solution and undertake testing.

Rationalising a complex regulatory system

Projects need to focus on at least 1 of 3 themes initially. They should address all themes if they go through to phase 2. These are:

  • analysing existing regulations and identifying the requirements that apply to different businesses and sectors
  • assessing how challenging individual regulatory requirements are for businesses and their ability to comply
  • assessing how challenging multiple, cumulative regulations are for businesses and their ability to comply

Proposals must be accessible and easy to use for UK government policymakers. They could also have the potential to be used by public and private sector organisations worldwide.

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 14 January 2019 and the deadline for registration is midday on 20 February 2019
  • organisations of all sizes are eligible to apply, working alone or with other businesses, researchers, charities or public sector organisations
  • up to £250,000 including VAT is available in phase 1
  • phase 1 projects must start by 17 May 2019 and can last up to 3 months



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