Live Challenges

Challenge Lead: Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

The Challenge: To rapidly assess and develop novel solutions and technologies that have the potential to accelerate disruptive innovation in reducing the burden of work on endoscopy suites, which could cover several areas such as (but not limited to):

– New training methods to upskill Health Care Professionals to improve the quality of referrals and increase workforce capacity

– New endoscopy procedures

– Faster decontamination/cleaning/workflow systems

– Development and/or implementation of new non-invasive technology

– AI/advance analytics to monitor, manage and signpost patients on the waiting list

The aims are as follows;

– Better management of demand, ensuring maximum value is delivered by the service

– People will get a diagnosis sooner

– Improved capacity within the service

– Fewer complications

-Improved recovery and discharge from hospital

Update December 2022: Two companies have progressed to the next stage of the challenge. More information in the news section of our website

A partnership between Cardiff Council, Monmouthshire Council, the Cardiff Capital Region Challenge Fund, Welsh Government Innovation and the SBRI Centre of Excellence.


The COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s departure from the European Union, increased energy prices combined with the Russia-Ukraine war has and will continue to present challenges to our food systems.  These events have highlighted how heavily dependent the UK is on imported foods. Cardiff Council and Monmouthshire Council recognise that the way we produce, supply and consume food in the future will play a major part in determining how successful we are in living up to the unprecedented challenges that face us in terms of the climate change emergency, biodiversity loss and diet-related illness.  Shifting our food and farming system to capitalise on our local assets presents enormous opportunities for the health of our economy, people and the planet.

Economics – The great majority of the value of our primary production is realised elsewhere. This has had a profound impact, particularly in the rural economy with the loss of economic activity and jobs with serious knock-on impacts for communities in terms of inequality, social cohesion and the Welsh language. The economic benefits to our communities of re-localising food systems could be transformational in terms of circulating wealth and revitalising our local communities. 

Environmental – The current food system is not sustainable or resilient. 48% of all food consumed in the UK is imported from across the world. This increases world-wide carbon emissions, contributes to deforestation and forced labour as well as making us more susceptible to global impacts.

Socially – Wales has a duty to future generations to tackle health related issues. Severe obesity prevalence rates in Wales are ‘significantly higher’ than the rest of the UK whilst the number of people who are unable to afford the cost of a healthy diet have increased since the pandemic. This will be further impacted by the cost of living crisis which has seen food and energy prices soar.

Policy Context

The ‘Wellbeing for Future Generations Act (2015)’ aims to improve the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales. The Act sets out seven goals which represent the long-term vision for Wales. Public bodies now need to think more about the long-term, work better with people and communities and each other, look to prevent problems and take a more joined-up approach. Public bodies must operate in a way that ensures that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Public bodies are required to ensure that when making decisions they consider the impact they could have on people living their lives in Wales in the future.

The National Food strategy sets out what the UK government will do to create a more prosperous, agri-food sector that delivers healthier, more sustainable and affordable diets for all. 

Welsh Government have recently announced free school meals for all children of primary school age which will ensure that children have a healthy meal every day. Additionally, a new Food (Wales) Bill has recently won the support of the Senedd to proceed with making the case for the Bill in principle, this aims to establish a more sustainable food system. These also coincide with other major drivers for change such as the forthcoming Agriculture Bill, the Community Food Strategy, and a renewed focus on the foundational economy.

The Challenge

Cardiff Council in collaboration with Monmouthshire County Council are seeking to identify and support projects to develop innovative solutions which can significantly improve the sustainable production and supply of food. The Challenge looks for applicants to harness the potential of land, technology and people to increase the sustainable production and supply of locally grown food in the Cardiff Capital Region.

The Challenge requires applicants to clearly demonstrate:

  • Problem 1: how they will increase the sustainable production of food in the region and generate positive economic, social and environmental impacts.

  • Problem 2: how they will increase the supply of nutritious, locally grown food whilst ensuring a fair price for producers and the wellbeing of future generations.

We are interested in receiving applications that address both problems and would encourage partnerships between applicants to realise this. However, we may consider solutions that address one of the problems if it is clearly justified and supported by sound evidence to be an innovative and pragmatic solution.

We are interested in sustainable food production and supply chain solutions which can be applied to the public sector (e.g., school meal provision, NHS meals), the private and third sector to maximise commercial opportunities. 

How can solutions help with these challenges?

We believe that innovative solutions could:

  • Provide greater access to healthy, nutritious food;

  • Provide better quality food which will improve the health and wellbeing of citizens in Wales;

  • Create more resilient food supply chains that focus on more open and equitable partnerships;

  • Improve capabilities throughout the supply chain so that the sector delivers competitive and sustainable products that meet the needs of future generations;

  • Create an efficient supply chain which could be interpreted beyond economic cost-and-benefit to include social and environmental considerations;

  • Support place based economic development and local wealth building in the CCR; and

  • Protect, and where possible enhance, soil health, water quality and biodiversity. 

Challenge Targets and Measurements of Success

Applicants should consider the targets and metrics of the Challenge when proposing their solutions. We appreciate that some solutions will not be able to contribute to all of the metrics detailed, however, applicants should clearly be able to demonstrate the ability to contribute to the target:

Problem 1 Target – By 2025, we will have increased healthy, low carbon food production using a variety of innovative growing methods. We will have improved access to land resources to support production and increased consumption of local food.


  • An increase in local sustainable food production;

  • An increase in land use for sustainable food production in the Region;

  • An increase in food related employment that pays at least the National minimum wage.

Problem 2 Target – By 2025, we will have an increased supply of nutritious, locally grown food. 


  • An increase in locally sourced food;

  • An increase in the volume of locally grown food that is sourced and distributed by wholesalers;

  • An increase in the number of short food supply chains;

  • An increase in the opportunities for growers/SMEs to supply the ‘Public Plate’;

  • A decrease in food waste demonstrated by improved supply and demand models.

Apply on the Simply Do website

A Briefing Event was held on Tuesday 18th October 2022, watch the recording below:

Update January 2023: Three projects have been selected to receive funding, see more information in the news section of our website

In Autumn 2021, Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) launched 4 challenges seeking innovative deployment technologies to support the transition to zero emission council fleets. Challenges included:

1. On-site renewable energy for EV fleet charging at council depots

Optimisation of on-site renewable energy for EV fleet charging at council depots – KTN (

Challenge Lead council: Merthyr Tydfil

The Challenge: To optimise on-site renewable energy for EV fleet charging at council depots.

Solutions will be scalable and applicable to other Local Authorities in the region.


2. Digital twins for management of large-scale renewable energy

Digital twin for management of large scale renewable energy next to depot – KTN (

Challenge Lead council: Monmouthshire

The Challenge: Aim to find data driven approaches to deployment of future vehicles and infrastructure for zero emission vehicles.


3. Zero emission auxiliary energy supplies for utility and community vehicles

Zero emission auxiliary energy supplies for utility and community vehicles – KTN (

Challenge Lead council: Monmouthshire

The Challenge: Aim to find integrated energy solutions to enhance the energy capacity of zero emission vehicles to allow auxiliary energy usage.


4. Optimising vehicles and charging infrastructure for council fleet to transition to EVs.

Optimising vehicles and charging infrastructure for council fleet to transition to EVs – KTN (

Challenge Lead council: Caerphilly

The Challenge: Aim to find digital solutions to enable the right procurement decisions to be made for the optimisation of vehicles and charging infrastructure to transition to electric vehicles.

Challenges Launching Soon

Watch this space closely for more information on the challenges we have in the pipeline.

Completed Challenges

Simulation Technology for Healthcare Training – SBRI Centre of Excellence (

Challenge Lead: Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

The Challenge: A rapid Covid-19 response challenge, intended to develop , demonstrate and ultimately commercialise more immersive simulation training solutions for NHS clinicians benefiting from advances in virtual reality and associated technologies. 

Contact us for further information (CCR Challenge Fund:

Watch a video case study of this completed challenge on our YouTube channel