Do you have a challenge that requires an innovative solution?

The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Challenge Fund is inviting public sector bodies to develop challenges and connect with organisations who can provide innovative solutions to those challenges, leading to better services, improved efficiency and effectiveness, and productivity.

The purpose of the funding is to help the public sector to obtain novel products and services to challenges and in doing so, provide a route to market for those solutions.

We are providing public sector bodies throughout the Cardiff Capital Region the opportunity to receive up to 100% of funding to support the development of challenges. Public Sector are invited to compete for a share of £10m with the strongest challenges being selected for funding.

Benefits for getting involved include:

  • Opportunity to explore creative solutions to local economic challenges
  • Investment to find and develop innovative solutions
  • Improved local service delivery that benefits from tailored solutions
  • New market creation and ability to ‘break through’ public procurement frameworks
  • Potential for commercial solutions which can be scaled and sold both locally and beyond
  • Local supply chain growth and development

About the Challenge Fund

The CCR Challenge Fund provides a mechanism to engage Public Sector ‘Challenge Owners’ and ‘Solution Providers’ through innovation driven challenges.

The Challenge Fund aims to build local wealth through creating commercial opportunities for organisations across the CCR, by inviting them to propose solutions to challenges across three priority themes: accelerating decarbonisation, improving the health and wellbeing of the region’s citizens, and supporting, enhancing and transforming communities.

Drawing on the region’s creativity and ingenuity and bringing together the public and private sector in order to deliver novel solutions, radical improvements and new business opportunities, the fund focusses on the most urgent priorities facing the region.

Challenges are problems that, if solved, provide benefits to the public sector and commercial opportunities for the organisations that develop solutions.

Each Challenge size and scale is expected to vary and will largely depend on the priorities and best approach to solving the identified challenges.

The Challenge Fund is managed and delivered through a partnership of the Cardiff Capital Region, Cardiff University and Y lab. Challenge Owners will draw on the collective expertise from the partners to design and develop their Challenges.

Am I eligible?

The initial call for Challenges is targeted at Public Sector organisations in the Cardiff Capital Region wishing to develop and run challenges.

Public sector organisations may include Local Authorities, Health Boards, Police Forces etc. However, for challenges to receive funding each challenge must demonstrate scope to:

  • Solve the greatest societal challenges
  • Create innovative solutions
  • Deliver economic impact for the region
  • Drive commercial scalable opportunities
  • Build local wealth

All challenges will be assessed against the same criteria.

How to apply

Public Sector organisations in the region are encouraged to attend the virtual briefing event on the 18th November 2020 to learn more about the support on offer and those interested in attending should register on the Briefing Event

Attendees will hear from experienced practitioners from Innovate UK and Welsh Government, as well as leading academics from Cardiff University, our partners in delivering the fund.  They will gain an insight into how Public Sector bodies can act as a catalyst for driving Challenge-led Innovation and importantly how the new CCR Challenge Fund package of support can be accessed to help tackle some of the big challenges facing society.

The Challenge Fund is now open for expressions of interest from all public sector organisations active in the Cardiff Capital Region and all those interested in engaging are invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). These can be downloaded <here> or from the CCR Challenge Fund webpage.

Completed EOIs should be sent to the CCR Challenge Fund mailbox at   

Please note: The Briefing Event is targeted at a Public Sector audience (prospective Challenge Owners).  The opportunities for businesses to engage in the Challenge Fund will come later through the Workshop sessions and future calls to offer solutions to Challenges.

Challenge Development Workshops will take place in December’20 and January’21 to allow opportunities for organisations to work with the CCR Challenge Fund Team in the development of challenges.  Follow us on Twitter to hear  about the latest opportunities @aCapitalRegion

All prospective Challenge Owners will be required to submit full applications to  by Noon Friday 12th March 2021.

Key dates


Public Sector briefing event (Online Event Registration)

Challenge Development Workshops

18th November 2020

December ’20 & January ’21 (TBC)

Deadline for full applications

Noon Friday 12th March 2021

Challenge Owner contracts awarded

w/c 29th March 2021

Challenges Launch for industry engagement

April 2021 onwards

Dates are subject to change*


Note: Rapid response Challenges which address urgent Covid priorities and where a challenge can be mobilised more quickly, may be considered and progressed earlier than dates published.

Getting in touch

If you have a question, contact the CCR Challenge Fund Team at for additional information visit our partners website here.


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