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Software verification and validation for complex systems

Innovate UK and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) are to invest up to £580,000 in technical feasibility studies to stimulate innovation throughout the software development lifecycle (SDLC) while focusing on the verification and validation* (V&V) of two classes of complex systems: cyber physical systems (CPS) and systems with emergent behaviours.

This competition encourages businesses to develop appropriate ‘links' between the behaviour of a system in the physical world and the software implementing its planned interactions. It also seeks to stimulate development of new engineering methods for systems in which a machine – rather than a human user or operator – drives the decision- making process. Such systems can be trained to recognise complex patterns and to make intelligent decisions based on existing data. They are starting to be used in sectors such as automated and autonomous vehicles, and robotics and autonomous systems (RAS). Our aim is to ensure that small and micro businesses in the UK further develop their early capabilities in this area.

Projects are open to companies of any size, but must be led by a small or micro company, working in collaboration with one or more business or research partners.

Small or micro businesses could receive up to 70% of their eligible project costs, medium-sized businesses 60% and large businesses 50%.

We expect projects to last 6 to 12 months and to range in size from total costs of £50,000 to £100,000.

This competition opens on 21 September 2015, and the deadline for applications is at noon on 18 November 2015.


Projects should concentrate on early-stage technical opportunities with a significant level of technical risk: that is, opportunities where there is some degree of uncertainty about how the proposed technical approach will work in practice. Suitable outcomes could include new methods, early prototypes or proofs of concept for software V&V tools that enable organisations to move easily to commercialisation and certification and/or accreditation of the associated complex systems.

Key dates

  • Competition opens: 21 September 2015
  • Competition briefing: 23 September 2015
  • Registration deadline: noon 11 November 2015
  • Deadline for receipt of applications: noon 18 November 2015

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