Decision details

Payment of funds to successful applicants of the GovTech Catalyst

Reference: D49878

Decision Maker: Director of Resources and Housing

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Agreement is required to enable the council to pay SMEs who will be working on the GovTech Catalyst project using HM Government funding.

The GovTech Catalyst is a government-funded project that aims to identify SMEs who can pitch for funding to research and develop technological solutions to public sector challenges.  Leeds City Council with its partner City of York Council, was successful in being one of the final five organisations selected in round 3 of the Catalyst.

Our challenge is “How might we use technology to monitor the condition and quality of the council’s housing stock to proactively identify and prevent adverse environmental issues that might impact on the tenant’s health?”

The council will work with SMEs over an 18-month period to co-design innovative solutions that could lead to the improved management of its housing stock (and in the process saving money) and result in improved health outcomes.  Research/testing will be carried out with a council tenants in various wards and in a variety of different house/flat types.

Phase 1 August 2019 – November 2019
Following an application and independent marking process led by Innovate UK (through the Small Business Research Initiative process), five successful SMEs will be chosen to receive £50,000 each to carry out research into the council’s challenge and design innovative solutions. 

Phase 2 January 2020 – December 2020 (dates tbc)
Successful prototypes from phase 1 could go through to phase 2, where £500,000 will be awarded to up to two of the SMEs to continue their work to produce marketable products from their prototypes.

SME funding in both phases is financed from HM Government’s £20m GovTech fund.  Funding will be forwarded to the council by the Cabinet Office who in turn will then distribute to the SME’s to work on their solutions. 

In both phases, funding will be paid at various intervals, for example a tranche at the beginning of the phase, part way through, and on successful completion of the project.

There is no direct cost to the council.

Following phase 2, if it is deemed that any of the resulting solutions are worthy of procuring to roll out across the district, the council’s normal procurement process and rules would apply


The Director of Resources & Housing:

1  Authorised the required expenditure with successful companies to enable the project to commence with the phase 1 research and development stage.

2  Subject to a successful phase 1, authorised the required expenditure with successful companies to enable the project to progress to phase 2.

3  Noted that subject to a successful phase 1 and phase 2 where the council can identify savings and/or improved service delivery it will commence to procure the solution.

Contact: Stephen Blackburn, Data and Innovation Manager 0113 37 84571 Email:

Publication date: 10/07/2019

Date of decision: 18/07/2019

Effective from: 26/07/2019

Accompanying Documents: