North East Social Tech Fund open for applications

The North East Social Tech Fund is a pilot programme delivered by Digital Catapult NETV, designed to provide charities and social enterprises in the North East and Tees Valley with support and funding to help them to adopt emerging technologies.

The purpose of this pilot is to help charities and social enterprises explore digital technology and ‘open innovation’, to overcome the challenges that organisations face. The pilot programme will provide small Innovation Grants to each successful organisation, alongside dedicated hands on support from the Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley’s expert team.

The grant funding and support will allow each organisation to develop and test a prototype or ‘Minimum Viable Product’, in response to an organisational challenge. The Digital Catapult NETV team has a large network of technology companies, and will support the successful organisations to select a suitable development partner to build the chosen solution.

The pilot programme uses a ‘challenge-led’ approach, which means organisations that wish to apply are asked to think about some of the challenges their organisation faces, rather than the type of technology they might want to adopt.

Challenges could be linked to internal challenges, such as resource allocation, data processing or managing volunteers, or external challenges such as engaging with donors, fundraising, or service delivery (NB: this is a non-exhaustive list; if you would like to speak to the team about your challenge prior to submitting your application, please contact us via the details below).

If you have any questions, please contact Anna Malley at

Thanks, The Digital Catapult NETV team



Open Call Deadline – 22/11/2019

VCSE’s selected & notified – 17/12/2019

Brief writing completed – 31/1/2020

Briefs promoted to tech companies – 7/2/2020

Tech companies appointed – 20/3/2020

Development Phase 1 – 15/5/2020

Development Phase 2 – 26/6/2020

Solution finalised & Presented – 17/7/2020



Only charities and social enterprises registered or operating in the North East and Tees Valley area are eligible to apply for this fund.

An organisation can apply more than once if it has multiple challenges it would like to submit, however only one challenge will be selected per organisation.

All organisations applying must ensure they have available personnel to support this project in line with the timescales given above.

Organisations are welcome to apply as part of a consortium if there is a challenge affecting multiple charities/social enterprises. This may increase the amount of funding available for the development of a prototype solution.



Quality of the challenge – (a challenge that can be solved) 25%

The team – (relevant resource available to support from the organisation) 25%

The potential impact of a solution (social or organisational impact) 25%

Open to Innovation – (willingness to engage with the challenge-led approach) 25%



Please fill out the online application form before the deadline 22nd November 2019 – available at

Please note: draft forms cannot be saved.

Full T&Cs for the North East Social Tech pilot programme can be found at: Online T&Cs

The North East Social Tech Fund is supported by Comic Relief, Community Foundation Durham, Newcastle Building Society and Northstar Foundation.