Closed call 2023-09-15: Demonstrator projects
This is a call for Demonstrator projects – projects that can demonstrate and disseminate technologies for digital transformation and its impact on society. Projects are expected to show novelty, high impact, and wide outreach.
Call announced: 2023-06-12
Project proposal registration: 2023-09-08
Proposal submission deadline: 2023-09-15
Phase 2 evaluation hearing: late October 2023
Expected funding decision: December 2023
Expected start of projects: January 2024
The figure below shows the Digital Futures process for evaluation and decision:
Digital Futures is a cross-disciplinary research centre that explores and develops digital technologies. We bring solutions to great societal challenges in Sweden and globally. We generate knowledge, innovations, and future leaders of high industrial relevance and strategic importance. Digital Futures is jointly established by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden. Digital Futures awards funding to strategic research projects to support a specific action or project that furthers the vision of Digital Futures. Find out more about Digital Futures background here.
Digital Futures targets several KPIs, societal outreach being one of the core KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Societal outreach entails contributions to the public (political) discourse, public lectures, consulting to public agencies and institutions, and presence in print and in social media. Demonstrator projects are the main instrument of Digital Futures to foster this KPI. The purpose of these projects is to demonstrate and disseminate technologies for digital transformation and show their impact and potential in society. The results are expected to be disseminated in high-impact venues with wide reach, such as national television, press, or more specialist venues with international reach.
Demonstrator projects are also expected to contribute to industrial or societal transfer as a secondary KPI. Industrial or societal transfer as KPI materializes, for instance, through joint demonstrations with industrial/societal partners, follow-up transfer grants (on national and European level), impact on industrial research and development, patents, standardization and/or open source contributions, as well as industrial-academic mobility.
The output of these projects could include
- Prototype software systems (preferably open source), demonstrators, and digital services
- Development of an artefact for experimental evaluation and demonstration of research, including physical prototypes and demonstrators for public use
- Integration of novel algorithms and methods from research into a testbed or real system within the industry or public sector
- An evaluation or study of the impact of novel digital technologies
The projects should
- Demonstrate technologies with significant potential industrial and/or societal impact
- Demonstrate the results in at least one high-impact event at the end of the 2-year project time and provide a preliminary demonstration after one year
- Involve researchers, competencies, data and resources that enable interdisciplinary research and demonstrations.
- Create a tangible result that can be displayed at the Digital Futures hub, for example, a demo installation or a video.
We strongly encourage projects to collaborate with external partners and testbeds and expect all projects to be able to display results at Digital Future events and at the centre.
Project proposals that include industrial and/or societal entities will be preferred over pure academic constellations. The inclusion of external entities is, however, not mandatory. It is furthermore advantageous to include at least one industrial or societal partner of the Industrial and Societal Partnership Programme (ISPP) .
Project proposals should clearly outline the added value that the industrial and/or societal partner(s) provide to the project, for instance, in terms of getting access to testbeds, data sets, software, etc. In these cases, a Letter of Intent from the corresponding project partner(s) is highly desirable to be provided with the application.
To encourage inter-disciplinarity and collaboration, each project should list two (2) PIs (principal investigators) of complementary backgrounds. The researchers should belong to either i) two different KTH schools, ii) KTH school and RISE/SU, or iii) RISE and SU.
To be eligible, a PI must be an Assistant Professor, an Associate Professor, a Full Professor, or a permanent full-time Researcher (“tillsvidareanställning”, 80% employment or more with a PhD degree) at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Any one person can only be PI or co-PI for at most one project proposal in this call. The PIs do not need to be Digital Futures faculty when applying but will become Digital Futures faculty if the project is granted.
Industrial or societal partners are not eligible to receive Digital Futures funding.
 Researchers employed by RISE Digital Systems Division in the Stockholm area are eligible to apply.
Project duration and maximum funding
In this call, up to five projects are intended to be selected. The duration of the project is two years. The projects will be funded with a maximum of 2 MSEK in total (1 MSEK per project year). Please note that the amount applied for must not exceed the maximum funding for a project in this call. The budget must be split between the PIs in even multiples of 100 KSEK with a minimum of 300 KSEK per PI for each project year, with the same budget split in both years.
Cash or in-kind funding is not required from industrial or societal partners, but tangible contributions, for instance, demonstrated through an LoI, are beneficial for the evaluation of project proposals.
Projects are required to set aside 5% of the granted budget for dissemination. It can, for example, be used for making a demo installation at the Digital Futures hub, producing a good video, or other tangible output. Spending this amount should be done in dialogue with the Digital Futures Executive Committee.
Please note the Digital Futures funding policy
Researchers can be involved in several projects under different instruments, but within Digital Futures, the funding per PI is limited to 1 MSEK/year. Hence, funding that you may have received under the current Digital Futures instruments Collaborative Research Projects, Research Pairs, Demonstrator Projects, and Collaborative Projects targeting Diversity and Inclusion, and Seed Projects will be taken into consideration. Funding from Digital Futures to Societal Innovation Projects, Partner Innovation Projects, Industrial Innovation Projects, and ISPP Demo Projects is included, but not the part from partners. Digital Futures Postdoctoral Fellows projects or C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute projects are not taken into account.
The projects should address cutting-edge research within Technologies for a digital transformation, involve researchers that complement each other, and conduct interdisciplinary research. The proposals shall address subject areas at an intersection of the Digital Futures Research matrix illustrated below. More information about the research matrix can be found here.
How to apply
- Fill in the application according to the project description template: Project description template – Demo call 2023
- Create an account on the application submission system and register the application stating the title, PIs and a short abstract by the registration date (see at top) at this link: https://crp.dsv.su.se/demo-call-23/
- Complete the application, including uploading the project description to the submission system before the call deadline (see at top) using the same link as in step 2.
The project proposals will be evaluated by an external international expert panel. The evaluation will be based on the following criteria:
- Project plan: Novelty of the goals, and feasibility of the project plan, including access to data, testbeds, and other infrastructure necessary to complete the project.
- Conformity to the scope of Digital Futures and team composition: The project proposal fits to Digital Futures research matrix and the composition and competence of the proposed research team, including potential external collaboration partners.
- Potential for societal and industrial impact: Degree of novelty with respect to potential societal and industrial impact and possible transfer to society and industry.
- Societal and industrial engagement: Involvement of external partners in the project, ISPP members and others, and their level of engagement, for example, co-funding, access to data, and/or testbed.
- Dissemination and outreach plan: Scope, audience, and visibility of the demonstration events or demonstration methods.
The evaluation will be carried out in two phases. In the first phase, the evaluators independently grade the project proposals according to the criteria. Based on the outcome, the top proposals will be invited to the phase 2 hearing, where the applicants present their projects and answer questions from the evaluation panel. After the hearing, the panel finalises their ranking and recommends a set of projects for funding.
Based on the evaluation and available funding, the Digital Futures Executive Committee compiles a funding proposal on how many top project proposals to fund. The funding proposal is then sent to the Digital Futures Governing board and the KTH Rector for decisions in that order.
There will not be an information meeting for this call, but don’t hesitate to contact us for a private consultation should you have any questions!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions. Please include “Demonstrator projects 2023” in the subject of your email.