Technology Readiness Levels: What is the difference between “Proof of Concept” and “Prototype Development”?

The Technology Readiness Levels which the Game Changers Innovation Programme (and Sellafield) are interested in are TRL2 to TRL6.

TRL 1 (basic research) would be too early in the technology development for our involvement and, likewise, TRL 7-9 would be where we expect to have helped introduce further support and/or funding.

Please refer to the TRL page on this website for clarification.

Can I apply to Game Changers at any time?

Yes, the Game Changers Innovation Programme welcome applications at any time but primarily we are seeking applications which address the specific challenges illustrated in the various calls for innovation.

Deadlines are published for these, but we will never turn away or refuse an application which has genuine potential for game-changing impact on Sellafield’s decommissioning programme.

How many Game Changers projects will be funded?

There has not been a limit set on the number of projects that will be assessed, nor those which may be eligible for the initial funding of up to £10,000 (awarded after successful appraisal by review panel).

It is intended that at least 30 projects can be funded at the proof of concept stage and 8 projects at the prototype development stage. However, depending on the level of support required by each project, these numbers may be higher.

If I submit an idea to Game Changers, is it confidential?

Yes, the confidentiality of your idea is essential and, to ensure this is upheld, a pre-signed non-disclosure agreement is included as part of the Game Changers application form.

The National Nuclear Laboratory and its partners involved in the Game Changers Innovation Programme have agreed to abide by this agreement and, by signing the form and submitting the application, you are included in the agreement also.

What are the reporting requirements?

Reporting will be required by successful applicant teams but this is not intended to be onerous.

We would request that you provide us with quarterly update reports showing investment defrayed against agreed milestones / deliverables.

All projects will require a half-way point review and a final review as a minimum, attended by a representative of the National Nuclear Laboratory and Sellafield Ltd.

What are the timescales and how long until I get an answer?

After submitting a Game Changers application, we will contact you to follow up your interest within 7 days.

Our commercialisation team will then work with you to ensure that your application is as strong as possible before being put forward for consideration by Sellafield Ltd or the National Nuclear Laboratory.

What is Sellafield Ltd seeking to fund and what are the key areas of interest to fund?

All innovative technology development ideas are eligible to apply to Game Changer programme and Innovus for support. Whilst Game Changers will concentrate our interest on technology-based proposals that address the specific decommissioning challenges, innovations in other areas are welcome.

We recommend you contact us to discuss your idea / innovation prior to submitting an application.

What is the overall process of Game Changers?

A high-level outline of the Game Changers process can be seen here. We have intentionally kept the process (and application submission) as simple as possible as we do not believe that this should be too onerous, and possibly hindering any applications.

Who is eligible to apply?

Game Changers will support innovative technology-based projects and techniques being conducted by any business, organisation, individual or academia in the UK.

Applications from outside the UK are also welcomed but we ask that you contact us in the first instance to discuss any possible conflicts of interests.

Who is involved in Game Changers?

The Game Changers programme is managed and delivered by the National Nuclear Laboratory and FIS360.

Game Changers is supported and funded by Sellafield Ltd.

Who owns the intellectual property (IP) arising from the project?

Game Changers and its funders will not claim any part of the intellectual property from a supported project, and will support the Game Changer applicant to gain as much commercial benefit from the IP as possible.

Will there be events or calls for ideas?

Yes. We organise and deliver regular Game Changer events which are aimed at connecting the end users with the technical innovators (supply chain and academic) in specific sectors.

These events will be posted on this website, with further notifications made on LinkedIn and Twitter.

If you would like to be added to our contacts database and receive email notifications, please send your details to and request to be included.

Additionally, we will issue calls for projects aligned with declared end user needs.

What type and size of company can apply?

Any type of organisation may make an application to the Game Changers Innovation Programme, however, businesses must hold registered company status. Applications from university departments / teams are covered by their university’s registered status.