Quantum-enabled positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) systems

Organisations can apply for a share of £25m inclusive of VAT, to develop quantum-enabled systems for positioning, navigation, timing (PNT) and quantum-enabled sensing applications relating to navigation. This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Innovate UK.

Opportunity Details


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A total of up to £25m is allocated to this competition. Your project can range in size between £2m and £7m in total costs (inc. VAT).


Innovate UK

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The aim of the competition is to deliver quantum-enabled systems for positioning, navigation and timing, and quantum-enabled sensors for navigation applications, such as magnetic or gravity field sensors. This is a single phase competition for quantum-enabled systems and technologies already at an advanced stage of development. Your proposal must be able to demonstrate a credible commercialisation and delivery plan. This competition is not suitable for feasibility studies. In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process. Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, possibly competitive, procurement exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.

This competition closes at 11am UK time on Wednesday 12 April 2023.


Projects are expected to:

  • start from 1 July 2023
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • last up to 18 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Your project can range in size between £2 million and £7 million in total costs, inclusive of VAT.

To lead a project, you must be:

  • a UK registered organisation, of any size, or have a UK registered office
  • work alone or with others from business, research organisations, research and technology organisations or the third sector, that are UK registered or have a UK registered office, as subcontractors
  • contracts will be awarded to a single legal entity only

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. This lets you incorporate the results of your exploration and design and demonstrate that you can produce in quantity to acceptable quality standards.

View full eligibility criteria.


Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are a successful solution for positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) applications. Their ubiquity has reduced the market for non-GNSS systems. An exception to this is where GNSS does not clearly meet the market needs, for example, where high levels of integrity are required or GNSS signals are not available. This has meant services such as financial trading and power distribution have become GNSS dependent to the extent, they are now vulnerable to its loss or denial. The market for non-GNSS systems is still limited, and wider adoption is restricted by the lack of data on their performance.

The aim of the competition is to deliver quantum-enabled systems for PNT and quantum-enabled sensors for navigation applications, such as magnetic or gravity field sensors.

Your project must deliver:

  • a PNT system that is quantum based
  • realistic plans for commercialisation
  • capacity for manufacturing at scale
  • capabilities to commercialise your solution at the end of the contract period

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • quantum technologies for positioning, navigation and timing (PNT)
  • quantum-enabled sensing for navigation applications

This can include prototyping, demonstrating, piloting, testing and validation of novel quantum-enabled PNT systems in real-life operating environments or in a setting that serves as a meaningful proxy. The primary objective is to make further technical improvements on quantum-enabled solutions, that would benefit from the acceleration provided by this SBRI contract and be close to deployment at the end of the programme.

View full scoping details.

How to apply

By submitting an application, you agree to the terms of the draft contract which is available once you start your application. The terms of the contract are non-negotiable and are included in the draft contract. We reserve the right to change the terms and conditions if necessary.

The final contract will include any milestones you have agreed with the funding authority and will be sent to you if your application is successful. The contract is binding once it is returned by you and signed by both parties.

When you start an application, you will be prompted to create an account as the lead applicant or sign in as a representative of your organisation. Using your account, you will be able to track your applications progress.

As the applicant you are responsible for:

  • collecting the information for your application
  • representing your organisation in leading the project if your application is successful

You will be able to invite colleagues from your organisation to contribute to the application.

Related Events and Recordings


Quantum enabled position, navigation, and timing (PNT) briefing event

10.00 - 12.00 | Online

Watch now
See all events

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