Challenge Fund

Status: Delivery
Re-building local wealth through sourcing innovative solutions to tackling some of the CCR’s most urgent societal problems.

What is the project about?​

The CCR £10m Challenge Fund is aimed at re-building local wealth through bringing innovative solutions to tackling some of the CCR’s most urgent societal problems. Working in partnership with Cardiff University and YLab, the fund will invite our public sector bodies to develop challenges and connect with organisations that are able to provide innovative solutions to the challenges identified. This approach aims to draw on the region’s creativity and ingenuity and bring together the public and private sector in order to deliver novel solutions, where no commercial solution currently exists, and to provide a route to market for the solution.


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Three priority themes have been identified. The first is accelerating decarbonisation – specifically, in relation to improving air quality, and transport. The second is improving the health and wellbeing of the region’s citizens, looking at issues such as food and health, and food security. The third is supporting, enhancing and transforming communities, with a focus on town centres, high streets and rural communities.

While these are all long-term problems public sector bodies would grapple with, their urgency has intensified following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For example, local and national restrictions have raised new questions about how we organise our transport and improve air quality. They have also increased the need to find new solutions to help our struggling high streets and town centres, which have been faced with economic downturn.

The call for Challenges is targeted at Public Sector organisations in the Cardiff Capital Region wishing to develop and run challenges.

Public sector organisations may include Local Authorities, Health Boards, and Police Forces etc. However, for challenges to receive funding each challenge must demonstrate scope to:

  • Solve the greatest societal challenges
  • Create innovative solutions
  • Deliver economic impact for the region
  • Drive commercial scalable opportunities
  • Build local wealth

All challenges will be assessed against the same criteria. Those successful will be able to receive up to 100% of funding to support the development of challenges.

Investment and leverage


CCR Investment



Match Funding



Projected Leverage


Expected benefits and outcomes

Benefits of getting involved include:

  • Opportunity to explore creative solutions to local economic challenges
  • Investment to find and develop innovative solutions
  • Improved local service delivery that benefits from tailored solutions
  • New market creation and ability to ‘break through’ public procurement frameworks
  • Potential for commercial solutions which can be scaled and sold both locally and beyond
  • Local supply chain growth and development



Submission of Expressions of Interest

All those interested in engaging are invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). To complete an EOI form click here.

Challenge Development Workshops                               Spring 2022

Deadline for full applications                                            TBC

Challenge Owner contracts awarded                              TBC

Challenges Launch for industry engagement                 TBC


Key partners and people involved

The following organisations are partners in the project:

CCR Partner Logo
Cardiff Capital Region
Cardiff University Partner Logo
Cardiff University
Challenge Fund
Y Lab

Project Updates