DIATOMIC Accelerator – Apply by 10/09/23

New technologies and ideas are sought to improve housing, parks and waste management services in Birmingham.

Apply by 10 September 2023.

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The opportunity

The DIATOMIC Accelerator programme is focused on improving the management of housing, parks and waste on behalf of Birmingham City Council, and is also looking for new ideas around how to engage better with local people and improve training and knowledge sharing among service delivery teams. 

Up to 12 small to medium-sized companies (SMEs) will be supported with paid opportunities to trial their innovations. Successful applicants will also receive mentoring including procurement and pitch coaching, business development and trial support and opportunities to showcase their solutions. 

DIATOMIC (Digital InnovAtion TransfOrMatIve Change) is focused on digital innovation and transformative change and is part of a wider West Midlands Innovation Accelerator funded by Innovate UK and the West Midlands Combined Authority. The accelerator is run in collaboration with Birmingham City Council, STEAMhouse and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. Its aim is to drive economic growth, jobs and prosperity for the West Midlands.  

The challenges

Specialist firms with innovative approaches to collecting data, monitoring performance, sharing knowledge and engaging with members of the public are invited to put themselves forward.

Data insights – We are looking for solutions which could help the Housing, Parks & Waste Management teams to:

  • Understand the condition of assets, streets, equipment and recreation spaces to drive inspections, repairs and maintenance; 
  • Gain insight into how citizens live, work and use the city – understanding how assets and spaces are used to optimise service provision (and what is available), co-ordinate street cleaning and waste collection and assess energy usage and identify how it can be reduced.  


  • Improve the visibility of asset repairs and maintenance, recording and monitoring quality of service against legislated or contractual performance; 
  • Utilise intelligence gathered by service teams and fleets to optimise service delivery, including reducing missed collections and appointments in line with citizens’ needs; 
  • Optimise energy usage of service teams through efficient delivery, hazard avoidance, and reducing re-visits.  

Knowledge sharing

  • Increase knowledge, skills and consistency among the teams without the need to shadow colleagues; 
  • Provide up to date, contextual and consistent information on the obligations of the council and regulatory requirements; 
  • Build knowledge sharing networks to increase transparency of the skills, expertise and responsibilities within different teams, identifying overlap and enabling collaboration; 
  • Promote and embed long-term decarbonisation objectives, providing up to date information on relevant programmes and funding.  

Citizen engagement

  • Build citizen engagement and knowledge and bring people on the journey to understand the decarbonisation and green infrastructure commitments of the council, and the steps required to deliver to this;
  • Create transparency and an open dialogue with citizens, finding solutions which balance the need for service delivery and biodiversity net gain; 
  • Ensure that citizens (and teams) have up to date, simple and efficient ways of finding the information they need, including who does what and who to talk to; 
  • Share the ways in which decarbonisation and green infrastructure can have a direct positive impact on citizens’ lives. 



The DIATOMIC Accelerator is open to small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are either based in the West Midlands or committed to increasing their operations in the region. In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • You must be a UK-registered business, preferably based in the West Midlands 
  • Your innovation solution will be at least TRL 4 
  • Your solution must address one or more of the identified challenge areas 
  • You must be willing to travel on occasion for face-to-face meetings in Birmingham 


On 8 August Connected Places Catapult will host an application support webinar, covering the technical description of the challenges’ details on the application process; and a live Q&A session. 


On 16 August, a seminar will be held in Belmont Row, Birmingham to provide information for applicants. 


Ravi Kumar, the Accelerator Programme Manager, at ravi.kumar@cp.catapult.org.uk 

More about this opportunity

Applications close midnight 10 September 2023

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