AFCP launches Game Changers challenge

The AFCP Innovation Team is reaching out to you, as the AFCP community, to seek challenges that exist within the programme for which a solution is not currently available.

AFCP Innovation has joined forces with the Game Changers team to launch our first call for advanced fuel cycle challenges. Can you help identify an AFCP idea, concept or process that requires a new, innovative approach? We welcome you to submit your challenge for us to advertise to the Game Changers cross-sector, international innovator network.

Your challenge may be a technical demand that’s currently unmet; an example of how incorporating different technologies could lead to improvements; or a process that’s currently inefficient where significant savings in cost and time could be achieved.

We want to know what these challenges are and how a solution could benefit your project and the whole of AFCP. The competition is open to everyone involved in AFCP and we welcome challenges from collaborative teams across different partner organisations.

Screenshot of AFCP's innovation hub, the Co-Creation Community, where AFCP members can submit their Game Changers challenge ideas.
AFCP members can submit their Game Changers challenge ideas on our innovation hub, the Co-Creation Community. Check out the “Challenge” item for more information.

The challenge should be focused and well-defined. Please describe it in terms of:

  • Customer “pull” – Who wants the challenge solved?
  • The baseline position – What is done now? What is the current solution, if one exists? Why does it need to be improved?
  • Constraints – i.e. a solution must fit inside a vessel of x, y, z dimensions
  • The “size of the prize” – What’s the benefit of solving the challenge?

The challenge should have solutions that:

  • Fall outside AFCP’s current capabilities
  • Are not commercially available now – we are not looking for challenges that can be solved using products chosen from a supplier catalogue
  • Have an element of research and development (R&D) or innovation to deliver a solution

Game Changers is the UK’s leading nuclear innovation initiative tasked with finding innovative solutions for complex nuclear industry challenges. They work with organisations of all sizes and across all sectors, unconstrained by geography, to identify and develop the most promising technologies. The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is currently using the process to tackle some of its own internal challenges, leveraging the wider supply chain to bring in new thinking and perspectives to develop novel solutions.

Screenshot of the Game Changers website.
Learn more on the Game Changers website.

With innovation and collaboration at the centre of AFCP, this call for challenges is an exciting addition to our programme. By harnessing the power of the Game Changers process and directing it towards the breadth of AFCP’s technical projects, we’re delivering a truly innovative approach to solve challenges. The Game Changers innovator network covers sectors with which we may not classically engage. Working collaboratively with the challenge holders and the solution providers generates new concepts, leveraging expertise and critical thinking from different sectors. This imports divergent thinking whilst extending our network of capability to achieve our Net Zero aspirations.

As demonstrated through AFCP’s cross-sector network, it is essential that we look outside of our own dominant logic mindset to bridge ideas and new ways of thinking. Finding parallels between the issues we face and those from other industries helps to facilitate technology transfer. If we can get a head start on a solution and nuclearise technologies from the outside, we can accelerate the delivery of our innovation aspirations. Collaborating in this way helps find the nexus of innovation and deliver deployable solutions, which is especially valuable as we work together to address the most urgent challenge of our generation – achieving Net Zero.

We look forward to hearing your ideas to help jumpstart a new wave of innovative approaches across AFCP.

To submit your challenge, visit the AFCP innovation hub, the Co-Creation Community.

Contact: Dr Tim Whitworth |

Entries close 18 January 2021