The Market Improvement Fund was established through the implementation of change proposal CPM018: 'Treatment of Market Performance Standard charges and Operational Performance Standard charges which seeks to use some or all of the charges to fund activities which may address market failures that cannot be addressed through other funding mechanisms.
The Market Improvement Fund is owned by the Strategic Panel, and is facilitated by MOSL.
The projects that are applicable to this fund are those which:
- Enhance market functioning and benefit non-household customers
- Cannot be considered 'business as usual'
- Do not confer any particular competitive advantage to any trading party or group of trading parties.
The third iteration of the fund in November 2023 awarded £753k to seven successful applicants, who were judged by an independent Selection Committee. You can find out more about them here and previous successful projects here. If you'd like to keep up to date with the progress of all bids, please visit the project update page.
How does it work?
Bids are not limited to themes, but any project that demonstrates alignment with the Strategic Panel's three priorities is encouraged
Applicants must submit applications to MOSL but an independent Selection Committee will review and score the bids to decide the winners - subject to ratification by the Strategic Panel
We strongly encourage third-parties to submit or be part of bids. However, applications must be sponsored by at least one trading party or MOSL.
How do I apply?
The application window for round three has closed.
Interested in submitting an application for a future round, have a question or want MOSL to be involved with your application? Fill our our Expression of Interest form below.
Meet the Selection Committee
The independent Selection Committee's role is to assess the bids. The Committee is made up of trading party and independent members, with a representative from CCW. Find out more about them here.
Application top tips
For tips on how to make your application stand out, watch our video.
Keep up to date
To keep up to date with the latest Market Improvement Fund information, please sign up to the 'Market Improvement Fund' mailing list. If you already subscribe to our emails, simply click 'update subscription preferences' at the bottom of any email you receive from us and select 'Market Improvement Fund' when you receive your preferences email.
If you have any questions please email MIF@mosl.co.uk.
The timeline for the third round of the Market Improvement Fund is as follows:
- 1-10 November 2023: Application window open
- November-December 2023: MOSL eligibility review
- January 2024: Independent Selection Committee review
- February 2024: Approval of successful projects by Strategic Panel
- March 2024: Successful project announcement.
The Market Improvement Fund Expression of Interest Form is an opportunity for potential applicants to let us know whether they are interested in or intending to submit a bid, whether you are looking to seek MOSL sponsorship or require MOSL involvement in your bid (e.g. data sharing), and if you have any questions regarding a potential application or the fund.
Please note that providing information in this form is not considered a formal commitment - all applicants must submit an application as per the application process.
If you would like your project to be sponsored for consideration by MOSL, please contact MIF@mosl.co.uk, providing the following information:
- A high-level summary of your bid, the delivery timeline and the amount being requested
- A rationale for why MOSL (and not a trading party) is your preferred sponsor for your bid
- What level of involvement you expect MOSL to have throughout the project. For example, is there an expectation of MOSL to help deliver the project or will resources from MOSL be required, or are you asking that MOSL sponsor but not have any other involvement?
- How your bid will adhere to the eligibility requirements - enhance market functioning and benefit non-household customers, not considered 'business as usual and does not confer any competitive advantage to any trading party or group of trading parties
- How far you are in the process of submitting your bid.
If all information is provided, we will endeavour to respond to your request within a week with an initial view. However, the time required to make a final decision on MOSL sponsorship will depend on the size and complexity of the bid and level of expected MOSL involvement. We therefore strongly advise you to engage with MOSL as early as possible.
Alternatively, you can submit an Expression of Interest form and we will be in touch.
Please note that if successful, your bid will still need to pass the outlined eligibility checks: an initial eligibility review by MOSL, review by the independent Selection Committee and if successful, final approval by the Strategic Panel.
MOSL is facilitating the Market Improvement Fund on behalf of the Strategic Panel.
As part of this responsiblity, MOSL will assist the independent Selection Committee by ensuring that all applications that are submitted meet the eligibility criteria. However, MOSL will present all applications, those who are both eligable and uneligable, to ensure that the Selection Committee has full visiblity of the applications.
As part of the eligbility criteria, MOSL is allowed to submit or sponsor a bid. These bids will undertake the same eligibility assessment as other bids, and the Selection Committee will be made aware that it is a MOSL bid.
The Market Improvement Fund (MIF) is a fund that will provide money to projects that benefit the non-household market. It has been designed to compliment Ofwat's Innovation Competitions. We are currently awarding up to a total of £1million to the successful projects. It is owned by the Strategic Panel, but facilitated by MOSL.
In January 2020 an official code change was implemented to allow Market Performance Standard (MPS) and Operational Performance Standard (OPS) charges to be used to create the Market Improvement Fund - this will enable charges to be redirected to better benefit customers and the market. Due to COVID-19 the Market Improvement Fund launch was delayed until 2021. The money that will be distributed to the winning bids will be made up of MPS and OPS charges accumulated throughout the year.
Applicants can bid for a minimum of £10k and a maximum of £200k.
In order to apply to the Market Improvement Fund, the project must:
- Enhance market functioning and benefit non-household customers
- Could not be considered 'business as usual'
- Does not confer any particular competitive advantage to any trading party or group of trading parties
The fund must be sponsored by a trading party or the Market Operator, although third-party bids are encouraged.
For a full list of criteria, please see the governance document available on the Market Improvement Fund webpage.
The application window opens from Wednesday 1 - Friday 10 November 2023.
If the winning bids equate to less than the agreed total amount, all monies will be redistributed to trading parties as per the usual process.
All applicants will receive an email to say that their application has been received, as well as a notification of the result of their application. Unsuccessful applications will be given a brief summary as to why their application was rejected. Final award of funds will take place once the Funding Agreement has been signed by MOSL and all successful applicants.
A list of successful applicants and a brief summary of why they were successful will be published on the MOSL website at the end of each funding round.
Yes. The Market Improvement Fund has been designed to complement Ofwat's Innovation Competitions so that the application process and supporting information remains the same. However, you will need to provide sufficient information to prove that funding has been secured by Ofwat's fund.