The Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) will provide £9.2 million over four years to help to lower costs and increase the number of available energy efficient technologies for a range of industrial sectors, through demonstration of near to market innovations. The programme is open to all sectors and is technology neutral, targeting near-commercial innovations that will have the largest cross-sectoral impact on industrial energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. The first competition is open from September 2017 to January 2018. More information can be found here.
Innovate UK has up to £25 million to invest in emerging and enabling technologies that could support UK economic growth in the future. Projects can be carried out in a range of areas including:
The aim is to support technologies that have the potential to transform commercial markets or that could make a difference to UK economic growth across many different sectors. Up to £15m of the funding has been set aside for research and development projects. A further £10m is for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. The deadline for applications midday on 8th November 2017. More details can be found here.
The Inventor Prize is a pilot, run by Nesta and funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The prize aims to help smaller inventors overcome the barriers they face. The scheme will support individuals, teams or companies that would struggle to access resources and support. Unlike other programmes, the Inventor Prize is athematic, open to products that relate to any issue as long as that product helps to make people’s lives better, thereby helping to tackle a social issue affecting the UK. To be eligible, entrants will have to have a working model and be able to show that their invention will help to tackle an important societal issue. The Inventor Prize will support ten finalists with great products to scale and grow, and help them in their journey to getting their product to market. £50,000 will be awarded to the finalist that best demonstrate meeting the judging criteria. There will be two runner up prizes of £5,000 and £15,000 for two most promising products. The deadline for entries is 23:00 on 22nd October 2017. More details can be found here.
The UK Energy Research Centre and University of Sussex Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand have published a report which states that energy efficient improvements to home heating, insulation, lighting and appliances could reduce the energy consumed in UK households each year by a quarter and knock £270 off the average household energy bill of £1,100. The report can be downloaded from here.
UK start-ups and entrepreneurs are invited to have their say in the setting up of a new national investment fund for innovation. The consultation will look at financial support for innovative businesses with the potential to scale-up at pace and become ‘unicorns’. These are businesses valued at more than $1 billion USD and are so-called because of their rarity. In addition, it will explore how the UK could better commercialise ideas from research. As part of the consultation, there will be a review into how businesses might benefit from investment originating from pension funds. There is also the option that it could be set up as a public-private partnership or placed fully on government’s balance sheet to be sold off once established. The consultation is open until 22nd September 2017. The details can be found here.
Research Councils UK plans to invest £5m in a multi-disciplinary Supergen Bioenergy Hub to act as a focal point for UK bioenergy research. The Hub will connect academia with industrial and policy stakeholders to focus on sustainable bioenergy development. Prof. Patricia Thornley from The University of Manchester has been appointed to lead the Hub and is currently carrying out a consultation to establish the research priorities that the new hub will address from 2018-2023 and to identify appropriate research partners and stakeholders. A series of consultation events is being held in September, October and November 2017. Details of the events and registration can be found here.
The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), a collaborative R&D programme funded by nine leading offshore wind developers and the Scottish Government, has launched a competition targeted at finding new ways to inspect offshore wind substructures and reduce the cost of offshore wind. The competition is open to innovators with inspection technologies that can provide information and data on grout integrity and welds for both monopiles and jackets. Winners of the competition will get the chance to test their technologies on installed foundations at fully operational wind farms in Europe, as well as receive hands-on mentoring and advice from the nine OWA industry partners, which collectively representing over 75% of the European market. The aim of the competition is to help these new technologies access the large potential market and become part of the normal subsea inspection strategy for offshore wind developers. The competition will run until 13th October 2017, and clarification questions should be sent to the Carbon Trust by 1st September 2017. More information can be found here.