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IETF deployment of energy efficiency technologies in industry


Organisations can apply for a share of up to £30million for grants for energy efficiency projects that reduce fuel bills and carbon emissions.

This Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) competition is offering up to £30million, split across two strands, to fund feasibility, engineering studies and deployment. In this strand, projects must deploy technologies to improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes.

In this strand, industrial businesses of any size can apply, either on their own or in collaboration with other organisations. The lead applicant must operate at an eligible site in England, Wales or Northern Ireland at which the project is carried out.

The other competition strand, IETF industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation studies, will support feasibility and engineering studies to develop energy efficiency and deep decarbonisation projects that enable possible subsequent deployment.

The IETF is a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) fund. Innovate UK is delivering this competition on behalf of BEIS, which is a joint sponsor. Innovate UK will be sharing all data on your application and project with BEIS. BEIS may contact you to gather IETF evaluation information irrespective of whether your application is successful.

BEIS and Innovate UK will keep under review the impact of the current global disruption on applications to the competition.

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Close Date:


This strand of the competition will provide grants to improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes.

Your project must focus on deployment of technology that has been proven to work through successful operations and/or is qualified through test and demonstration. The technology must improve the energy efficiency of an industrial process or processes. Your project must only be possible because of this funding.

Example technologies include:

  • Improved process control
  • More efficient heat exchange
  • More efficient drying
  • Energy recovery from waste heat
  • Energy recovery from waste pressure
  • Resource process optimisation

You must follow the specific technical requirements.

Portfolio approach

Innovate UK are looking to fund a portfolio of projects.

The ‘portfolio approach’ is intended to make sure the IETF has a diverse set of projects balanced across the following variables:

  • Geographical areas
  • Technologies
  • Industrial sectors
  • Organisation types
  • Project sizes

Monitoring, evaluation and knowledge sharing

You will be required to submit data throughout the project and for five years after the end of the project. IETF will use this to evaluate whether your project has achieved the benefits described in your proposal and has contributed to the overall objectives of the fund.

This information may be used to create and maintain a register of grant recipients and publishable project case studies. BEIS or Innovate UK may publish aggregated statistics on the benefits of the IETF.

If you are successful you will need to submit a detailed monitoring and verification plan that will be approved by Innovate UK.

Your project must:

  • Start by 1 April 2022
  • End by 31 March 2024
  • Have a minimum total grant funding of £250,000

At the end of your project you must have installed and begun to operate (or be ready to operate) the energy efficiency technology.

If you are requesting a grant that exceeds £3million, you must inform Innovate UK before submitting an application.

Your project work must be carried out at a single manufacturing site or data centre in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. You may include multiple projects within your application, provided they are located at the same site. If you would like to run a similar project at additional sites you will need to submit one application for each site. A site is defined as the postcode, or multiple directly adjoining postcodes as relevant, at which the project takes place.

You must consent to produce a case study for knowledge sharing during your project. It will be made publicly available so should not include any commercially sensitive information.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation:

  • Must be a business of any size registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • Must operate at the manufacturing site or data centre in England, Wales or Northern Ireland where the project is carried out
  • Can collaborate with other businesses, research organisations, research and technology organisations (RTO), academic institution or public sector organisations which must all be registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • Must carry out its project work in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • Cannot be an undertaking in difficulty

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

This competition is aimed at specific types of business. These are determined by a code allocated at the time of registering at Companies House, called a standard industrial classification (SIC) code. You will need to check your business SIC code to make sure you are eligible. For this competition your business must be one of these:

  • Manufacturing 10 to 33
  • Data centres 63110

A third party (for example, a consultancy or an energy service company) can prepare an application on behalf of the lead applicant. However, Innovate UK will not have a legal relationship with or pay money to a third party.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead your organisation must:

  • Be a business of any size, a research organisation, a research and technology organisation (RTO), an academic institution or a public sector organisation
  • Be registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • Carry out its project work in England, Wales or Northern Ireland

The lead must claim funding by entering their costs during the application. If the lead is collaborating with other organisations then the lead and at least one other partner must claim grant funding and enter their costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Partners must enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition and can be from anywhere in the world. Innovate UK would expect subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs.

You must make sure they are sufficiently qualified for their role.

Innovate UK have allocated up to £30million to fund projects in this competition across two competition strands:

The majority of the funding will be used in this strand.

This competition provides state aid funding under article 38, ‘Environmental Investment aid for energy efficiency measures’, of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid. You must not claim funding from any other state aid source for this project if this would result in the aid amount permitted by the GBER being exceeded.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

Under Article 38 the maximum funding that your organisation can claim is €15million for each project that it is involved with. The currency conversion for this limitation will happen at the point of grant award.

An organisation can fund multiple projects if it is able to show that each project is a separate investment. If funding has already been granted to an individual project, then the maximum funding that the project can receive is €15million minus the amount already received.

You cannot apply for, or obtain, duplicate funding in respect of the funded activities covered by the grant. Duplicate funding means funding provided by another source for the same activity. Any match or pooled funding, where declared, will not be duplicate funding.

You cannot claim for the costs of operating your installed energy efficiency technology. You can only claim funding in this competition for projects that take the energy efficiency of your site beyond the relevant legal minimum standards.

The eligible costs of your project are the extra investment costs necessary to achieve the higher level of energy efficiency. You can read more about Article 38, including maximum funding, undertakings in difficulty, company size definitions, assisted areas, and eligible costs.

Research organisations

Any research organisations in your project team undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total eligible costs. If your project team contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Assisted areas

Under state aid rules the government can, in certain circumstances, offer additional financial support to organisations acting economically, if they are conducting projects located in specific geographical areas. These are known as ‘assisted areas’.

If your project is located in assisted area A you could receive funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 65% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • Up to 55% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • Up to 45% if you are a large organisation

If your project is located in assisted area C you could receive funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 55% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • Up to 45% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • Up to 35% if you are a large organisation

If your project is located in another area you could receive funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 50% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • Up to 40% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • Up to 30% if you are a large organisation

Read the definitions of different organisation sizes.

Innovate UK are not funding:

  • Technologies that are not proven to work through successful operations and/or are not qualified through test and demonstration
  • Repair and maintenance projects that would be undertaken in the normal course of business
  • Plant closure projects
  • Energy efficiency measures in transport, lighting, or building heating and cooling
  • Electricity generation, such as solar, wind, combined heat and power

Cresco Innovation works with companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. We help client companies identify opportunities to develop new products and services, and then create a package of support to ensure that the idea is turned into a commercial reality.

Our services include securing grants (as a team we have raised around £40million over three years), business planning, IP advice, access to finance and funders, project management and IP commercialisation support.

We regularly act as the interface with the funding bodies and help clients ensure that their projects are properly managed to ensure the best outcome for all.

Call to find out more

If you’d like to know more about this competition, please give us a call on 01509 261182 and one of our team will be delighted to help you access this funding opportunity for your business.