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Key technology components for local energy systems


Organisations can apply for a share of up to £3million to develop technology components that help improve the efficiency of local energy systems.

UK Research and Innovation will invest up to £3m in important technology components that can enhance the efficiency of local energy systems. These should deliver cleaner, cheaper energy services and create more prosperous and resilient communities across the UK.

Innovate UK are looking for specific innovations that are listed in more detail in their ‘specific themes’ section.

Your project must align with the overall objectives of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge. You are also expected to share data with the Energy Systems Catapult’s Energy Revolution Integration Service (ERIS) and the Energy Revolution Research Consortium, EnergyRev.

This funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge.

Open Date:


Close Date:


The innovation accelerator is open to technology components that:

  • Optimise the ‘whole system’ efficiency of localised energy systems and
  • Align with the overall objectives of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge

At the end of your two-year project you must provide compelling, quantified evidence that:

  • It has achieved the criteria in this competition brief
  • You have considered and managed post-project benefits from the start

Specific themes

Innovate UK will fund innovations in these areas:

  1. Applications for monitoring electricity and/or gas network hardware and software
  2. Enhancing integration between local and national electricity networks, both electricity system operators (ESO) and distribution system operators (DSO)
  3. Enhancing integration between local and national electricity markets (wholesale market, balancing mechanism and ancillary services)
  4. Multi-site, real time generation optimisation across multiple operators or aggregators
  5. Enhancing the efficiency of heat networks
  6. Heat and cold storage, especially inter-seasonal storage
  7. Optimised vector coupling solutions: electricity, heat and transport

Any UK business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure please take legal advice.

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £100,000 and £500,000. It must:

  • Be collaborative unless led by a micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME)
  • Include at least one SME if led by a larger business
  • Start by 1 April 2020 and end by 31 March 2022

You must carry out your project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

To lead a project you must be a UK-based business of any size.

The lead organisation must claim grant funding through this competition.

To collaborate you must be:

  • A UK-based business
  • Academic institution
  • Charity
  • Public sector organisation or
  • Research and technology organisation (RTO)

Innovate UK have allocated up to £3million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

You could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 70% if you are a micro or small business
  • Up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • Up to 50% if you are a large business

An SME working on its own can claim up to a maximum of £300,000

If you have research organisations in your consortium they can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation, this maximum will be shared between them.

Innovate UK reserve the right to use a portfolio approach. This is to make sure that the strategic criteria described are met for all projects considered to be above the quality threshold. It is done through independent expert assessment and will cover both the competition and the wider Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme.

Innovate UK will not fund projects that do not meet the aims of the competition, for example proposals that:

  • Do not meet the criteria in this brief
  • Are not innovative
  • Involve niche configurations, unlikely to be replicable or scalable across the UK in the 2020s

Resubmissions are allowed. You can use a resubmission to apply for this competition. A resubmission is a proposal Innovate UK judges as not materially different from one you’ve submitted before. It can be updated based on the assessors’ feedback.

If you applied to a previous competition as the lead or sole organisation and were awarded funding by Innovate UK or UK Research and Innovation, but did not make a substantial effort to exploit that award, Innovate UK will award no more funding to you, in this or any other competition. You will not be able to contest Innovate UK’s decision.

Innovate UK will:

  • Assess your efforts in the previous competition against your exploitation plan for that project
  • Review the monitoring officers’ reports and any other relevant sources for evidence
  • Document our decision, which will be made by three team members, and communicate it to you in writing

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.