The new financial year sees a new call from Innovate UK for applications to round 4 of the Energy Catalyst. In a change from previous rounds, all three streams are open at once with registration closing on 8 June and applications due by 14 September.
Co-financed by Innovate UK, EPSRC, DECC and, from this year DFID, the competition will support projects that are at their early, mid or late stages of development. All three streams will support projects that innovatively address all aspects of the energy trilemma; low carbon, security of supply and affordability. With DFID joining the funding consortium, applications are now encouraged that will transform energy access in developing countries too, especially across Sub-Saharan Africa and South-Asia.
Projects should be focused on the development of:
- new technologies
- enhancement or alternative applications of existing technologies
- development of components, subsystems or systems
- integrated whole-system approaches
- enabling technologies for the energy system
Winning proposals will bring innovative new solutions to the energy sector and its supply chain. Innovate UK also encourages cross-cutting and enabling technologies which can apply across a range of sectors. For example, high-value manufacturing, advanced materials, sensors and information and communication technologies (ICT).
The technology areas that are in scope are wide reaching and include; carbon abatement, renewables, nuclear fission, hydrogen and fuel cells, energy networks and system integration, demand side technologies as well as a wide range of enabling technologies and processes.
Early stage awards offer up to £200k for either individual SMEs or SME led partnerships for a project lasting up to a year. Funding will support projects that explore and test the technical potential of an innovative idea or concept. They do this through technical feasibility studies. The aim is to find out if a pre-industrial concept is ready for further technology development. Up to 70% of project costs are eligible.
Mid stage awards offer up to £1.5m for a business led partnership to deliver a project lasting up to 3 years. Funding will support projects that take innovative ideas through to the technology development stage. They do this by carrying out industrial research and development. This can include laboratory studies and component or system development and testing. It can also include verification and evaluation in simulated environments. Up to 70% of project costs are eligible for SMEs.
Late stage awards offer up to £10m for a business-led partnership, which can include overseas partners, lasting up to three years. Funding will support projects that prove and assess the capability and performance of innovative technologies. They do this through pre-commercial technology validation. This can include prototype and pilot testing and field trials. This takes place at the component and system levels in realistic operating environments.
To find out more about the funding and how GrantTree can help with all aspects of developing a project from business-case development and project planning, to consortium building, please get in touch with one of our grant consultants.