Key features: Investment of up to £10m for the third round of the Energy Catalyst, to successfully address the energy 'trilemma' of low carbon, security of supply and affordability.
Award: Up to £10 million
Opens: 30 Apr 2015, 00:00
Registration closes: 02 Sep 2015, 12:00
Closes: 09 Sep 2015, 12:00
Support phone number: 0300 321 4357
Energy Catalyst - Mid-stage awards - Technology development - Round 3
Registration is required to enter this competition. Please note that registration will close one week before the competition application deadline.
- Guidance for applicants for this competition
- Energy Catalyst Round 3 - flyer is now available
Applicant briefing recording for this competition
The Energy Catalyst is open to innovative businesses and researchers from any sector who can address the three major challenges facing the energy sector - the energy ‘trilemma' of:
- reducing emissions
- improving security of supply
- reducing cost.
The energy trilemma is creating major global market opportunities for which the UK can develop and grow innovative businesses to deliver world-leading solutions. The objective of the Energy Catalyst is to accelerate UK business growth in this global challenge area by leveraging the best of UK innovation.
The Catalyst will support projects that contribute to all elements of the energy trilemma and funding will be available for three stages of technology development:
- Early-stage award: Technical feasibility
- Mid-stage awards: Technology development
- Late-stage awards: Pre-commercial technology validation
Organisations can apply for any stage of funding at any time, depending on where in the development cycle their technology sits.
Early-stage projects must be led by an SME either working alone or collaboratively or by a research organisation collaborating with a business. Mid-stage and late-stage projects must be business-led and collaborative. Total project costs can be up to £200k for early-stage awards, up to £1.5m for mid-stage awards, and up to £10m for late-stage awards.
The competition is open from 30 April 2015. The deadline for registration for mid-stage awards is noon 2 September 2015 and the deadline for expressions of interest is noon on 9 September 2015.
Please note that there will be a briefing by webinar on Wednesday, 20 May 2014 from 13.30-15.30 for those wishing to find out more about Round 3 of the Energy Catalyst. This will include information on the scope, funding and the application process.
- reducing emissions
- Improving security of supply
- reducing cost.
- the legally-binding obligation that, in the UK, 15% of total energy must come from renewable sources by 2020 and the statutory requirement that UK greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 (based on 1990 levels)
- the security of an estimated 85GW indigenous supply requirement in the UK by 2020
- the need to provide affordable energy for all.
- new technologies
- enhancement or alternative applications of existing technologies
- development of components, sub-systems or systems
- integrated whole-system approaches
- enabling technologies for the energy system.
- carbon abatement: minimising environmental impact of fossil fuels and their associated applications to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. Includes carbon capture, transport, utilisation and storage for large-scale power and industrial CO2 emitters
- renewable energy: wind, wave, tidal, solar (pv, thermal and concentrated), biomass*, geothermal, heat pumps, energy from waste
- nuclear fission: front-end fuel cycle, plant construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance. Waste management and decommissioning
- hydrogen and fuel cells: hydrogen production, transport and storage. Fuel cells for stationary and other applications (eg, portable power) NB excludes technology development focused solely or predominantly on transport propulsion applications*
- energy networks and system integration: electricity and heat networks. Technologies for energy transmission, distribution and storage and the integration of systems to deploy low carbon energy. Includes smart grids, power electronics, storage technologies and waste heat
- demand-side technologies: technology development to reduce and/or manage energy demand at scale. Includes energy efficiency measures for the end user including industrial energy efficiency
- enabling technologies and processes: includes ICT, high value manufacturing, robotics, advanced materials, sensors, control systems, virtual technologies, modeling and simulation
- open theme: technologies where applicants are confident they meet the scope but which are not specifically covered by the above categories (eg energy harvesting).
* see exclusions in section below
Out of scope**
there are specific Innovate UK funding programmes already in place, including:
- built environment and building management systems (addressed through the Low Impact Building Innovation Platform, for example)
- transport (addressed through the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform, for example)
- bio-energy (where already addressed by the Bioscience programme or the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst).
- the scale of funding requirements and timescales to commercialisation are unlikely to be addressed by a Catalyst (nuclear fusion, for example) except where early spin-out technologies for commercialisation in the energy sector are being targeted
- there is no explicit technology component (the idea is for a new business process or market model, for example).
Funding allocation and project details
Mid-stage awards – Technology development
- Two stage application process: expression of interest followed by full applications from invited applicants
- Must have a proven concept
- Must be business-led and collaborative
- Research organisations can take part but not lead a proposal
- Duration: up to 36 months
- Total project costs: up to £1.5million
- Total research partner costs: must not exceed 30% of total project costs
Business partner funding: up to 70% of their total project costs for Small/Micro SMEs, 60% for Medium SMEs or 50% for larger companies.
Mid-stage – Technology development
Key dates: mid-stage awards
- Competition opens: 30 April 2015
- Registration deadline: 2 September 2015 noon
- Deadline for expressions of interest: 9 September 2015 noon
- Competition helpline: 0300 321 4357
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org