We have previously looked into several funding competitions by the Innovation Funding Service of Innovate UK (the UK’s innovation agency), including one for a share of up to £20 million for Covid-19 related innovations, another for up to £800,000 for sustainable plastic solutions and another for up to £1 billion for industrial research and capital projects in the automotive sector.
On July 20th, 2020, Innovate UK has opened a first phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF), designed to help businesses with high energy use, such as energy intensive industries, to cut their energy bills and carbon emissions through investing in energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies. The IETF is managed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which is a joint sponsor. This first phase consists of a funding competition offering a total share of up to £30 million, divided into two competition strands and open to any business registered, and planning to carry out the project work, in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The project submission deadline for both strands is on October 28th, 2020. A second phase will launch in 2021 with up to £269 million of funding.
The first strand addresses the improvement of energy efficiency in industrial processes for technologies which have been proven to work, either by test or through successful operation. The technologies may include (although they are not restricted to) more efficient heat exchangers, improved process control or energy recovery from waste management. The projects claiming grant funding must be carried out between April 1st, 2022 and March 31st, 2024. The minimum grant that can be requested for a single application is £250,000, although one application may include multiple projects as long as they are carried out at a single manufacturing site or data centre. For more information on this strand’s eligibility requirements, please click here.
The second strand aims at industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation projects, and the submissions must include either a feasibility study or an engineering study (that is, an experimental development). The feasibility study must comprise an investigation about the reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions of an industrial process and determine the commercial and technical viability of the technology in question, whereas the experimental development has to identify the most relevant features of the project and provide a cost estimate. The submitted projects must have a minimum cost of £60,000 (lasting up to one year) for feasibility studies and £100,000 (lasting up to two years) for experimental developments, and they must take place between October 1st, 2021 and September 30th, 2023. For more information on this strand’s eligibility requirements, please click here.
For both strands of the first phase, Innovate UK is looking to develop a portfolio of funded projects balanced across varied technologies, industrial sectors and project sizes. Therefore, the scope of the competition is rather broad, the first strand addressing the deployment of technologies which have already been proven to work whilst the second strand is directed to the design phase of a project.
If you would like to learn how intellectual property protection can add value to an innovative business, please do get in touch with us.
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.