The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are investing up to £11 million in a programme of collaborative research and development to stimulate innovation in localised energy systems. Up to £9.5 million is available from the TSB and up to a further £1.5 million is available from the EPSRC to support academic partners contributing specifically to the energy sector aspects of projects.
The UK will require a diverse mix of energy sources by 2050, to ensure that supplies remain affordable, resilient and flexible. Local energy systems will play an important part, and technologies are required for generating, harvesting, distributing, storing and using energy at this scale. The Technology Strategy Boards aims to improve the balance of supply and demand by supporting the integration of technologies into energy systems, including those of energy users and producers, at a scale from clusters of buildings up to whole districts. This will enable companies to develop products and systems to address some of the challenges that the built environment, energy, transport and digital sectors face in preparing for a low-carbon future.
For the purpose of the Competition, energy systems include electricity, combustible gases, heating and cooling systems, and alternative fuels. Through cross-sector working (energy, built environment, transport and digital sectors), projects will be expected to deliver innovations in system integration. Applicants should demonstrate how they are working at least two of the four sectors, for example a project could tackle electric vehicle charging and network infrastructure as well as new services in energy trading.
Projects are encouraged to consider global solutions as well as opportunities for the UK energy system, and how to look at how the proposal will bring about business benefits. Projects will be expected to deliver a tangible output that can be demonstrated at future events, such as small-scale technology demonstration, proof of concept, pilot system or process demonstrator.
Up to £11 million is available for projects that address the technical challenges set out in the Competition brief. Projects are expected to range in size from £200,000 to £2 million, however larger projects may be considered. Projects should last between 1-3 years.
UK-based companies, charities, public sector organisations and research organisations are eligible to apply.
Projects should address one or more of the following challenge areas:
- Systems solutions that balance supply and demand and enable economically viable energy eco-systems.
- Developing new services for local energy systems.
- Integration of individual technologies.
- Preparing the way for the digital energy era where appliances can intelligently communicate with supply networks to automatically manage energy demand.
This is a two-stage competition. The deadline for registration is noon on 12 March 2014 and the deadline for Expressions of Interest is noon on 19 March 2014.
The second-stage deadline for invited applications is at noon on 22 May 2014.