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Introduction

Innovate UK are using a novel scheme to assist businesses, particularly SMES to break into markets with novel disruptive technologies in specific sectors.

Contracts covering up to 100% of the cost of demonstrating new technology are available to SMEs operating in the fields of

  • solutions for affordable, sustainable and secure energy delivery
  • solutions for connected transport through the integration of multimodal transportation systems
  • integrated solutions to systemic challenges in urban areas
  • resilience of infrastructure and cities to environmental and societal pressure.

Contracts in value between £250 K and £5 million are available.

 

Innovation is essential if society is to get the most value out of its infrastructure over the coming decades. But disruptive innovation in these sectors needs to overcome significant barriers. Innovators need to prove their products will work in a commercial environment. Their products also need to work when integrated within complex socio-technical infrastructure systems. Proving all these things is essential for SMEs with disruptive solutions. Without this, they are unlikely to be able to sell their products or get insurance against warranty provision. This programme enables SMEs to achieve both of these objectives.

To be eligible to lead a project you must

 

  • be a business of any size
  • carry out your project in the UK
  • work alone or in collaboration with others (businesses, research base and third sector)
  • involve an end customer and an SME in your project. You may be the SME but the SME must own most of the innovative elements

1. Dates and deadlines

Competition opens: Monday 18 July 2016

Briefing event for applicants: Tuesday 12 July 2016

Registration deadline: Noon on Wednesday 24 August 2016

Application deadline: Noon on Wednesday 31 August 2016

2. The competition scope

The aim of this competition is to enable selected innovative infrastructure systems solutions to take the final step to market readiness by proving:

repeatable financing and business cases for the innovation

that the innovation delivers the expected outcomes when integrated in complex real-world applications

The competition aligns with Innovate UK’s priorities for the infrastructure systems sector. This is to speed up the commercialisation of new scalable solutions into:

energy systems:Innovations in the ability to match energy supply and demand.

nuclear fission:Innovations that lead to major cost reductions, improved asset integrity.

offshore wind:Innovations that, when in use, will result in substantial reductions in the cost of energy from offshore wind

connected transport:Balancing transportation infrastructure peak demands through innovative system design and integration.

smart, resilient, sustainable integrated infrastructure:Innovations that could lead to an improvement in the integration of energy, transport and urban systems with each other, and with other infrastructure systems:

You must:

develop business models and value propositions that are repeatable following this first deployment

provide a route to market for new innovations by helping SME innovators partner with lead customers. You can also help them work with regulated industries and local authorities

The competition will be in 2 phases:

Phase 1

Phase 1 will fund the integration of new solutions into complex real-world projects. At the end of this phase, you will need to provide a business case for using the solution in a commercial environment. You must  define the amount of funding you will need from Innovate UK to carry out your project in the commercial situation.

You will also need to tell us how you would use alternative finance products, if available in the future, to develop a similar project. You should apply for the lowest amount of funding needed to carry out your project. This is public money so you should show how you are providing value.

Phase 2

In Phase 2 we will award funding to the best business cases. This funding will be for testing your innovation in a user-facing project. We will judge business cases on the future growth impact of the innovation and value for money.

You must have an innovative solution that is field-tested and ready for use with an end customer by 1 April 2017.

3. Projects that IUK will not fund

In this competition IUK are not funding projects that cover the initial development of innovations. You must have an innovative technology that is well developed. It must be ready for use in a real-life environment.

Innovations that focus only on the following themes are not in scope:

innovations in technologies to generate only one of the following - electric power, motive power, light, heat or cooling. Note that civil nuclear fission and offshore wind are in scope

energy end-use efficiency,

single transport modes or propulsion systems (for example cars, rail or marine)

fossil fuels

minor incremental innovations that are unlikely to improve UK economic/SME growth

 

4. Funding and project details

We have allocated up to £19 million to fund innovation projects in this competition, with funding of up to 100% available.

The competition will be in 2 phases:

Phase 1 - funded study

We expect projects to range in size up to total costs of £50,000. Projects should last up to 3 months.

Phase 2 – testing the innovation in a commercial environment

We expect projects to range in size from total costs of £250,000 to £5 million. You must deploy your project within 1 year but you can take a further year to show outcomes. All claims must be complete by March 2018.

At least 50% of the contract value must be for research and development services. You will be able to keep any intellectual property generated through this contract.

5. Next steps

If you consider you have a project that meets the criteria or would simply like to discuss a potential project, please complete the enquiry form. An appropriate specialist will contact you within 24 hours. 

6. Background and further information

Major trends and challenges are creating enormous pressures on the complex and interdependent social and technical infrastructure systems that underpin modern societies. These trends and challenges include: * ageing populations * urbanisation * changes in the ways we live and work * climate change

These pressures and planned major infrastructure projects will create domestic and export opportunities for UK businesses. These businesses must be able to develop, commercialise or adopt innovative solutions that are quick, easy, cost-effective and provide:

extra capacity

adaptability

resilience

future-proofing

other novel functionalities

The Innovate UK priority areas are:

  • energy systems
  • supply of nuclear and offshore wind energy
  • connected transport
  • smart and resilient infrastructure
  • urban living

Ends

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News Flash: Latest

First of a kind deployment of innovation

Introduction

Innovate UK are using a novel scheme to assist businesses, particularly SMES to break into markets with novel disruptive technologies in specific sectors.

Contracts covering up to 100% of the cost of demonstrating new technology are available to SMEs operating in the fields of

  • solutions for affordable, sustainable and secure energy delivery
  • solutions for connected transport through the integration of multimodal transportation systems
  • integrated solutions to systemic challenges in urban areas
  • resilience of infrastructure and cities to environmental and societal pressure.

Contracts in value between £250 K and £5 million are available.

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  • Reducing Emissions
  • Improving Security of supply
  • Affordability

Key Objective:
It will help stimulate and support innovation at all stages through to commercial readiness. Thus The Energy Catalyst can fund projects from early concept stage through to pre-commercial technology validation, based upon innovation that incorporates, for example:

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