On 24 April, the Innovate UK Energy Catalyst competition will open, making available up to GBP 13 million for highly innovative, market-focused energy solutions in any technology or sector or international market.
Proposals must address three elements of the energy trilemma: cost, emissions, and security of supply.
The competition is open to any UK organisation and may also include international partners. Universities and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged to apply. Research organisations may lead early-stage feasibility projects.
There are three options to apply into the competition, referred to as streams that will be run in parallel. The streams are dependent on the stage a project is at: early stage, mid-stage, or late stage. Applicants should choose the stream that broadly reflects the technical and commercial readiness of their projects.
Early-stage competition stream concerns technical feasibility projects. Projects can last up to 1 year, with total costs ranging from GBP 50,000 to GBP 300,000. Research organisations may lead early-stage projects, in partnership with at least one UK business. UK SMEs can lead early-stage projects with or without partners.
Mid-stage competition stream is purposed for industrial research projects. Projects can last up to 3 years, with total costs ranging from GBP 50,000 to GBP 1.5 million. Mid-stage projects must be collaborative and led by a UK business.
Late-stage competition stream is focused on experimental development projects. Projects can last up to 3 years, with total costs ranging from GBP 50,000 to GBP 10 million. Late-stage projects must be collaborative and led by a UK business.
Those wanting to participate in the competition must register before midday on 21 June and apply before midday on 28 June.
Most projects are expected to start on 1 January 2018.
Last year, Kite Power Solutions secured a GBP 1 million grant from the Innovate UK Energy Catalyst to accelerate the development of its kite power generation technology.