The Strategic Innovation Fund

In the UK, the shift to a lower carbon future has received a major boost with the announcement of 53 innovative electricity and gas projects that will each receive up to £150,000 from the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). The projects aim to deliver a future power grid that is both more secure and greener while also turning the UK into a growth hub for energy entrepreneurs and innovate energy businesses.

The energy regulator Ofgem and Innovate UK have introduced the Strategic Innovation Fund to help spearhead the shift to a lower carbon future across the gas and electricity networks in line with the government’s net zero objectives. Innovate UK has estimated that all the innovation projects submitted to SIF will see billions of pounds saved over the next 10 to 15 years, benefiting consumers and cutting millions of tonnes of Co2 emissions.

The chosen projects explore new ideas with the potential to help consumers and transform the energy industry in the coming years. These projects are in the early stages, but they are being led by major energy players working in partnership with innovators and partner organisations.

The projects are targeted at tackling some of the greatest energy challenges facing the world, including the development of battery storage, helping speed up connections of wind and solar power to the grid and improving the efficiency of green hydrogen production while also making the most of existing energy infrastructure.

Each project will be assessed by a panel of SIF judges, and those judged to have the greatest potential will then be awarded up to £500,000 for a further six-month proof of concept phase. The projects that are commercially developed could start to be rolled out operationally into energy networks within the next 5-10 years.

The SIF programme is empowering today’s innovators and helping establish the UK as an entrepreneurial energy innovation hub developing and delivering the power solutions needed now and in the future. With this, the UK is on track to achieve a cleaner, cheaper, and more secure energy future, which will benefit consumers, the economy, and the environment as a whole.

(source: UK Research & Innovation)

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