Government last week announced £19 million of new funding for energy innovation and £50 million for emerging technologies, as well as opening a new £1 billion research centre for low carbon vehicles.
All of the announcements were made by business secretary, Vince Cable, on 5 November, as a number of new funding competitions from Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) were launched at its 2014 conference.
Low carbon energy
The £19 million for low carbon energy innovation includes £14 million available through the second round of Energy Catalyst funding to tackle what Cable called the “energy trilemma” of reducing emissions, improving security and cutting costs.
The funding will support technological innovation by business and research organisations throughout the three main stages of the innovation process: technical feasibility, technology development and pre-commercial validation.
The competition opened on 6 November and will accept applications until 29 April 2015.
In addition, Innovate UK has also announced a new £5 million competition, to launch in March 2015, which will support collaborative research and development or feasibility studies to stimulate innovation in the extraction and use of conventional fossil fuels.
The aim is to improve efficiency, reduce cost and minimise the environmental impact of coal, natural gas and oil.
The new funding for low carbon energy innovation came alongside a wider announcement that Innovate UK is to pledge £50 million to support the development of other ‘game-changing’ technologies as part of its Emerging Technologies and Industries Strategy, launched on 5 November.
Among the seven areas chosen to receive funding over the next three years are energy efficient computing, energy harvesting for miniature electronic devices and graphene.
Low carbon vehicles
In other news, Cable also officially unveiled the new £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre at the University of Warwick to support the research and development of low carbon vehicles and related technologies.
The centre’s first funding competition, which opened on 10 November, will provide up to £100 million to support the development of new automotive technologies that deliver significant reductions in CO2 emissions and help develop the UK’s low carbon vehicle supply chain.