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New energy innovation funds unveiled

£9 million has been made available for those developing technologies in the energy efficiency, power generation and storage space, plus £5 million for advanced manufacturing in the nuclear sector.

£9 million has been made available for those developing technologies in the energy efficiency, power generation and storage space, plus £5 million for advanced manufacturing in the nuclear sector.

The £9 million in capital grants has been launched as part of the fifth round of the government’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, which was established to support the development of new technologies, products and processes in the areas of energy efficiency, power generation and heat and electricity storage.

Energy

The scheme seeks the best ideas, irrespective of source, in these areas from the public and private sector. 

However, it particularly aims to assist SMEs, including start-ups. Those companies that are selected will receive additional funding for incubation support. 

The previous four rounds of the scheme, which ran between 2012 and 2014, awarded £38 million in funding to 86 projects. 

The new round is split into two phases. Expression of interest for the first phase are required by 25 November 2016. 

Nuclear

Meanwhile, the government has also launched a new tranche of funding for companies developing innovative manufacturing and materials technologies which could service the growing nuclear sector. 

The £20 million nuclear funding pot includes £5 million to invest in projects developing structural materials, mechanisation and automation of component manufacture, large-scale component manufacture and assembly, pre-fabricated module development, and design codes and standards.

The competition is run in partnership with Innovate UK and opens for applications on 7 November. 

Innovation ‘critical’

The new funding is part of the government’s wider commitment to double innovation spending, with the aim of reaching more than £400 million per year by 2021. 

Speaking at the national Innovate 2016 conference in Manchester on 3 November, business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: “Innovation will be critical to achieve affordable, clean, and secure energy.

“One of the big focusses of my department, bringing energy and climate change into the heart of our Industrial Strategy, is a big opportunity to further upgrade the prominence of clean energy and our climate commitments in the national discourse. 

“British research has a formidable reputation on the global stage, and combined with our strength in advanced manufacturing, nuclear innovation can deliver real benefits as we move to a low-carbon future.