Innovate UK has teamed up with French multinational energy and services firm Engie to seek out and fund innovative projects that can speed up the transition to clean and sustainable energy.
UK businesses can apply for a share of £4m for innovative energy projects from the Clean Growth Innovation Fund. The fund will support projects that decarbonise, digitise and decentralise (find ways to generate power off the main grid) energy, and help achieve a sustainable transition to cleaner energy.
Successful projects will receive a combination of government grants from Innovate UK, and private investment from Engie. For the first time in an Innovate UK programme, the private funding will be from overseas, via Engie New Ventures, the company’s corporate venture arm. ENV is a €170m fund focused on taking minority stakes in high-performing startups.
The competition aims to allow organisations to form investment partnerships at an early stage. To do this, the initiative brings together Innovate UK’s expertise in identifying promising innovations and using funding to materially change their risk profile, and Engie’s expertise in identifying commercial opportunities that are most likely to grow and make the best use of extra investment finance.
The Clean Growth Innovation Fund is an invitation-only programme for UK businesses. Successful applicants will receive a combination of grant and investment to cover project costs.
The first round of this competition opened on Monday 10 June and closes at 12:00 on Wednesday 14 August. To lead a project, you must be a UK-based small or medium-sized business. Total eligible project costs must be between £100,000 and £1.2m. The sponsors may consider funding one project over the life of the programme of £1.5m.
Innovate UK director for clean growth and infrastructure Ian Meikle said: “We are seeking the best of British ideas in clean growth innovation. By teaming up with Engie we can multiply our funding and do more to support the industries, businesses and jobs of tomorrow by bringing in the private sector at an earlier stage.”
Nicola Lovett, chief executive of Engie UK & Ireland, added: “We are delighted to be working with both Innovate UK and Engie’s Paris-based New Ventures team. This initiative also supports our own ambition to be a leader in making zero-carbon transition possible for businesses and local authorities.”
For further information contact:
Ben Watts, Engie innovation & solutions director firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: +44 (0)7970 137202
Christian Inglis, Innovate UK senior innovation lead – growth and scale clean growth and infrastructure email@example.com Mobile: +44 (0)7824599792 twitter:@chringlis