17 Jun Investments Brokered by the Energy Innovation Centre Peaks at £12.5 Million
The Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) has revealed record energy investments of £3.9 million in 2014/15, bringing the total value of deals facilitated by EIC since 2008 up to £12.5 million.
The value of 2014/15 investments represents an increase of £600,000 on the £3.3 million total recorded in the previous financial year. 2014/15 also saw a 50% increase in the number of new projects sourced and supported by EIC. An increasing appetite for f innovation among the energy networks, the quality of new technologies and products sourced by EIC and the innovation stimulus provided by regulator, Ofgem, have all contributed to the positive performance.
EIC is a partnership between the UK’s electricity operators, known as distribution network operators, gas distribution networks as well as the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. Together they aim to discover innovative projects and solutions from the UK and around the world to transform today’s power landscape, working towards a low carbon future and providing value for money for energy consumers.
Over the last 12 months the EIC has proactively expanded its international innovator community network by exploring opportunities in countries that include Israel, Turkey, Japan and the USA. This has started to provide the EIC with access to a global pool of innovations and the opportunity to share learning with some of the world’s leading energy companies.
Denise Massey, managing director of the Energy Innovation Centre, said: “EIC is currently supporting more small businesses than ever before and the £3.9 million that has been invested this year proves that the energy sector is embracing the need for innovation.”
Innovative technologies that have successfully secured investment with support from the Energy Innovation Centre over the last year include Welsh company, iViTi Lighting. The business has developed the iViTi ON light bulb which can stay on for up to three hours in the event of a power cut. The technology is beneficial to vulnerable customers and is currently being piloted by three DNOs in the UK.
Another company to benefit from EIC’s assistance in the last twelve months is Open Grid Systems which has developed a portable tablet device that gives energy network operators a real-time view of their assets while out in the field. The unique device permits remote access to operational, geographical network data while on the move, and the ability to create reports relating to inspection, maintenance and damage assessment.
Denise Massey said: “Looking ahead, our challenge is to keep up the momentum that we have generated – both in terms of investment secured and projects supported – and to continue to accelerate the development of more of these game-changing technologies.
“We can only achieve this if industry remains committed to a shared vision of creating a future where innovation thrives and where the deployment of new innovative products and services is swift. The three collaborative innovation summits that we already have planned for this year are a real step towards cementing this commitment and I’m confident that they will lead to more investment and shared project opportunities for the future.”
EIC is a not for profit limited company and has created 377 businesses opportunities from SMEs for Network Operators since it was founded in 2008.