The energy sector needs innovators and SMEs with novel technologies and ideas that can help it to respond to the challenges of our energy future.
Our gas and electricity industry partners are large and complex businesses that focus on optimisation, efficiencies and operational excellence. This can mean that their strategic drivers do not always align with those of external partners – and SMEs in particular – that can help them to accelerate innovation within their businesses.
The EIC’s collaborative model bridges the gap between an industry with a clear innovation ambition and over 1,500 SMEs and innovators with the technologies that can help develop this ambition into a reality.
We deliver value to our growing innovation community by providing a dedicated route from which they can attract and engage industry backing for their innovations, and supporting their journey towards commercialisation.
The EIC works closely with SMEs and innovators to:
One of our innovation engineers will work closely with you to develop a clear and concise synopsis document to ensure the best chance for stakeholder engagement.
This synopsis document must include:
A call for innovation relates to a specific problem which has been identified by one or more of our industry partners. If we publish a call for innovation that is relevant to you, the process for engagement is as specified on the call documentation.
Following this call we will distribute the relevant expression of interest form which asks for:
Following approval from stakeholders, your dedicated EIC innovation engineer from the synopsis stage or the lead EIC engineer behind the call for innovation will engage with you to design and develop a project plan. Our commercial experts will ensure all the criteria for innovation funding can be matched with your proposal to help you build the strongest investment case.
The information required for the EIC project plan expands on the information supplied in the synopsis and includes details of:
Upon investment approval by our industry partners or stakeholders, our legal teams will draft the Direct Investment Agreement (DIA). This legal document is a collaboration agreement between SME, EIC and stakeholders which is circulated with the agreed project plan to all parties involved. Following signature by all parties, a final signed document is circulated and the project is now ready to commence.
At this point in the process, the project is handed over to the dedicated EIC project manager listed within the project plan. The project manager is responsible for managing the following activity throughout the project lifecycle:
Access to finance is a challenge for innovators everywhere. Some of today’s most successful global businesses struggled to secure finance in the early days and as a rule, the more game-changing and disruptive the idea, the greater the struggle.
To date, the EIC has helped innovators in the energy sector unlock over £12.5 million of investment. If you have a novel technology or idea with potential then using our industry insight and strategic networks, we can help you to access funding from a number of sources:
We can connect you to our industry partners who may be interested in funding your great idea. This funding may be made available through Ofgem’s Innovation Stimulus programme which includes:
Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) – a set allowance that each of the network operators will receive to fund small-scale innovation projects.
Network Innovation Competitions (NIC) – a series of annual competitions for electricity and gas, where network companies compete for funding for research, development and trialing new technology, operating and commercial arrangements.
We have close links with a number of organisations that provide grant funding, such as Innovate UK, Carbon Trust and Energy Technologies Institute. Through our networks we will be able to signpost you to the appropriate grant making body.
"The role of the EIC in bringing together network providers for the benefit of the industry is key"
"Smart Compliance would not be where we are today without the continued assistance from the EIC and their partners. Working with the GDNs is an enormous endorsement for the business and an opportunity that we will be forever grateful for."
"The EIC has helped iViTi by spreading the message about our pioneering innovation, providing us with a platform to engage with the DNOs and others. One surprising link has been made with the entertainer, Gyles Brandreth, who compered the UK Energy Innovation Awards 2015 and featured the bulb in his Edinburgh Festival fringe."
"Our involvement with the EIC has enabled us to understand the role that innovation can play in the development of future networks. With support from the EIC team, we have been able to gain an understanding of the synergies that exist between electricity and gas distribution networks, and to facilitate joint industry projects."