Boost for UK smart energy innovators entering the Indian market

As part of a follow-up project to our successful Innovating for Clean Air (IfCA) programme, seven SMEs working on electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage solutions were selected by Energy Systems Catapult and Social Alpha to receive tailored business support in entering the Indian market.

The Catapult combines unique expertise in developing smart energy business models and has strong overseas networks to create soft landings for UK innovators in global markets. Working with Social Alpha’s Clean Energy Innovation Incubation Centre (CEIIC), the selected SMEs are receiving support to prepare themselves for the Indian market and how they fit into the Indian energy system. They will have the opportunity to pitch to local organisations in order to perform market validation, find local partners or agents, and generate sales opportunities.

India is a huge and growing market for clean energy solutions. The UK and India are collaborating in a number of areas, including clean energy, and momentum will only grow in this space following India’s announcement of a Net Zero target at COP26.

The seven innovators selected to receive support through the programme are Aceleron, Beam Connectivity, Cheesecake Energy, Engas UK, LiNa Energy, Tronius Limited and VEST Energy. Read below to learn a little more about these SMEs and how they’re innovating with smart energy solutions.

Eric Appleton, incubation manager at Energy Systems Catapult, said: “We were delighted to see such a high calibre of innovative businesses across the energy storage and EV sectors apply to take part in the ELP mission, and whilst choosing the final shortlist was tough, we’re really thrilled with the diverse mix of SMEs that have signed up to our programme.

“Energy Systems Catapult was set up to drive innovation in the energy sector and foster clean economic growth. Through Energy Launchpad and our partnership with Social Alpha’s CEIIC, we wanted to SMEs with the potential to achieve high levels of growth and impact on the energy system the chance to explore the opportunities in the Indian market and accelerate the global energy transition.

“Our team of highly experienced staff know the tough challenges that the entering new markets poses and we will work closely with the SMEs to build their export capacity, helping to navigate the uniqueness of the Indian market and barriers to entry, putting them in the best position possible to succeed. We look forward to working with the seven SMEs and discovering how we can take them to the next level.”

Michael Downey, head of grants for Aceleron, said: “We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to work the Energy Catapult and Social Alpha to further our work in enabling the world to transition to cleaner energy sources. We believe the Aceleron batteries provide not only better batteries that are more a viable option for people across the globe, but are a unique enabler of the circular economy required to avoid the large amounts of battery waste that are on the horizon without significant action now.

“Building the business in India will be a fantastic opportunity to develop on the hard work that has been put into establishing the technology and products in the UK and maximise the potential of the technology.”

Mike Simpson, chief commercial and product officer of Cheesecake Energy, said: “We’re thrilled to be part of the ESC/Social Alpha cohort. It will be an excellent support for us at this stage of our business in further validating our proposition, accessing opportunities for pilot projects and gaining support from key industry experts. We’re excited to work alongside the ESC team and the other innovative companies in our cohort as we seek to enter the Indian market.”

Thomas Sors, CEO of Beam Connectivity, said: “Beam Connectivity very much look forward to working with the Energy Systems Catapult and Social Alpha and explore opportunities in India to work with manufacturers of electric vehicles and their suppliers.

“Our Connected Vehicle as a Service (CVaaS) platform helps developers of electric vehicles accelerate their time to market, providing vehicle insights in real time. It also provides a platform to launch new data-led services and improve the ownership experience. CVaaS supports all vehicle types including passenger cars, eBikes, eScooters, 3-wheelers and industrial and agricultural vehicles.”

Dr Amit Roy, founder and CEO of Engas UK, said: “We have developed this Bio-CNG technology specially for the Indian market, which has been pilot-tested in Kolkata during 2017-2020 funded by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, of the Government of India. Engas UK is looking forward to build partnership for commercial roll out of this lightweight, portable Bio-CNG plants across India for creating EV charging infrastructure and refuelling of Bio-CNG vehicles under the Catapult Energy System’s India-Challenge programme.”

Will Tope, commercial director of LiNa Energy, said: “We are delighted to represent the UK alongside the rest of the cohort at the forefront of British science and technology. India is a huge growth market for energy storage and well suited for LiNa Energy’s breakthrough solid-state sodium batteries which can be manufactured locally and operate safely in high temperatures. The Catapult Energy System innovator challenge in partnership with Social Alpha is a fantastic opportunity for LiNa Energy to work with Indian partners to accelerate their profitable growth towards a green economy.”

Jamie Duffy, co-founder of Tronius, said: “Tronius are extremely proud to have been chosen to be part of the Energy Systems Catapult/Social Alpha Project! Our company ethos is a match to the ultimate goals of the project’s, whereby we are focused on enabling the expansion of EV adoption and efficient energy management to fuel the decarbonisation movement that will be required to save our planet. We feel the two elements are intrinsically linked, this reflects in our company moto ‘Energy Transition Accelerators, Empowering Communities’. Building efficient energy infrastructure is important, providing and utilising the data to make it happen is an absolute necessity.

“Our Award Winning Highlander Pod EV Charging and Data Hub is the culmination of innovative thinking that’s based around social value, clear vision of future e-transportation and hard work from all involved! Tronius feel extremely privileged to be able to share our solutions with the people of India and the wider world via Energy Systems Catapult/Alpha Project.”

Gautam Nowlakha, managing partner of VEST Energy, said: “We are delighted to hear that we are one of the leading clean technology UK companies to have been chosen for this programme, which is pivotal in driving innovation in the energy arena. As our energy supply profile changes and we move toward a more decarbonised grid, the challenge of demand management and balancing becomes ever greater. This is where VEST scores over the rest. Our automated trading tools with advanced AI models maximise asset revenue. We are hoping to bring this technology to India which will help BESS project developers and investors gain greater commercial advantage over the rest of the competition.”

Innovating for Clean Air

Led by Energy Systems Catapult and funded by UKRI, this project aimed to address the interrelated challenges of EV uptake and reducing air pollution in India.

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