Catapult aims to unleash SMEs with Innovator Toolkit
The Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) has launched a new Innovator Toolkit for SMEs – including guides for funding and test and demonstration facilities – aimed at helping businesses accelerate the transformation of the energy sector.
As an expert, independent authority and a trusted interface between business, academia and government, the ESC is working with the Energy Innovation Centre to deliver an Insights programme and toolkit to support start-ups and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the sector and drive collaborative innovation activities.
The Innovator Toolkit is being developed in response to a May 2017 survey of the ESC’s global innovation community.
The findings recognised a real need to establish a tool that allows innovators to access and link with industry better – a range of downloadable resources and a series of workshops have now been developed to help increase the number of new products, services and solutions breaking through to market.
SMEs and innovative start-ups will now be able to explore and find funding opportunities, through the ‘Guide to Funding’, while the ‘Guide to Energy Sector Testing & Demonstration Facilities’ has been created specifically to provide the sector with a deeper knowledge and understanding of the testing and demonstration facilities available nationwide, and their capabilities.
Eva Gromadzki, Head of Research and Collaboration at ESC, said: “We are excited to be able to publish the Innovator Toolkit, which will go some way in helping SME’s get a foothold in the sector as the UK industry looks to capitalise on the opportunities of the global energy revolution.
“SME innovators will be critical to the UK achieving the 2050 carbon reduction target and we are committed to helping strengthen their collaboration with industry, academia and government by bridging gaps in market development. By providing guides for funding and key energy sector testing and demonstration facilities, we can support SMEs to deliver and indeed test innovations in real-world scenarios both in the UK and worldwide.
“We hope this toolkit will be adopted by the global innovation community and we will measure its effectiveness over the coming months.”
Denise Massey, MD, Energy Innovation Centre, added: “We’re hopeful that the Innovator Toolkit and Insights programme will help remove the barriers to energy sector innovation that were reported in our joint research study with the Catapult earlier this year.
“These guides will enable innovators to understand how they might test their concepts and new technologies, whilst the funding paper should offer a clearer pathway to securing valuable funding to kick-start delivery. The ultimate goal will be seeing uplift in the number of innovations and ideas translating into commercially successful applications that are adopted into business as usual.”
Established in 2015, the ESC is part of the government’s Catapult network and is focused on helping UK innovators unlock value from the transition to a low-carbon energy system through the development of new products and services that will support the transformation of UK and global energy systems (covering electricity, heat and combustible gases).