SME challenge launches to find the next #EnergySystemsScaleUps

Start your application here

The deadline for applications is 11:59pm on Friday 8 March 2024

Apply now

Energy Systems Catapult has launched a new challenge call offering acceleration support for up to four energy systems SME innovators entering the scale up stage. The call aims to find the UK’s most promising later-stage energy startups, to provide tailored support that will develop and strengthen their innovations and accelerate their growth.

The UK’s path to Net Zero by 2050 requires pioneering SMEs who are innovating towards a greener future. Many of these SMEs lack access to the support and financing needed to scale-up their businesses and unleash their full potential.

Paul Jordan, Business Leader, Innovator Support, said: “We need an Energy System that’s fit for Net Zero, so we’re looking for the UK’s energy ‘scale ups’ who can accelerate the decarbonisation of homes, and/or support the transition to a flexible, digitalised net zero energy system.

“We would love to hear from SME innovators that are making good progress in their commercialisation journey but would benefit from assistance from the Catapult. Each SME will be provided with up to £75k worth of Catapult support, including, but not limited to; in depth business coaching, matchmaking with customers and investors, and access to the Catapult’s tools and expertise to test, develop and validate innovations.”

Why apply?

Depending on assessed needs, applicants can access the Catapult’s expertise, tools and assets such as:

1. Market engagement: including analytical support to further develop business model and value propositions, understand target markets better, and support to identify, market and communicate to potential customer groups.

2. Systems integration: assessing the ‘system readiness’ of the innovation through our Aspects of Integration framework.

3. Modelling: through a range of models, such as Home Energy Dynamics and Energy Storage & Flexibility, Energy Systems Catapult can help innovators simulate performance and address specific customer/investor questions. This could include developing commercial ROI (Return on Investment) models.

4. Consumer engagement: helping innovators ensure end-user needs are factored into product & service design to validate their business model. Support with User Interface design improvements and end user testing.

5. Test & validation: confirming the performance of the product or service, through our demonstration capabilities such as the Living Lab of over 2,500 real homes or the Whole Energy Systems Accelerator.

6. Digital & data: gaining deeper insight and help into digital fitness, data management and alignment to the recommendations of the open data taskforce.

7. Accessing scale-up funding: CR&D project and application development and investor engagement and support in preparing for, identifying and meeting relevant investors.

8. International opportunities: Targeting overseas markets where the Catapult is active and support to develop the right export roadmap strategy and plan.

Eligibility criteria

Both the required application form and commercial readiness questionnaire can be found here.  To be eligible for this call, applicants should:

  • Target at least one of these core mission areas of the Catapult:
  • That it becomes easy and desirable for people to decarbonise their homes, through deployment of a new product or service proposition.
  • That the innovation is enabling the rapid roll-out of a new flexible, digitalised net zero energy system, which is more resilient and better for all consumers.
  • Evidence market demand and product maturity (Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7+);
  • Have received private investment (e.g. Seed/Series A);
  • Be able to articulate the critical barriers to achieving commercial traction/revenue growth and the type of support that would unlock this;
  • Be available for a 1.5 hour virtual interview on the 20th and 21st March;
  • Be available to exhibit at our Innovating to Net Zero 2024, Exhibition and Conference at Millennium Point, Birmingham on Tuesday, 16th April (spaces reserved for successful applicants).

This challenge call closes for applications at 12:00pm on Friday 8th March 2024.

Successful applicants will be notified of interview on 20th March, with notification of acceptance onto the programme on the 28th March and the programme of work taking place between April 2024 and March 2025.

Start your application here

The deadline for applications is 11:59pm on Friday 8 March 2024

Apply now

IC10 Application Questions

This document contains the questions for the IC10 challenge call. Please remember to submit your application through the online form and not this document.

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