Energy Launchpad International Impact Report: India and Thailand
The Energy Launchpad International programme was designed to support UK energy SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to access overseas markets. It takes into account feedback from SMEs on the barriers/challenges they face bridging the gap between Research and Development and successful overseas commercialisation.
The Energy Launchpad International Virtual Missions to India and Thailand 2020/21 have shown signs of great early impact, with promising leads for a majority of the cohorts.
We achieved this in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic that did not allow us to carry out a traditional mission to each of the markets. Instead, we developed a highly agile, responsive programme with a much longer engagement period in market.
The success of the pilot reflects the holistic approach we took to prepare SMEs for their market, as well as the support we gave for the repeated engagement. Outcomes included:
- 400 potential collaboration partners identified
- 78 organisations engaged with
- 103 virtual meetings
- One pilot project secured with a local stakeholder
- 21 non-disclosure agreement signed or in progress
- One reseller agreement in place
In response to feedback from our previous work with SMEs, we built in a pre-engagement step to the programme that drew on the niche energy systems expertise from teams within Energy Systems Catapult.
Together with external experts, we delivered masterclasses that demystified the opportunities and business practices in each market. A dedicated, expert team at the Catapult provided bespoke, and-holding support through repeated engagements, which allowed participants to develop their strategy.
We worked with our overseas partners Orissa and UKIBC to line up several hundred hand-picked potential collaborators. SMEs actively participated in building their own end-to-end export strategy specifically for their chosen market. These are skills they can apply to other markets in future, as well as support their domestic commercialisation strategies.
With this pilot of the Energy Launchpad International programme, we have proven that we have a winning design that draws on our energy sector expertise, deep understanding of the start-up journey and our international networks. We will use our lessons learnt to continue to support UK SMEs, in this cohort and in future.