Helping innovators to design new business models using a unique mix of energy, engineering and commercial expertise
Business model innovation, as vital to Net Zero as technological innovation
To achieve to Net Zero carbon emissions, business model innovation is just as important as technological innovation.
Energy Systems Catapult is driving innovation in business modelling to unlock value and support credible, investable routes to market for zero carbon companies.
Well-designed business models help companies to de-risk new innovations, streamline operations and maximise the value they create for customers. At Energy Systems Catapult we take a whole systems approach to business models design, working with people throughout the sector to better understand the needs and challenges they face.
We support zero carbon companies to unlock value and find credible, investable routes to market. This is brought together by our unique mix of energy, engineering and commercial experts who can help identify, design, and validate new business models.
We work with a range of organisations
Start-ups and scale-ups
Innovators with disruptive new ideas wanting to ground them in viable business models, looking to grow their position, seek investment or refine their approach.
Product and service companies in the energy sector
Looking to understand the future risks and opportunities of existing business models, or design, test and launch new innovations to the market.
Local authorities, community groups and local partnerships
Organisations looking at new approaches that will help local areas transition to Net Zero
The Business Model Innovation team use a range of methods, tools and experts, including:
- Assessing new and emerging business models in energy and future market opportunities and barriers.
- Designing and iterating new business models by exploring markets, customers and approaches.
- Assessing existing business models and exploring risks and opportunities for the future.
- Designing tests to de-risk business models and provide assurance.
- Creating go-to-market strategies with business plans, commercial models and product roadmaps.
What we offer
Designing, testing and evaluating innovative Business Models with support from Energy Systems Catapult capabilities.
Whole Systems Modelling
Modelling the complex interactions between the physical, digital and market systems, across power, gas, heat and transport, from generation to consumers and at the level of home, locally and nationally.
Apply world-leading systems thinking remove barriers to the physical, digital and market integration of zero carbon innovations across the whole energy system.
Markets, Policy and Regulation
Independent thought leadership that combines expertise in clean technology, economics, and energy policy design, informed by cutting-edge modelling and evidence-based analysis.
Quick, safe and affordable. Rapidly design, market-test and launch innovative energy products, services and business models with real people in over 500 connected homes.
Harnessing Digital and Data
Independent thought leadership and practical expertise that harnesses a range of services, tools and expertise, such as data science, algorithms and artificial intelligence.
Consumer Insight and Proposition Design
Energy market research, user experience (UX) and service design, and consumer trials. Helping innovators see beyond what people say to understand what they do.
How to work with us
Energy Systems Catapult provides technical, commercial and policy expertise to drive innovation across the whole energy system.
Our independent and technology-agnostic approach, has built a trusted track record in delivering thought leadership, collaborative R&D and commercial commissioning.
Providing a range of capabilities, tools and labs – from world class Net Zero modelling and cutting-edge systems engineering – through to digital and data science and real-world innovation trials that drive start-ups to success.
Supporting energy companies and networks, industrial sites and commercial businesses to navigate to Net Zero.
Collaborate with us
Supporting government, local authorities and innovators to create the new policies, markets, business models and technologies we need to deliver Net Zero.
Business Model Innovation for Start-ups
Scottish proptech firm arbnco developed the Digital Energy Efficiency Platform (DEEP) under Government funded “Boosting Access for SMEs to Energy Efficiency” innovation programme.
DEEP aims to eliminate the common barriers SMEs face in tackling energy efficiency, such as high upfront and transactional costs, economies of scale and difficulties accessing finance.
Energy Systems Catapult provided arbnco with Business Model Innovation support to find or develop a sustainable model that facilitates investment in energy efficiency retrofit/refurbishment projects by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – which account for 99% of all businesses in the UK and are responsible for over 50% of energy use.
DEEP centralises building data sets and delivers bespoke retrofit strategies tailored to each individual building, including costs and finance options, and a business case for implementing energy efficiency.
Business Model Innovation through Energy Launchpad
Ventive started out as a designer and manufacturer of innovative passive ventilation systems, before expanding into developing a smart, zero carbon home solution, that includes: low carbon heating and cooling, electrical and thermal energy storage, hot and cold water and ventilation all in one box – Ventive Home.
Following a rigorous Innovator Challenge application process of SMEs developing innovative smart heating and cooling solutions, Energy Launchpad selected Ventive to receive support for commercial development.
With different market segments at varying stages of readiness for complex retrofit solutions, innovative business models are required to finance and deliver improved consumer services.
So the key challenge for Energy Launchpad was to quantify the market opportunity, prioritise the sectors based the value being created and then develop the commercial model and route to market.
- Ventive secured a pilot project with Nottingham City Council to demonstrate the feasibility of Net Zero retrofitting of social housing at a reasonable cost.
- The tenant gets great indoor air quality, excellent levels of comfort and dramatically lower energy bills.
- The local authority or housing association get a simple to install and cost-effective whole house retrofit solution, with all technologies accessible in the one box plugged into the outside of the home.
- Ventive now has a viable “Comfort-as-a-Service” commercial model that makes Ventive Home more affordable for both tenant and landlord.
- Ultimately Nottingham City Council plan to retrofit around 20,000 homes in response to the climate emergency and Ventive are in a prime position to help them execute that ambition.
Business Model Innovation to expand target market
Senergy developed a solar thermal panel designed to deliver affordable heating. Unlike solar PV made from glass, copper and aluminium components, Senergy’s panels are 100% polymer plastic – increasing their thermal efficiency whilst reducing delivery and installation costs.
Currently, Senergy operate as a manufacturer, selling panels as part of a building’s heating system. However, recognising the value of the panel’s aesthetic and structural properties, provides an opportunity to adapt their commercialisation strategy to reach other target markets both in the UK and abroad.
Energy Systems Catapult worked with Senergy via our Energy Launchpad, including:
- Home Energy Dynamics – using our ground-breaking simulation tool, our Modelling experts helped validate the performance of the product with a range of housing types and occupancy profiles to understand the value proposition and economic benefits.
- Digital Energy Fitness Assessment – our Digital and Data team assessed the digital readiness of both the innovation and the business
- Business Modelling Innovation – our experts helped to refine their business model, how they pitch to customers and developed their route to various markets.
Energy Systems Catapult’s support helped Senergy to:
- Validate a plan to compete like-for-like with solar PV, and to integrate the product with other technologies, such as heat pumps and thermal batteries to help reduce heating costs during the winter period.
- Progress the TRL of their product from 4 to 6.
- Win three new pilot customers to carry out demonstrations.
- Find new partners to collaborate, integrating the product into complete home heating solutions.
- Secure £130,000 of funding to invest in progressing the TRL towards commercialisation and build internal capabilities to become investor ready.
Energy Launchpad case study: Ventive Home retrofit-in-a-box