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Funding awarded to develop new energy systems in the North East

Three North East SMEs have been awarded funding to develop new energy systems which will help organisations to reduce their carbon emissions.

Capability North East, Jumping Rivers and Smart Carbon Ltd have each been awarded £20,000 through the North East Energy Catalyst’s Energy Innovation Challenge, which supports businesses to bring new energy products to market.

This is in addition to £100,000 of funding which was awarded to five other SMEs in late 2020.

David Lynch, Energy Innovation Partnership Manager at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: The North East excels in innovating, demonstrating and delivering new solutions which can help drive economic growth in the region while solving global energy challenges, such as the need to reduce carbon emissions.

“The Energy Innovation Challenge was designed to maximise on our region’s skills and expertise by using the insight of the North East Energy Catalyst – a partnership of the region’s leading energy innovation, demonstration and delivery capabilities – to create a series of challenges for SMEs which aimed to identify solutions to energy issues which can be scaled up nationally or globally.”

Capability North East received funding for its Genee platform – a system helps businesses, NGOs and public sector organisations to plan their Net Zero journey, monitoring and recording their sustainability progress over time.

Jumping Rivers’ Newcastle-based team is recognised internationally for helping global businesses, governments and SMEs to harness untapped value from their data. The team is developing a power cost system called ECODATA which can help major energy users such as campuses, schools and business centres understand their electricity tariffs, minimising costs and supporting the transition to a green energy system.

The third business to be awarded funding is Smartcarbon Ltd, which is developing a carbon calculator to meet the needs of multinational businesses and their entire supply chain.

Round three of the Energy Innovation Challenge is currently underway, with submissions from North East SMEs currently being assessed.

The North East Energy Catalyst is supported by ERDF and the Energy Innovation Challenge received grant funding from the government’s Local Growth Fund via the North East LEP.

Find out more about the North East Energy Catalyst.

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North East businesses awarded funding to develop new energy products

£100,000 of funding has been awarded to help five North East energy businesses bring new products to market.

The five SMEs all entered the Energy Innovation Challenge which was launched by the North East Energy Catalyst as a way of supporting businesses in the region to develop solutions to global energy challenges.

The five businesses awarded funding are DLAW Contractors, The Energy Workshop, Otaski Energy Solutions, Power Roll, and Solar Capture Technologies.

David Lynch, Energy Innovation Partnership Manager at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), explains: “The Energy Innovation Challenge is a rolling programme of challenges based around different themes. So in the first phase, we wanted to hear from people who could develop a product or service that can help to decarbonise the energy that we use in our homes and businesses.

The Energy Innovation Challenge is led by the North East Energy Catalyst, a partnership of the region’s leading energy sector organisations which aims to showcase the North East’s capabilities in developing solutions to the world’s energy challenges.

As well as funding, the five businesses receive business advice through the North East Growth Hub, and have already taken part in workshops on topics including marketing, business models and IP.

Sunderland-based DLAW Contractors is planning to manufacture photovoltaic-powered water filtration systems for use in rural communities. The new product has the potential to be exported worldwide, with manufacturing and supply chain based in the North East.

The Energy Workshop is a renewable energy consultancy which will use its funding to carry out a study to assess the potential of using hydrogen to fuel fleet vehicles and community energy projects in the North East.

Otaski Energy Solutions, which is based in Gateshead, put forward a proposal to develop a product which uses artificial intelligence to dim street lighting when it’s not in use.

Sunderland SME Power Roll was awarded funding to work towards manufacturing a new type of solar panel which can be used on building and vehicles.

The fifth business awarded funding is Blyth’s Solar Capture Technologies, which will be stepping up production of its lightweight SolarFace modules, which can generate energy in low light levels and in a range of locations.

“The standard of entries into the challenge was exceptional, and really shows that the North East is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to developing innovative energy products,” said David Lynch. “With the recent unveiling of the government’s 10-point plan to create a green industrial revolution, businesses in our region are at the forefront of leading the way into a greener future economy, and the North East Energy Catalyst is here to support them.”

Round two of the Energy Innovation Challenge is currently underway, with 10 submissions from North East SMEs. Round three, on the theme of energy materials, will open in January 2021. To find out more, contact David Lynch on [email protected].

The North East Energy Catalyst is supported by ERDF and the Energy Innovation Challenge received grant funding from the government’s Local Growth Fund via the North East LEP.

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Investment on offer to help SMEs develop tech solutions to energy challenges

Up to £40,000 of investment is on offer to SMEs in the North East who can put forward digital or data-led solutions to help monitor and manage energy consumption.

The Energy Innovation Challenge is led by the North East Energy Catalyst, a partnership of leading energy sector organisations which aims to develop solutions to global energy challenges here in the North East.

David Lynch, Innovation Partnership Manager at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) who supports the work of the Energy Catalyst, explained: “Working with the North East Energy Catalyst is a unique opportunity for innovative SMEs given the strength and breadth of this region’s energy sector, which includes leaders in energy businesses, science and research and key infrastructure organisations.”

“We’re excited to be launching a series of energy innovation challenges throughout 2020 and 2021, inviting SMEs within the North East LEP area to submit responses to each challenge.”

A cohort of up to 10 successful businesses per challenge will be identified by an expert panel, drawing on the North East Energy Catalyst partners’ expertise. The successful cohort will receive a programme of support which will help them develop their idea and bring it to market.

This will include £20,000 of investment from Northstar Ventures, subject to eligibility criteria, which will be offered to 10 businesses across the programme, and the opportunity to submit matched grant applications for Local Growth Funding of up to a further £20k.

The next challenge is open for applications until noon on 18 September 2020 and SMEs are invited to put forward data or digital-led solutions that can help businesses to track energy consumption, or that can be used at sites like airports, ports and business parks to help manage energy savings.

David Lynch added: “This is an exciting opportunity for our colleagues in the digital, tech and energy sectors to take the lead on a new wave of energy solutions.

“The North East has a strong pedigree of innovation in power and energy generation, from steam, to electricity and now sustainable technologies, each of which has made a significant impact in the international economy. We are a force to be reckoned with in the energy sector and this is a great opportunity for digital and tech businesses to engage with partners working on the global energy stage.”

More details about the challenge are available here or from David Lynch on [email protected].

The North East Energy Catalyst is a ground-breaking partnership to unite the North East’s leading energy innovation, demonstration and delivery capabilities. Facilitated by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), North East Energy Catalyst partners are: Newcastle University; Durham University; Northumbria University; Zero Carbon Futures (a subsidiary of Gateshead College); Northern Powergrid; Northern Gas Networks; The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult; The British Engines Group; Innovation SuperNetwork; Northumbrian Water; The North of Tyne Combined Authority; The North East Combined Authority.

   

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Showcasing clean energy innovation across the Northern Powerhouse

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a sponsor of the Energy and Clean Growth in the Northern Powerhouse event – a major, two-day event to showcase the innovation, leadership and opportunities across the North of England in energy, decarbonisation, transition and clean growth.

Andrew Clark, Energy Programme Lead at the North East LEP, talks about the role the North has to play in the clean energy revolution.

Next week I’ll be attending the Northern Powerhouse Energy and Clean Growth conference, along with the Chair of the North East LEP, Andrew Hodgson, and various North East partners including those from the newly formed North East Energy Catalyst.

The Northern Powerhouse has long been the engine room of the UK and today, the region is poised to lead the transition to clean energy. The North also has a critical role to play in responding to new demands which are being placed on the country’s energy systems and infrastructure, and new innovations and intelligence in response to these.

Here in the North East, the energy sector is embedded in the fabric of our region. It’s a key part of our regional economy and our North East Energy for Growth strategy lays out how partners in the region are coming together to deliver on national energy strategy and drive economic growth.

Next week’s conference aims to showcase some of the innovation and opportunities across the Northern Powerhouse when it comes to decarbonisation and the transition to clean growth. As part of this, we will be sharing details of the North East Energy Catalyst and explaining how this new partnership has been formed to showcase solutions to global energy challenges in the North East, and to catalyse an integrated energy system which grows a productive and clean economy.

The Catalyst includes partners from industry, academia, the public sector and government bodies and we’re excited at what we can achieve by bringing together our energy innovation, demonstration and delivery assets in this way.

The energy sector has a crucial role to play in the future of the Northern Powerhouse, allowing the region to contribute to the national agenda, creating more and better jobs, and allowing the North to prosper.

I’m looking forward to forming new collaborations across the Northern Powerhouse region and to exploring how we can make our North East energy infrastructure and assets, like those brought together through the North East Energy Catalyst, available to the wider North and the rest of the UK.

Andrew Clark, Energy Programme Lead, North East LEP.

Energy and Clean Growth in the Northern Powerhouse takes place on 5 and 6 November in Hull. Find out more.

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North East Energy Catalyst ready to deliver on global challenges

A ground-breaking new partnership has been established to unite the North East’s leading energy innovation, demonstration and delivery capabilities, in order to drive new opportunities and growth for the region.

The North East is home to an array of internationally-recognised energy innovation, demonstration and science assets, and a wide range of ‘real-world’ follow-on delivery opportunities. These are owned by the public sector, universities, government bodies, and businesses already developing and delivering important products and services within the energy sector.

These partners have now joined forces to form the North East Energy Catalyst, with a mission of catalysing an integrated energy system which grows a productive, clean economy for prosperous communities. The initiative aims to co-ordinate North East energy innovation, demonstration and delivery capabilities, both onshore and offshore, to develop and showcase solutions to global energy challenges.

Energy Catalyst partners will work together on projects which tackle these major energy challenges, delivering on national energy, industrial, and clean growth strategy, whilst also supporting efforts to drive decarbonisation and economic growth in the region.

The Catalyst will invite and co-ordinate engagement with industry and business, promoting opportunities available in the North East to diversify, commercialise new solutions, and to deliver regional growth and employment across the energy sector.

The partnership includes Newcastle University; Durham University; Northumbria University; Zero Carbon Futures (a subsidiary of Gateshead College); Northern Powergrid; Northern Gas Networks; the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult which has test facilities at Blyth; the British Engines Group; the Innovation SuperNetwork; Northumbrian Water; the North of Tyne Combined Authority; and the North East Combined Authority. It is facilitated by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Andrew Clark, North East LEP Energy Programme Lead, said: “We are delighted to be a founding partner of the North East Energy Catalyst, an initiative which builds on our region’s position at the heart of the UK’s energy industry.

“The region has a unique and comprehensive asset base for innovating, demonstrating and delivering solutions to global energy challenges working both onshore and offshore.

“We also host a highly innovative business base at the cutting edge of developing and commercialising these solutions, presenting significant growth potential and new economic opportunities for places across our region.

“The North East Energy Catalyst brings these assets together in this exciting new partnership to showcase our critical role in this global agenda.”

The initiative follows the identification of energy innovation and demonstration as a key theme within North East LEP’s new Energy for Growth strategy, which aims to drive economic growth in the North East while also bringing sector partners together to deliver on national energy strategy.

Energy was identified as an area of key importance in the North East Strategic Economic Plan, with the potential to bring investment and jobs to our region.

Read more about the North East Energy Catalyst here. For more information, contact [email protected].