The Department of Energy and Climate Change has opened applications to a £16 million fund available for entrepreneurs to develop new low-carbon innovations.
The two-phase scheme, known as the Entrepreneurs Fund, was announced by the government earlier this year and targets small and medium sized enterprises, inventors and entrepreneurs. Its aim is to speed up the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies.
Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker said: “Low-carbon innovation is vital for the growth of our green economy. This investment will help entrepreneurs with novel ideas get designs off the drawing board and into our homes and businesses, helping cut carbon.”
Up to £10 million is available to support the development of energy-efficient technologies in the areas of building control systems, advanced lighting, and space heating and cooling. The remaining £6 million is available for power generation and energy storage technologies including fuel cells, biomass boilers and heat pumps.
Innovators will be able to bid for up to £1 million to develop and demonstrate their ideas and get support from experts on how to bring their products to market. Entrepreneurs can then use the funding to leverage additional funds from private sector investors.
Bids will be assessed against a range of criteria including the impact of the proposed technology on meeting government carbon targets, commercial potential of designs, how well it works compared to existing technologies and whether it is cheaper to install and maintain than products currently available.
A panel of investors will advise the Department on the commercial potential of the bids. At least £35 million is available from the fund in total. The second phase of funding will open early next year, with £19 million available.
Applications for the first phase can be made online and must be submitted by 31 October 2012 at the latest. Successful bidders will be announced later in the year.
- There are two application windows; one from 23 August to 28 September and one from 23 August to 31 October. Applications that are submitted for either period will be assessed equally and up to £8million pounds is available in each round of funding.
- Only projects at Technology Readiness level 3 and above should apply.
- A downloadable application form and further guidance on the scheme can be found on the DECC website.