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Detailed designs of smart, local energy systems

Registration is closed
Funding details
Registration opens
07 May 2019, 00:00
Registration closes
07 Aug 2019, 00:00
07 Aug 2019, 00:00
Up to £3m per project (projects from £3m-5m will be considered but must apply for approval 10 days prior to closing date)

A briefing event for this competition was held in London on 30th April and made available via webcast: you can view the recording here.


Detailed designs of smart, local energy systems

This funding is from the ISCF’s Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge (part of the Clean Growth challenge).

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will invest up to £30 million in revolutionary designs for local energy systems. Designs must deliver cleaner, cheaper energy services and create more prosperous and resilient communities across the UK.

The aim is to create a pipeline of highly innovative, ambitious and investable local energy system designs that will be ready to roll out across the UK in the 2020s. We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects, across a variety of technologies, markets, technological maturities and research categories.

This competition closes at midday 12pm UK time on the deadline stated.

You can claim up to £3 million in grant funding. Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £2 million and £20 million.

Projects must start on 1 January 2020 and end by 31 December 2021. All projects should last no longer than 24 months.

We will consider proposals wishing to claim in excess of £3 million and up to £5 million in grant funding. This is if the project is of exceptional scale and ambition and you can demonstrate that extra funding will drive substantially higher leverage and value for money. You must provide full justification by email to at least 10 days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

Projects should provide private funding that at least matches public funding, but our independent assessors will see private funding leverage as important evidence of value for money. It is hoped that projects will have at least a 2:1 leverage of grant funding overall. That means that we would like you to provide an investment of at least 2 times the amount you are being funded.

You must carry out your project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

Your detailed design proposal can use existing UK test facilities in academia, research and technology organisations (RTOs) or elsewhere to test important parts of your proposition. Your eligible costs can account for minor adaptations or extensions of existing facilities. This must be shown to be necessary and within the normal rules for claiming capital usage in projects.

Lead applicant

To lead a project you must be a:

  • UK based business
  • RTO
  • public sector organisation
  • university
  • higher education institution
  • Catapult
  • or a local authority or similar body

The lead organisation must claim grant through this competition. At least 2 other organisations in the consortium must also claim grant.

If an RTO or public sector organisation is the lead they must collaborate with at least 2 businesses, including at least one micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). You must explain in your application why it is not appropriate for the project to be business-led.


All projects must be collaborative.

To collaborate with the lead applicant you must be a UK based :

  • business
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • public sector organisation
  • or research and technology organisation (RTO)

We expect collaborations to include:

  • at least one SME
  • at least one RTO or public sector organisation
  • representatives from the energy, information and communication technologies sectors

Partners with no funding

Projects can include partners that do not receive any funding, such as non-UK businesses, public sector organisations, industry associations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), or bodies involved in setting regulations, standards or codes. Their commitments will count towards the total project costs but they will not count as collaborators.

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