News story

Game-changers: innovations from business for the energy sector

Businesses new to energy and with expertise in inspection, big data and customer engagement can win funding to help deliver radical change.


New entrants are being sought to bring radical change to the energy sector.

Small businesses with innovative ideas that could be adapted to the energy sector are invited to apply for a share of £1.5 million to support feasibility studies.

Innovate UK is seeking businesses operating primarily outside the energy sector to lead projects that tackle challenges in the oil and gas, nuclear or energy systems.

We expect businesses working in inspection, ICT, digital, sensors, virtual reality, gaming, robotics, autonomous systems, advanced materials and manufacturing will have ideas of interest to the energy industry.

Existing defence, aerospace, automotive, telecommunications, forensics, medical, space and creative industries technologies could also be relevant.

The challenges are in 3 key areas:

  • inspecting buildings, vessels and components, including identifying defects without human entry and repairing corrosion
  • dealing with and analysing the large volumes of data delivered by the energy industry
  • finding innovative new ways to get users involved in reducing their energy bills

Competition information

  • this competition opens on 28 March 2016, and the deadline for registration is at noon on 4 May 2016
  • projects must be led by a small or medium-sized business mainly operating outside the energy sector
  • the lead business can work alone or with partners of any size from any sector
  • we expect total project costs to range between £25,000 and £100,000 and for projects to last 6 to 12 months
  • small businesses could receive up to 70% of their project costs, medium-sized businesses up to 60% and large businesses up to 50%
  • there will be an information webinar on 11 December 2015 and consortium-building workshops in early 2016. A briefing event for potential applicants takes place in London on 6 April 2016.
Published 3 December 2015