Press release

Six companies awarded contracts to develop more energy efficient lighting for homes

The contracts have been awarded through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI).

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Six British companies have won support for carrying out technical feasibility studies in the first phase of a major initiative to develop more energy efficient lighting for our homes.

The £1.2m research fund, from the Technology Strategy Board and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), will help the companies to become market leaders in the best ultra energy-efficient lighting, which will contribute to reduced energy consumption in our homes.

The companies have been awarded up to £40,000 each to carry out work, over the next three months, to show the technical feasibility of their proposed concepts.  The feasibility studies will then be assessed and the proposals with the most promising technologies will receive up to £450,000 to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units, which will then be subjected to a vigorous 6-month field trial.

Environment Minister Lord Henley said:

“It is vital that all aspects of society think about what they can do to live more sustainable lives and help to preserve the natural resources we have. Efficient lighting can also help consumers make significant savings on their energy bills. This exciting competition gives six companies the opportunity to put Britain at the forefront of the global effort to produce new innovative and low-energy products.”

The contracts have been awarded through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI).  Mark Glover, the Head of SBRI, said:

“Ultra energy efficient lighting could transform Britainis homes and energy use.  The more efficient the lighting, the more money we save on our energy bills.  At the end of the demonstration period, we want to see high-quality, compact ultra-efficient lighting that everyone would be happy to use at home.  We have the opportunity to become a world leader in the manufacture of this technology, which would create new jobs and boost the British economy.”

The six British companies awarded the feasibility study contracts are: Cambridge Consultants Ltd, Juice Technology Ltd, Marl International Ltd, PhotonStar LED Ltd, Tridonic Atco (UK) Ltd and Zeta Controls Ltd.

The companies have until 9 September 2010 to submit their feasibility study reports and they will be notified of the decision regarding full development contracts in early October 2010.


1.    To arrange an interview with Mark Glover, Head of SBRI, please contact the Technology Strategy Boardis Media Relations Manager (see below).

2.    SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) is co-ordinated by the Technology Strategy Board. The initiative is designed to encourage government departments and other agencies to ensure that a proportion of their procurement budget goes to innovative companies and that the departments are procuring innovative solutions to some of the challenges that they face.  The aim of SBRI is to use the power of government procurement to drive technology development, especially in early-stage companies, supporting projects through the stages of prototyping and demonstration, which are typically hard to fund.  SBRI offers an excellent opportunity for businesses to develop and demonstrate technology, supported by a customer, and to reach the first rung on the government procurement ladder.  For further information about SBRI please visit:

3.    The £1.2m Ultra Efficient Lighting (UEL) competition for development contracts is being run by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as part of its programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production.

4.    Phase 1 of the competition is intended to show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept.  The target applications are directional and non-directional lighting for the domestic market.  Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units from the more promising technologies in Phase 1.  Multiple funding up to £450,000 will be available, for projects lasting a maximum of 12 months.

5.    The output of Phase 2 is the production of 50 lighting units for field trials over a 6 month period, which will be coordinated by the Technology Strategy Board.  These phase two products should have full safety certification, environmental reliability studies and at least 3 months of life-test evaluation under accelerated conditions showing performance expected to achieve > 25,000 hours (L70).

6.    Further information about the competition can be found at:

7.    The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established and funded by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life.  It is sponsored by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).  Please visit

8.    Companies and other organisations seeking further information about these and other funding competitions should visit the Competitions page of the Technology Strategy Board website, email or phone the helpline on 0300 321 4357.

9.    Any media enquiries should be addressed to the Technology Strategy Boardis media relations consultant or manager

Issued by:
Nick Sheppard, Media Relations Consultant, Technology Strategy Board, Mobile: 07824 599644,

Additional contact:
Claire Cunningham, Media Relations Manager, Technology Strategy Board, Tel: 01793 442901, Mobile: 0755 411 5745, Email:

Published 25 June 2010