Plant & Works Engineering
18 innovative UK- firms chosen to accelerate West Midlands into Net Zero lead
Published:  27 October, 2020

Eighteen of the UK’s most innovative SMEs have been selected for a business accelerator programme aimed at helping the West Midlands become a leader in developing Net Zero energy systems for buildings, commercial estates and industry.

This ‘Innovator Challenge’ will be run by the Energy Launchpad at government-backed innovation agency Energy Systems Catapult in collaboration with Climate-KIC and supported by Energy Capital – part of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The aim is for some the UK’s most innovative small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to develop products and services with the West Midlands; innovations that enable the integration of low carbon solutions within urban buildings and commercial estates or optimise energy networks supplying West Midlands industry.

High calibre candidates applied from across the UK, that are developing innovations, including:

• Zero carbon domestic, commercial or industrial heating solutions

• Leveraging data from end users, infrastructure and networks to create new services and business models that accelerate the transition to Net Zero

• Interoperable digital control systems that deliver more efficient and flexible operation of a whole building or estate energy system

• Grid Scale Battery Energy storage to mitigate constraints points for renewable connections

• Delivering cleaner transport solutions

• User-centric approaches that help to reduce fuel poverty

The 18 SMEs will get access to a range of advanced energy system expertise and specialist business support to help innovators unlock new routes-to-market, secure investment and breakdown barriers to growth.

Members of the Innovator Challenge advisory board will help to introduce SMEs to potential partners working on innovation projects across the West Midlands, including those in Energy Innovation Zones. These five unique zones were established to support the acceleration of low carbon innovations to address the key challenges of this call: Integration / Heat & Fuel Poverty / Alternative Transport Solutions.

Paul Jordan, business lead for energy launchpad at Energy Systems Catapult, said: “Achieving Net Zero will require close coordination across the energy system and arguably most crucially between the built environment, transport infrastructure, industry, and commercial energy consumers.

“Innovation that enables an interoperable relationship across sectors, consumers, technology, generators and distributors is fundamental. Delivering low carbon energy solutions, while simultaneously creating economic benefits to the wider community whilst lowering energy and running costs - will be crucial in achieving the UK’s Net Zero goal.”

Click here to see the 18 businesses chosen