Innovate UK puts out over £4M for energy SMEs

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Innovate UK plans to launch a funding competition for UK businesses to fund feasibility studies in infrastructure systems, including renewable energy.

This is a pilot program for Innovate UK that provides simultaneous grant funding and venture capital investment for early stage projects led by UK companies.

The aim of this competition is to fund feasibility studies that explore and evaluate the commercial potential of innovative ideas.

Up to £8.5 million total of grant and equity funding is made available in this call for projects related to infrastructure systems or health and life sciences.

Grant funding of up to £3 million, and £1.25 million of private equity investment is available for projects related to infrastructure systems which include smart infrastructure, energy, urban living and connected transport.

Under energy supply and systems topic, Innovate UK is looking to fund innovations that improve value proposition, energy affordability and security, and reduce carbon emissions, which can include those in renewable energy technologies.

Innovate UK expects projects to have total costs of up to £150,000. The program will provide 100% of costs, and the projects should last between 3 and 12 months.

The competition is open to single small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are looking for early stage grant funding and who wish to establish an equity relationship with a UK venture capital firm, Innovate UK noted.

The competition opens on May 8, 2017, with the deadline for applications set for July 5, 2017.