In collaboration with Energy Systems Catapult, Geovation and Pineapple Partners, we have launched an innovator challenge call to SMEs developing products and services targeted at Zero Carbon Housing Solutions, Smart Buildings & Estate, to receive tailored business incubation and acceleration support through the Innovator Support Platform.

The 4th intake of the Innovator Support Platform (ISP) offers SMEs access to advanced energy system expertise from across the Catapult alongside a wider network of around 40 firms offering a range of specialist business support.

The ISP aims to help innovators unlock new routes-to-market, secure investment and breakdown barriers to growth – with at least two innovator challenges running each year.

Breakdown barriers

The Zero Carbon Housing Solutions, Smart Buildings & Estates challenge could include SME innovators working on:

  • Integrating innovative low carbon generation or infrastructure technologies into the building or estate fabric
  • Zero carbon domestic heating solutions
  • Leveraging data from end users, infrastructure and networks to create new services and business models that accelerate the transition to net zero
  • Enabling active, interoperable control systems that delivers more efficient and flexible operation of the whole building & estate energy system
  • Delivering better living environments.

A shortlist of SMEs will be generated and must be available to attend a workshop at the Catapult innovation hub in Birmingham on the 5 and 6 May 2020. Closing date for applications is noon 30 March 2020.

An opportunity on a grand scale

Julie Alexander, Director of Technology & Innovation at Places for People said: “Climate change is the most pressing challenge of our time, and with the construction sector and buildings being the most prolific polluters, we need to be much more determined as a sector to tackle this issue head on.

“Engaging with the supply chain is the starting point. We want to identifying technologies and business models we can deploy that are effective, and deliverable within the coming decade.

“This call is not about finding the next renewable energy solution, it’s about developing interoperability across systems, using intelligent infrastructure to help us manage demand and supply and identifying new business models that will allow deployment at scale. It’s a combination of these approaches that will enable us to achieve our net zero ambitions.”

Paul Jordan, Innovator Support Platform lead, said: “One of the biggest challenges to achieving the UK’s climate change goals is creating Zero Carbon places for people to live and work.

“But this is also an opportunity on a grand scale.

“Working with Places for People, we recognised that emerging smart innovations provide a great opportunity to capture value from low carbon generation and infrastructure systems.

“Yet smart controls and interoperability between innovations remain a barrier for integrating buildings, estates and the wider energy system.

“So we’ve launched this challenge with the aim of unleashing innovative products and services that can realise benefits across the built environment for multiple stakeholders – from building occupants and owners to networks, system operators and energy suppliers.”

Alex Wrottesley, Head of Geovation said: “We are delighted to support the Zero Carbon: Smart Buildings & Estates challenge as a step towards accelerating the transition to net zero, through the disruptive power of location-based innovation and entrepreneurship. We welcome approaches from additional funding partners interested in supporting a Net Zero Accelerator being developed by Geovation with Pineapple Partnerships.”

SMEs interested in applying can access the call documentation and application details here: Innovator Challenge – Zero carbon: Smart Buildings and Estates

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