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Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund Round 4: Call for Ideas

This Call for Ideas forms part of a programme delivered with the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) in partnership with Innovate UK.

This alignment enhances the programme’s ability to contribute to Government’s net zero objectives, while allowing it to remain dynamic, flexible and joined up with Government, industry and consumers.

Ideas submitted to Innovate UK and shared to the Energy Networks, may advance through to develop a project proposal led by an Energy Network. This proposal may be offered the opportunity to seek funding from the Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).

The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) fund aims to deliver net zero at the lowest cost to consumers and support innovative businesses to grow and scale.

The Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) programme is investing up to £450 million in network innovation over the next five years. SIF responds to industry obstacles and represents a major investment in the pace of innovation in the sector. SIF is funded by energy consumers as part of the RIIO-2 price control.

The vision of the SIF is to:

  • accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero, at lowest cost to consumer
  • make the UK the best place for energy business to grow and scale

This is a four-stage process for innovation to grow and resolve challenges facing the sector:

  1. Challenge Setting
  2. Ideation
  3. Incubation
  4. Acceleration

The ideation phase focuses on enabling the most ambitious and targeted ideas to reach the networks and be pitched as potential solutions for meeting the innovation challenges.

These ideas must align with the innovation challenges which have been developed with industry and key stakeholders through the challenge setting process.

The Challenges for this round are:

  • Challenge 1: Faster network development
  • Challenge 2: Greater heat flexibility
  • Challenge 3: Embedding resilience
  • Challenge 4: Accelerating towards net zero energy networks

This Call for Ideas is to identify potential solutions to these challenges which may develop into projects funded by the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) Round 4. Innovators have the opportunity to submit project ideas which are reviewed in a quick, easy and transparent manner.

As part of the review process, you may be invited to pitch your idea to the Energy Networks. Following pitching, the Energy Networks will choose relevant ideas to further development and innovators to potentially partner with on a SIF application.

The subsequent SIF programme funding opportunities are delivered over different phases:

  1. Discovery Phase: projects must last up to three months and have a total requested funding of no more than £150,000, exclusive of VAT.
  2. Alpha Phase: projects must last up to six months and have a total requested funding of no more than £500,000, exclusive of VAT.
  3. Beta Phase: projects must last up to five years and have a total requested funding of no more than £10 million, exclusive of VAT. Total costs and funding requests of more than this may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

In applying to this Call for Ideas competition, you are entering into a competitive process.

Any adoption and implementation of a solution from these funding opportunities would be subject to a separate, possibly competitive, procurement exercise.

Deadline for submissions is 5th June 2024 at 11am.

Your submitted proposals for this Call for Ideas, will be sent for consideration at 11am UK time on the deadline. We cannot guarantee other government or third party sites will always show the correct competition information.

Join an information webinar on Enabling a Robust Transition from Natural Gas for Net Zero or Achieving Affordable Clean Heat.

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