Applicants for funding will need to focus on the design and development of energy-efficient hardware and software. The remit includes studies for large-scale systems relying on computer capacity as well as studies for small-scale systems such as mobile devices and embedded chips.

The feasibility projects must be undertaken by at least two partners, one of which may be an academic institution, but must be led by a business. The projects will last from six to 18 months and can gain funding of up to 75% with a maximum of a £100,000 grant for each project.

The competition is managed by innovation agency the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) working with the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

The TSB notes that in the past, computer and software design has focused on improved performance, but that now there is now a greater impetus towards energy-efficient systems.

“By devising more energy efficient computing devices and software, we can reduce the global energy burden of such systems and increase customer satisfaction by extending battery life, reducing device size and other measures,” the agency said.

The TSB uses the example of cloud computing data centres which it says currently consume 2% of global electricity consumption and are expected to reach 5% by 2020. The TSB claims that 50% of the energy consumption of these centres is from the devices and software that they run.

The competition opens on October 8 2012 and the deadline is December 5 2012.

Conor McGlone

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