Carbon Trust chosen to lead Government’s £9.2m industrial innovation platform

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has named the Carbon Trust as the overseer of a new £9.2m accelerator programme aimed at increasing the development of cost-efficient energy innovations.

The Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) was launched by BEIS in January in an attempt to leverage private sector investment into industry-specific solutions that were close to commercialisation and that could reduce energy costs across UK sectors.

The IEEA will be delivered over the next four years by the Carbon Trust, with support from engineering firm Jacobs and infrastructure company AMEC Foster Wheeler. It is believed that funding through the accelerator will unlock a further £11m in investment from the private sector to overcome commercial and technical challenges for innovations.

“The Government is investing millions of pounds in new technologies that can help increase energy efficiency, cut energy bills and meet our climate change targets in the most-cost effective way, minister of state for climate change and industry, Claire Perry said.

“This latest programme is a great example of how reducing emissions and growing our economy go hand-in-hand. It’s part of our Industrial Strategy which provides an ambitious long-term vision for the UK, building on our strengths as a country and supporting the competitiveness of businesses.”

The industrial sector accounts for around 17% of the UK’s total annual energy use and more than 20% of total carbon emissions. During the manufacturing process, up to 40% of this energy can be lost through inefficiencies in equipment and heat loss. The IEEA aims to address these issues by creating tailored incubation that supports start-ups through demonstrations of innovations.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has already claimed that the UK would welcome disruptive companies who could enter into markets and ensure that UK businesses didn’t stand still during a time of transformation.

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The Carbon Trust will run an open application process for the IEEA until January 2018, to drive interest in the initiative and engage with suitable start-ups. Industrial firms are encouraged to apply for collaborative projects with technology developers and a “fast track” option is available for incumbents already working with technology developers.

The Carbon Trust expects between 15 and 30 pilot projects to be selected for funding. At the end of a two-year pilot phase, results from projects will be included in sector guides to provide advice on improving energy efficiency.

“The global competitiveness of UK industry has never been higher on the agenda,” the Carbon Trust’s senior manager for innovation Al-Karim Govindji said. “We face a once in a lifetime opportunity to support the industrial strategy to safeguard and create jobs, develop innovative businesses and attract inward investment.

“For any technology developer, industrial process or plant, owners and operators want to ensure that investments are making a positive impact and driving profitability. Through the IEEA we will work collaboratively with trade associations, industry and technology providers to identify and demonstrate the best innovative opportunities for energy reduction.”

Alongside numerous certification standards that reward businesses for reducing environmental impacts, the Carbon Trust is involved with numerous projects aimed at supporting clean technologies.

The green business consultants partnered with the World Bank in support of its new Climate Business Innovation Network (CBIN) to help commercialise clean technologies across developing countries.

The organisation also struck a deal with World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation (IFC) to enhance productivity and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the livestock supply chain through numerous pilot projects.

Matt Mace

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