A fund supporting innovative projects in the energy industry has bagged a £500,000 investment.
Innovate UK’s ‘Energy Game Changer fund’, which was announced last year, encourages smaller businesses to find new ways of solving some of the technical challenges in the industry.
The new contribution from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) takes the total amount of funding to £2 million.
While the project aims to support new entrants into all sectors of the energy industry, including oil, gas and nuclear, the NDA is particularly interested in technologies that could be applied to decommissioning challenges.
Experts from other fields, including defence, aerospace, automotive and telecommunications, are being urged to consider how their techniques could be applied to the sector.
Melanie Brownridge, Head of Technology at NDA said: “The UK is home to a number of world leading companies in a wide range of cutting-edge fields such as robotics and computer gaming. We want to harness this dynamic and creative thinking in order to address some of the long term challenges the nuclear decommissioning industry faces.
“Innovative solutions can mean that our decommissioning work is achieved more safely, sooner and at a lower cost for the taxpayer. We want to stimulate the development and adoption of novel and emerging and as alternatives to established technologies to improve the way we do things.”
The competition will open on 28th March. The funding will be allocated through a competitive process, with SMEs welcome to submit stand-alone project ideas or work collaboratively with partner organisations.
Last year the NDA said a breakthrough in nuclear waste storage could help the industry save “hundreds of millions of pounds”.
Innovation in the industry is claimed to be “absolutely fundamental” for the UK in meeting its 2050 targets.