Innovation call targets generation-next energy inventors

Four of the UK’s leading energy firms are opening their doors to inventors who have ideas to make power networks more efficient. The quartet ­- CE Electric UK, Electricity North […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Four of the UK’s leading energy firms are opening their doors to inventors who have ideas to make power networks more efficient.

The quartet ­- CE Electric UK, Electricity North West, ScottishPower Energy Networks and Scottish & Southern Energy – are backing the Call for Energy Innovators 2010, a scheme which aims to link ‘know-how with know-whom’ by offering funding and product testing support.

The scheme is run by Cheshire-based Energy Innovation Centre, a specialist business incubator dedicated to fostering innovation and accelerating cutting-edge energy products to the marketplace.

Clive Deadman, chairman of the Energy Innovation Centre’s Investment Forum, predicts the emerging market for innovative energy-related products and services will be worth over £1bn per year in the UK alone by 2016.

Energy Innovation Centre director Denise Massey said: “The message is clear. If you’ve developed a new piece of equipment which may be used in the power networks or have worked in the sector and spotted an opportunity, we want to hear from you. The Call for Energy Innovators 2010 is a great opportunity for innovators to get their ideas before the decision makers and make a real difference to future energy provision in the UK and beyond.”

The scheme is open to both early stage development and existing technologies with the potential for deployment within the energy industry.

It could even be a technology which is already operational in another industry, such as telecoms or retail.

Lawrence Fletcher, head of performance and innovation for CE Electric UK, said: “The Call for Energy Innovators 2010 is a great way to link know-how with know-whom. It provides an excellent platform in which innovators or SMEs can bring their innovations, possibly from outside the traditional boundaries of the electricity distribution industry, to fruition.”

Mark Mathieson, director of power systems at Scottish & Southern Energy said: “Innovation will be key to tackling the impact on our infrastructure from the low carbon agenda.” He added that he hoped the scheme would overcome the difficulties of “marrying innovators to end users”.

For more information about Call for Energy Innovators 2010 visit www.energyinnovationcentre.com