12/02/2014 | Gary Hartley | Green strategy and politics, Local and community energy, Energy and water efficiency at home | CHEST, digital, Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, energy ideas, European Commission, funding, green technology, green-tech, innovation, R&D
It’s hard to make a breakthrough in any field – it requires good ideas, good execution, and finance. Of those elements, a limited amount of working capital can be the most likely to frustrate ambitions. This is no different in the field of green technology. With this in mind, here’s a nudge in the direction of two sources of funding open for entries right now.
First up, the government-backed Energy Entrepreneurs Fund: £25 million has already been awarded under this scheme, and it’s now the last chance saloon for energy innovators, with the remaining £10 million to be distributed to the best of those who apply right now.
It’s a funding programme that expressly states a remit to support small and medium-sized enterprises, and this is promising for those outside the big energy infrastructure giants. Up to £2 million can be granted for an individual project if it fits criteria including commercial viability and potential to have an impact in assisting efforts to hit the 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction targets. The dates are tight though – expressions of interest need to be made by next Monday (17 February). Read application details.
A smaller, but still significant, funding pot is available through the European Commission’s CHEST (Collective Enhanced Environment for Social Tasks) scheme. It has an explicitly digital focus, and is not solely about sustainability – other humanitarian ideas are in the mix for funding too. This is perhaps not one for the community-focused digital experts, as ideas have to be applicable at European level. That said, digital inventions generally offer greater opportunity to take something small and quickly scale it up, so perhaps a quick shift of focus can involve locally-grown ideas.
CHEST has graduated funding available in three rounds from a ‘call for ideas’ to a working prototype. There is a slightly longer lead-time here, but not much more: the deadline is 30 April.
Good luck to all those preparing their green ideas for these or any other bids.