Five SMEs working on innovative heating and cooling solutions have been selected by Energy Systems Catapult to receive tailored business incubation and acceleration support.
As the second intake to the Catapult's Innovator Support Platform (ISP), the five firms will receive specialist business support to help them commercialise or scale-up at speed.
The ISP combines its own advanced energy-focused tools, assets and capabilities with wider business support delivered by the Catapult's network of around 40 firms. The aim is to help innovators unlock new routes-to-market whilst breaking down barriers to growth.
A significant driver of carbon emissions and energy use within the UK is from heating systems used in both commercial and domestic applications. The focus of this latest cohort was around smart, digital, connected heating and cooling solutions which use data to deliver better comfort for consumers.
The Catapult consulted with industry to identify the innovation gaps for developing smart heating and cooling technologies. It then invited a shortlist of SMEs already working on relevant solutions to attend a two-day workshop and interview to assess their suitability for the programme.
The ISP received applications from across the UK, all of which were robustly evaluated by the ISP panel. Following the workshop and interview, five innovators were invited to take part:
- iPower - a social enterprise with the charitable object of promoting sustainability and addressing fuel poverty, iPower has developed a virtual power plant using a digital control system that wirelessly monitors and manages homes, businesses, energy generators and energy storage systems to help create a more stable, greener energy system.
- Logicor - an energy-focused R&D business, Logicor has developed an all-electric infrared heating system specially designed for use in homes that delivers comfort more efficiently than conventional radiators.
- Senergy - has developed lightweight yet strong polymer and nanomaterial solar thermal panels which can integrate seamlessly with commercial roofing systems to support a substantial element of a building's heat demand and can be integrated with a ground-source heat pump.
- Sunamp - developer of a chemical ‘heat battery' that can store energy when it's cheaper to produce and release it again when it's needed. It can be connected to a range of technologies, from gas boilers to renewables such as solar panels or heat pumps to deliver hot water and space heating.
- Ventive - has developed an intelligent ventilation system to deliver fresh air into buildings while reducing heat loss at minimal energy cost - called Passive Ventilation with Heat Recovery (PVHR).
The range of support being offered to the firms includes developing the customer offer, defining and strengthening their business model, product development, developing intellectual property strategies, gaining access to test and validation facilities, forming partnerships and helping to secure investment.
Paul Jordan, Innovator Support Business Lead at Energy Systems Catapult, said: "We were overwhelmed by the calibre of the businesses that approached us to work with the ISP, and whilst choosing the final shortlist was tough, we are really thrilled with the diverse mix of SMEs that have signed up to our programme.
"Energy Systems Catapult was set up to drive innovation in the energy sector and foster clean economic growth. Through the Innovator Support Platform, we wanted to give energy-focused SMEs with the potential to achieve high levels of growth and impact on the energy system the chance to benefit from our advanced range of tools, assets and capabilities, as well as our network of 40 firms who are on hand to provide wider support on a range of areas key to any growing business.
"Our team of highly experienced staff know the tough challenges that the sector poses for new entrants inside and out. They will work closely with these innovators to tailor our support to the unique needs of their business and put them in the best position possible to succeed.
"We look forward to working with the five SMEs and discovering how we can take them to the next level."