Successful Energy Innovation Centre projects take industry by storm

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Based in North West England, Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) is a company committed to developing and supporting innovative ideas that help industry partners from gas, electricity and renewables sectors overcome challenges faced during transition into a low-carbon future.

EIC has completed another successful year, brokering energy investments to the value of £3.2 million and welcoming the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) on board as an industry partner.

The latest investment figures take the total value of deals facilitated by EIC up to £15.7 million since its launch in 2008. The last 12 months has also seen the EIC grow its innovator community to over 1600 companies and extend its global reach by establishing connections with 110 new innovators from around the world including the USA, Israel, Canada, Russia, India, South Africa and Brazil.

The EIC is a partnership between the UK’s electricity and gas distribution networks and now the Energy Systems Catapult. Together they develop and deploy collaborative innovation opportunities that help to transform the UK’s energy system to benefit customers, industry and the supply chain.

One example of an innovation project is Futurewave, a cross-sector collaboration that will create an online platform to help customers find and install the best home and community energy solutions.

Across 2015/16, the EIC, backed by a core team including Northern Gas Networks, Wales & West Utilities, SGN, National Grid, SSE Power Distribution and SP Energy Networks, accessed £1.1m of energy industry NIA funding to progress Futurewave from concept to working prototype.

As the project moves into Phase 3, the priorities are to launch the go-to-market brand for the product – The Energy Loop – while testing consumers’ desire to use the platform.

The same time period has also seen the successful completion of Project Concur, an eight week feasibility study to explore opportunities for industry collaboration on customer data strategy. Led by the EIC and supported by seven gas and electricity networks, the project partners are currently discussing how best to take this forward into the new financial year.

Denise Massey, managing director of the Energy Innovation Centre, said: “The progress that has been achieved by the EIC partnership this year has been significant.

“Strengthening the processes and skills that we have within the team has enabled us to increase the impact of our operational activities, while the strategic collaborative innovation that we’ve instigated has generated added value for the industry and the regulator, Ofgem, by creating debate and tangible outputs that put customers at the heart of the energy distribution industry.

“The industry can be proud of what it has achieved through our partnership this year. Our performance puts us in a strong position as we move forward with our two-year growth strategy to become a self-sustaining entity.”

The EIC team, along with the energy networks, will be celebrating the successes of the last 12 months at the UK Energy Innovation Awards 2016 later today. The annual event showcases the best new technologies and innovations that are having a positive impact on the UK energy industry and benefiting energy customers.