The UK Energy Innovation Awards, organised by the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), are an annual awards ceremony that showcase the latest and greatest technologies from the energy industry. This year over 300 of the movers, shakers and rising energy stars were out in force once again to applaud and honour those creating a positive impact.
Hosted at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate, guests gathered for the unveiling of the winners who are making a progressive impact on the UK energy industry and benefitting energy customers through their collaborative partnerships.
Dermot Nolan, Chief Executive of energy industry regulator Ofgem, said: “Over the last few years, the Energy Innovation Centre has grown from providing a gateway to SMEs to now delivering projects with a strategic view. The EIC fosters collaboration and partnerships across many stakeholders and it’s great to see the energy networks stepping up to the challenge with these projects. As an industry, we should be proud of how far we have come in our bid to embrace innovation.
“The UK Energy Innovation Awards are about celebrating the innovators but it is also very much a celebration of this open collaboration, the opportunities that it creates for customers, the supply chain and the industry itself.”
Following an opening speech from the evening’s compere, actor and comedian Hugh Dennis, John Morea, CEO at SGN said a few words before the winners were announced.
He said: “In their own way, each nomination highlights the remarkable transformation our industry has undergone and the role that SME innovators have played in this as we seek to provide even greater value for customers and embrace the innovation that the broader supply chain has to offer.”
One of the evening’s winners was Cyan Technology who took home the Best International Trade award. The company, which is based Cambridge, was commended for its work towards tackling a world-wide energy issue.
With over 300 million citizens in India alone without access to power, the need to address energy in emerging markets is growing. Cyan Technology is delivering smart technologies to enable utilities in emerging markets, specifically in dense urban environments, to control and measure energy consumption.
John Cronin, Executive Chairman of Cyan Technology, said: “We are thrilled to have won this prestigious award, which provides further validation of Cyan’s success in emerging markets.
“Cyan has designed its solutions specifically for next-generation economies and has established in-country partner ecosystems across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America, supporting the transfer of skills and experience to facilitate customer ownership and generate local wealth. It is fantastic to gain this recognition from the Energy Innovation Centre and we thank them very much.”
Another SME recognised for its collaborative work with an energy network was Slough based, Industrial Noise and Vibration Centre (INVC) who won the Environmental Impact Award.
Peter Wilson, Technical Director at INVC, said: “As a small, specialist engineering noise and vibration consultancy, it can be difficult to spread the word about technical advances amongst organisations that can make best use of them. Winning this award will provide us with a high profile platform that both showcases our advances in noise control and gives more companies immediate access to the benefits of the latest innovations in the field.”
Another winner on the night was the University of Manchester which has developed ‘Acoustek’, an innovative technology that uses acoustics to detect and locate leakages and blockages within the gas network. This technology has the potential to reduce the number of disruptive excavations, saving time and money.
Professor Barry Lennox, Leader of the Acoustek Research Group, said: “The work we have been doing with the gas distribution operators and managed by the Energy Innovation Centre has been really successful. By being part of the Energy Innovation Centre’s awards programme, we should secure the right support to see our technology have a thorough evaluation around the UK’s gas distribution network over the next two-years.”
Denise Massey, Managing Director at EIC, closed the ceremony. She said: “Our future, and that of our children, is an energy system that has customers at its centre and puts them in control of their energy.
“Creating this future energy system is not the responsibility of the networks alone and there’s no blue print on how we will get there. But as the major players in our sector we have an obligation to facilitate others from beyond our sector and borders to collaborate with us, and create a movement that will take us towards that consumer centric future.
“As we’ve heard tonight, the shared opportunities that are created through network collaboration with SME innovators offer huge potential and will, ultimately, help us to accelerate the change that we need to achieve.”