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Energy Entrepreneurs’ Fund re-opens for applications

On 4 February Energy Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, announced the latest round of the Energy Entrepreneurs’ Fund (EEF).

Key announcements:

  • £11m of capital grant funding to be shared between 15 and 20 projects, with each successful bidder receiving up to £1m
  • Aims to assist small and medium-sized enterprises, including start-ups companies
  • Support for the development and demonstration of state of the art technologies, products and processes in the areas of energy efficiency, power generation, heat generation and energy storage
  • Successful applicants will receive acceleration support alongside their project delivery
  • This is the 8th phase of the fund
  • The programme is funded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s £1bn net zero innovation portfolio

Eligibility

Eligibility criteria are laid out in the guidance material at link these criteria include:

Project To be at technology readiness level (TRL) 3 or above (critical function or proof of concept established).
Research category Must fall within the definitions of industrial research, feasibility study or experimental development
Match funding Before the grant letter is issued, the applicant will need to demonstrate a credible plan to raise the match funding required for the whole lifetime of the project
Project location Over 50% of the project’s activities must be conducted in the UK
Proposal to demonstrate •       Improved performance characteristics over existing technologies or products

•       Novel component technologies that can be implemented in existing systems to deliver improved performance or reduced costs of the system

•       Products, processes or technologies that can reduce the cost of installation or maintenance of existing systems

Types of technology “May include, but not be limited to, those listed in Table 2” of the guidance.  table 2 has two broad categories of technology areas (energy efficiency and building technologies and power generation and energy storage) with examples – link page 19/59
Project duration 36 months: All grants will end no later than 31st March 2024
Applicants unsuccessful in previous rounds Applicants are only permitted to apply for the same technology development project twice
Successful applicants to previous rounds May apply for funding for additional activities or new projects under this phase. This work must extend the scope of the previous work to new applications or processes
Applicant •       All SMEs

•       Other private sector organisations irrespective of size

•       Collaborative proposals

•       Research organisations as defined below. It is expected that these will be part of a collaborative proposal, preferably with a SME partner

Funding levels

Grant intervention rates depend on projects research category, size and type of applicant (5.2 of Guidance).  There is a special category of “Small Innovative Start-Up” with different intervention rates (5.1).

Maximum intervention rate is 90%; minimum is 25%.

Acceleration support

Specialist advisers will be assigned by BEIS to support the company in the development of the appropriate knowledge and skills.

This may include but will not be limited to services such as:

  • Market research, segmentation and validation of market requirements
  • Assistance to determine route to market and engaging industrial partners
  • Intellectual property advice
  • Evaluating alternative commercial strategies and support with business planning
  • Investment readiness/fund raising support

Key dates

Expressions of interest are required by 12pm on 26th February 2021.

The deadline for applications is 12pm on 30th March 2021.

(There is also an applicant information presentation on Friday 12 February 2021 – see link below for how to get an invitation)

Next steps

Detailed guidance can be found via Gov.UK webpage for this phase 8A of Energy Entrepreneurs Fund.

PKF Francis Clark

As always with grants for R&D, potential applicants would do well to consider the interaction with R&D Tax Credits and this is an area where our innovation and technology tax group can assist.

FEATURING: Richard Wadman
Richard qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 1993. Since 2006 he has worked in Corporate Finance, firstly with the predecessor firm in Truro… read more
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