West Midlands looks to innovators to help its drive to net zero

A business accelerator programme has selected 18 SMEs to help the West Midlands become a leader in developing net zero energy systems.

On 24 October, the Energy Systems Catapult set out how the aim of the “Innovator Challenge” is for some of the UK’s most innovative SMEs to develop and commercialise products and services with the West Midlands to enable the integration of low carbon solutions within urban buildings and commercial estates, or by optimising energy networks that supply the region’s industry.

The 18 SMEs will be granted access to a range of advanced energy system expertise and specialist business support to help innovators unlock new routes-to-market, secure investment and tackle barriers to growth. Some of the innovations include zero carbon domestic, commercial or industrial heating solutions; leveraging data from end users, infrastructure and networks to create new services and business models to accelerate the net zero transition; and Grid Scale Battery Energy Storage to mitigate constraints points for renewable connections.

The Innovator Challenge is being led by the Catapult’s Energy Launchpad, together with EIT Climate-KIC and supported by Energy Capital, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority. Members of the advisory board will help to introduce SMEs to potential partners working on projects across the West Midlands, including those in Energy Innovation Zones, which were established to support the commercialisation of low carbon solutions to address the key challenges of the call: integration; heat and fuel poverty; and alternative transport solutions.

Energy Systems Catapult