New call for SMEs to take part in energy storage innovation programme

An exciting opportunity for energy storage innovators in North-West Europe to develop their energy storage technologies has now opened.

The Faraday Institution, based at Harwell Campus and Cambridge Cleantech are leading the UK’s delivery of a European programme – called STEPS – which aims to strengthen the competitiveness of businesses in North-West Europe who provide innovative energy storage solutions.

The STEPS Business Support Programme hopes to accelerate the sustainable energy transition on both a local and global scale by working with small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to take their solutions from the test stage to market ready.

Two UK testbeds at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus and at Allia Future Business Centre will allow businesses the opportunity to demonstrate new technologies putting them on the journey to bring innovative energy storage products to market.

Ian Ellerington, Head of Technology Transfer at the Faraday Institution, said: “We welcome the opportunity to assist growing businesses to realise their commercial ambitions. Our links into the UK’s battery research and innovation network and base at Harwell Campus means we are well placed to provide technical advice to businesses innovating in e-storage and help supercharge their route to market.

“We are looking forward to the second cohort of SMEs joining the scheme and joining the eight SMEs across five countries that we’re already working with on the programme.”

Emma Southwell-Sander from STFC and Manager of the EnergyTec Cluster at Harwell Campus, said: We’re looking forward to supporting start-ups and small businesses by providing facilities and resources to test validate and expedite their energy storage innovations. Harwell operates a Net Zero Living Laboratory Strategy and together with the expertise of the world-renowned Faraday Institution we’re hoping that the we can take concepts from incubation to commercialisation and revolutionise the UK’s battery capabilities.”

SMEs developing energy storage solutions can apply for the call starting the 25th of May 2021.

Energy storage (e-storage) innovators in NWE face significant challenges in getting their solutions to the market, particularly when looking for opportunities to test their technology with real end-users. This can leave their development in a state of inertia. However, SMEs working to build a cleaner, more sustainable future should be given the tools they need to succeed and accelerate the green transition. That’s why the STEPS Business Support Programme is offering support to e-storage SMEs.

The programme combines business support and knowledge partners from Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom to strengthen the competitiveness of innovative e-storage solution providers in the NWE region. A wide variety of roughly 20 testbed locations available through STEPS, allowing SMEs to bring their products closer to the market through tailored, real-life testing. With 10 partners specialised in a variety of e-storage areas – from technology to business expertise – the STEPS consortium provides a user-centric, demand-driven approach to developing e-storage solutions.

Knowledge and business partners will advise e-storage SMEs on entering new markets in NWE, engage with potential end-users, and increase the awareness of solution providers. Going further, STEPS will connect providers of new e-storage solutions with end-users via a business support programme to increase their technological readiness level (TRL) through real-life testing.

Image: courtesy Harwell Campus

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