UK innovators invited to help create net zero blueprint

Innovators from across the energy sector and wider are being invited to share ideas at a new event to help accelerate the development of solutions needed to deliver net zero.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) and Ofgem are calling on cutting edge innovators from the UK and beyond to join them at a new event which is taking place at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham on 28th February.

The Energy Innovation Basecamp is part of a future work programme to develop solutions and help build a Net Zero energy network by 2035.

Following the opening event,  innovators will work together to develop ideas for projects and submit them to an online portal. Those proposals will be presented to energy sector decision-makers with the very best selected for accelerated funding and delivery, through programmes such as the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) and the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).

At this opening event, large numbers of innovators will hear leaders from the energy industry lay out the challenges ahead. They will then have the chance to test their initial ideas and collaboratively shape ‘problem statements’ that will direct the future work programme. Innovators will then use insights from the day to develop solutions associated with the problem statements and submit them for review.

The programme is a collaboration between Ofgem, ENA and Innovate UK, alongside the UK’s energy network operators.

Dan Clarke, Head of Innovation at ENA, said: “The UK is an international hub for innovation and we want to draw on the tremendous creativity and originality of our most ambitious innovators to overcome these challenges – whatever sector they come from.

“We are looking for innovators from the worlds of business, the public sector, energy suppliers, energy generators, large energy users, consumer representative groups and the wider world to get involved.

“The event marks the start of the chance to create some truly bold blueprints – it doesn’t get more important or exciting than the projects that will emerge from these discussions.”

Akshay Kaul, Interim Director of Infrastructure and Security of Supply at Ofgem, said: “The path to Net Zero is the way out of our current reliance on expensive, imported, harmful fossil fuels. We are doing everything we can to enable the transition to a cleaner, greener energy system. That includes ensuring maximum innovation from the energy industry to get there.

“This programme is an exciting opportunity to gather together the most creative thinkers in the world of innovation and challenge them to solve some of the most pressing problems in the journey to Net Zero.”

Matt Hastings, Deputy Director of the Strategic Innovation Fund programme at Innovate UK, commented: “When it comes to Net Zero, we can’t fix the ‘what’ without fixing the ‘how’. This new problem-focused basecamp event is exactly that, a new type of ‘how’.

“It will identify and focus on high priority problems, so we can then develop the best ideas against those problems and take the most promising ideas into new products and services at speed and at scale. If the whole sector does this together, climate change becomes an opportunity not a threat.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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