Funding competition IETF industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation studies

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £30 million for grants to carry out feasibility and engineering studies into energy efficiency and decarbonisation.

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Competition sections

Description

This Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF) competition is offering up to £30 million, split across 2 strands, to fund feasibility, engineering studies and deployment.

In this strand projects must undertake a feasibility or an engineering study (experimental development) to develop either an energy efficiency or a deep decarbonisation project that enables possible subsequent deployment.

In this strand, industrial businesses of any size can apply, either on their own or in collaboration with other organisations. The lead applicant must operate at an eligible site in England, Wales or Northern Ireland at which the study is carried out.

The other competition strand, IETF deployment of energy efficiency technologies in industry, will fund projects that deploy energy efficiency technology.

The IETF is a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) fund. Innovate UK is delivering this competition on behalf of BEIS, which is a joint sponsor. We will be sharing all data about your application and project with BEIS. BEIS may contact you to gather IETF evaluation information irrespective of whether your application is successful.

The competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

BEIS and Innovate UK will keep under review the impact of the current global disruption on applications to the competition.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

The total eligible project costs for experimental development (engineering studies) must be at least £100,000. For feasibility studies they must be at least £60,000.

Who can apply

State aid

Any business registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland claiming grant funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time we confirm you will be awarded funding. It is not possible to award grant funding to organisations meeting the condition known as undertakings in difficulty. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance on state aid.

Your project

Your project must:

  • have total eligible project costs of at least £60,000 and last up to 12 months if it is a feasibility study
  • have total eligible project costs of at least £100,000 and last up to 24 months if it is experimental development
  • start by 1 October 2021
  • end by 30 September 2023

Under state aid the maximum grant funding amount an organisation can receive is €7.5 million for feasibility studies for each project that it is involved with. For experimental development the maximum grant funding amount an organisation can receive is €15 million for each project that it is involved with. The currency conversion for this limitation will happen at the point of grant award.

If your study’s total eligible costs exceed £2 million, you must inform Innovate UK before submitting an application. This must be by email to support@innovateuk.ukri.org at least 15 working days before the competition closes. Include the technology area your study is focusing on and the total eligible costs you expect to apply for.

Your project must be carried out for a single manufacturing site or data centre in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. You may include multiple projects within your application, provided they are located at the same site. If you would like to run a similar project at additional sites you will need to submit one application for each site. A site is defined as the postcode, or multiple directly adjoining postcodes as relevant, at which the study takes place.

You must consent to producing a publishable case study for knowledge sharing during your project. It will be made publicly available so should not include any commercially sensitive information.

Lead organisation

To lead a project or work alone your organisation:

  • must be a business of any size registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • must operate at the manufacturing site or data centre in England, Wales or Norther Ireland where the study is carried out
  • can collaborate with other businesses, research organisations, research and technology organisation (RTO), academic institutions or public sector organisations which must all be registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • must carry out its project work in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • must intend to exploit the results in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • cannot be an undertaking in difficulty (see section on state aid)

Find out which definition your organisation falls into.

Academic institutions cannot lead or work alone.

This competition is aimed at specific types of business. These are determined by a code allocated at the time of registering at Companies House, called a standard industrial classification (SIC) code.
You will need to check your business SIC code to make sure you are eligible. For this competition your business must operate at one of these sites:

  • manufacturing 10 - 33 or
  • data centres 63110
(Text edit 29 July 2020: we have clarified wording to specify that your business must 'operate at' not ' be' one of these sites.)

A third party (for example, a consultancy or an energy service company) can prepare an application on behalf of the lead applicant. However, Innovate UK will not have a legal relationship with or pay money to a third party.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead your organisation must:

  • be a business of any size, a research organisation, a research and technology organisation (RTO), an academic institution or a public sector organisation
  • be registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • carry out its project work in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • intend to exploit the results in England, Wales or Northern Ireland

The lead must claim funding by entering their costs during the application. If the lead is collaborating with other organisations then the lead and at least one other partner must claim grant funding and enter their costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Partners must enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition and can be from anywhere in the world. We would expect subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs.

You must make sure they are sufficiently qualified for their role.

Resubmissions

You can use a resubmission to apply for this competition.

Funding

We have allocated up to £30 million to fund projects across 2 competition strands:

The majority of the funding will be used in the deployment strand.

This competition provides state aid funding under article 25, ‘Aid for research and development projects’, of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is your responsibility to make sure your organisation is eligible to receive state aid. You must not claim funding from any other state aid source for this project if this would result in the aid amount permitted by the GBER being exceeded.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

Research organisations

Any research organisations in your project team undertaking non-economic activity as part of the study can share up to 30% of the total eligible costs. If your project team contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them.

Feasibility studies

Under Article 25, the maximum grant funding amount an organisation can receive is €7.5 million for each project it is involved with.

For feasibility studies you could receive funding for your eligible costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

Experimental development (for an engineering study)

Under Article 25, the maximum grant funding amount an organisation can receive is €15 million for each project it is involved with.

For experimental development projects you could receive funding for your eligible costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

If your experimental development project qualifies as an ‘effective collaboration’ or widely disseminates knowledge, you could receive funding for your eligible costs of:

  • up to 60% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 40% if you are a large organisation

Read the definitions of different organisation sizes.

Effective collaboration and wide dissemination

We are expecting collaborative experimental development projects. ‘Effective collaboration' means collaboration between at least 2 independent parties. The goal must be either:

  • to exchange knowledge or technology

or

  • to achieve a common objective based on the division of labour where the parties jointly define the scope of the collaborative project, contribute to its implementation and share its risks, as well as its results

Contract research and provision of research services are not considered forms of collaboration.

For effective collaboration to apply between businesses no one business partner can take more than 70% of the total eligible project costs. For collaborations between businesses and research organisations, the research organisation must bear at least 10% of the total eligible project costs and have the right to publish its own research.

Your proposal

This strand of the competition aims to:

  • help industrial companies build a pipeline of future deployment projects by supporting feasibility and engineering studies (experimental development)
  • reduce the costs and risks of either industrial energy efficiency or decarbonisation technologies

Feasibility studies

If you are carrying out a feasibility study it must:

  • investigate technologies that improve the energy efficiency or reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of an industrial process
  • establish whether or not the potential technology is technically and commercially viable

Experimental development (engineering study)

Experimental development projects must be engineering studies. An engineering study is a detailed project plan that identifies specific technical requirements. The final report will be an overall document, summarising many separate studies carried out by different specialists. It is a structured, multi-disciplinary engineering design with the purpose of identifying key project design features and providing a project cost estimate.

Your project must provide sufficient detail to enable the site operator to make a final investment decision.

We expect your engineering study to show appropriate consideration of:

  • technical approach
  • carbon reduction and other benefits analysis
  • health and safety
  • planning and consenting
  • environmental impacts
  • economic analysis
  • project delivery requirements and scheduling
  • project risks

Portfolio approach

We are looking to fund a portfolio of projects.

The ‘portfolio approach’ is intended to make sure the IETF has a diverse set of projects balanced across the following variables:

  • geographical areas
  • technologies
  • industrial sectors
  • organisation types
  • project sizes

Monitoring, evaluation and knowledge sharing

You will be required to submit data throughout the project. IETF will use this to evaluate whether your project has achieved the benefits described in your proposal and has contributed to the overall objectives of the fund.

This information may be used to create and maintain a register of grant recipients and publishable project case studies. BEIS or Innovate UK may publish aggregated statistics on the benefits of the IETF.

Specific themes

Both feasibility studies and engineering studies must focus on one of the following.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency projects must support technologies that improve the energy efficiency of an industrial process or processes.

These must focus on deployment of technology that has been proven to work through successful operations and/or is qualified through test and demonstration.

You must follow the specific technical requirements.

Deep decarbonisation

Deep decarbonisation projects must result in a significant reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions of an industrial process and may not necessarily have an energy efficiency benefit.

These must focus on the deployment of technology that either:

  • has been proven to work through successful operations and/or is qualified through test and demonstration

or

  • is currently at a prototype stage or requires demonstration of an actual system prototype in an operational environment

You must follow the specific technical requirements.

Research categories

We will fund feasibility studies projects and experimental development projects, as defined in the general guidance.

Projects we will not fund

We are not funding:

  • repair and maintenance projects that would be undertaken in the normal course of business
  • plant closure projects
  • energy efficiency measures in transport, lighting, or building heating and cooling
  • electricity generation, such as solar, wind, combined heat and power without fuel switching
  • CO2 transportation and long term storage solutions
  • direct air capture technologies
  • option analysis or trade studies

14 July 2020
Online briefing event: Register now
20 July 2020
Online briefing event: Register now
20 July 2020
Competition opens
28 October 2020 11:00am
Competition closes
27 January 2021
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the guidance on technological scope before you start. Where this competition brief differs from the general guidance for applicants, this document takes precedence.

Innovate UK is unable to award grant funding to organisations meeting the condition known as undertakings in difficulty.

We recommend that you request an eligibility screening assessment as early as possible to gain an opinion on your likely eligibility for the competition. You can request an eligibility screening assessment by emailing Innovate UK at support@innovateuk.ukri.org. Type ‘Eligibility screening assessment request’ as your subject line of your email.

What we will ask you

The application is split into 3 sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances.

1. Project details

This section sets the scene for the assessors and is not scored. However, some aspects will be used to determine if your project is eligible and in scope.

Application team

Decide which organisations will work with you on the project. Invite people from those organisations to help complete the application.

Application details

The lead applicant must complete this section. Give your project’s title, start date and duration.

Research category

Select the type of research you will undertake.

Public description

Describe your project in detail, and in a way that you are happy to see published. Do not include any commercially sensitive information. If we award your project funding, we will publish this description. This could happen before you start your project.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Eligibility and scope

Please provide the following details to help us assess your eligibility:

  1. Your company’s standard industrial classification (SIC) code.
  2. Full address of the project investment site.
  3. Full address of your headquarters (if different from your company’s registered address).

Describe how your project fits the scope of the competition. We will also use this to assign experts to assess your application.

Please include how your proposed technology has:

  • been proven to work through successful operation

or

  • been qualified through test and demonstration

or

  • been demonstrated in an operation environment as a system prototype

Please confirm that the project would not have gone ahead in its current form without IETF funding. If your project would have gone ahead without this funding, it will be ineligible and will not be assessed.

If your project is not eligible and in scope, it will be rejected and will not be sent for assessment. We will give you feedback on why.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

Additional information

This information may be used for monitoring and evaluation. Tell us the size of each organisation acting economically in the project team.

Your answer can be up to 200 words long.

2. Application questions

Answers to these questions will be scored by the assessors. You will need to pass a minimum threshold for all questions except question 5. Written feedback will be provided.

Applications are assessed by up to 5 assessors. The assessors are experts from business, academia and/or the public sector. Applications are assessed against the same set of scoring criteria. All applications are assessed on individual merit.

After assessment, a proposed list of projects for funding will be reviewed by both BEIS-led and Innovate UK-led panels. The panels will submit a list of recommendations to BEIS ministers for a final decision. The decision will be based on your assessment score and the portfolio approach. It is possible that an application that received lower assessors’ scores may be recommended for funding over others in order to achieve a more balanced project portfolio.

Do not include any website addresses (URLs) in your answers.

Question 1. Study overview

What is the objective of this study? What are the resourcing requirements and delivery plan?

Describe or explain:

  • the aims of the study and the study delivery plan
  • the details of any partners and sub-contractors who you will need to work with to carry out the study successfully
  • the project work packages
  • the roles, skills and experience of key members of the team (company staff and contractors)
  • study risks and corresponding mitigating actions

Your answer to this question can be up to 800 words long. This question is worth 20 marks.

To support your answer you must submit, in a single appendix:

  • a project plan (Gantt chart)
  • a risk register

The appendix must be a PDF and can be up to 3 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 2. Technical feasibility

What potential solution to improve the energy efficiency or reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of your industrial process has been identified?

Describe or explain:

  • the overview of the technology (or technologies) to be explored
  • justification for choosing this technology (or technologies)
  • evidence of the concept being scientifically or technically feasible
  • the nature of the outputs you expect from the study, such as a feasibility study report, an engineering design (for example, front-end engineering design), a report producing engineering plans (for example, approved for design standard)
  • how you will deploy the technology

Your answer to this question can be up to 600 words long.

This question is worth 20 marks.

You can submit an appendix demonstrating where the chosen technology has been deployed in a similar or comparable operational environment. It must be a PDF and can up to 2 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 3. Potential for carbon savings

What potential is there that realistic carbon savings will be made by implementing the project explored through this study?

Describe and justify the predicted carbons savings (including an estimate of accuracy) the potential project will make (including carbon savings realised through increased energy efficiency).

You must provide predicted carbon savings in MtCO2e.

Your answer to this question can be up to 600 words long. The question is worth 25 marks.

You can submit one appendix to provide a case study of a similar project and evidence of carbon saving at another site. It must be a PDF and can be 1 A4 page long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 4. Costs and value for money

How much will the study cost and how does it represent value for money for the taxpayer?

(Text edit 29 July 2020: we have changed wording to the line above for clarity)

In terms of the study goals, describe or explain:

  • the total eligible study costs and the grant you are requesting
  • how each partner will finance their contributions to the study
  • how this study represents value for money
  • the balance of costs and grant across the partners
  • any sub-contractor costs and why they are critical to the study

Your answer to this question can be up to 600 words long. This question is worth 25 marks.

Question 5. Replicability for the sector

Describe the extent to which the technology to be explored though this study could be adopted by others in the sector or wider sectors.

Describe or explain:

  • how the study could be replicated by others in the sector
  • how the technology could be adopted in other sectors
  • any measures you intend to take to encourage the project to be replicated outside your organisation.

The answer can be up to 400 words long. This question is worth 10 marks.

3. Finances

Each organisation in your study must complete their own costs, organisational details and funding details. Academic institutions will need to complete and upload a Je-S form. For full details on the costs you can claim please see our project costs guidance.

Background and further information

Further support

If you need more information, email us at support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call the competition helpline on 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 11:30am and 2pm to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

If you want help to find a project partner, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network.

If your site is located in Scotland, please contact IETF@gov.scot for enquiries on matters of industrial energy efficiency or decarbonisation.

IETF

The UK Government announced £315 million of funding in the 2018 Autumn Budget. The funding is available over the period to 2024. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will manage the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, with £289 million to invest in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Scottish Government will administer £26 million for investment in Scotland and will publish its plans for the funding in due course.

This competition, worth up to £30 million, is the first phase of the IETF. The remaining budget will be invested to support industrial energy efficiency improvements, deep decarbonisation deployment and feasibility and engineering studies. The next phase of the IETF is due to be launched in 2021. For further details please see the Government response to the public consultation on the IETF webpage.

Interactions with other BEIS funds

The IETF sits alongside complementary government investment schemes delivering decarbonisation and cost savings. These include:

Potential IETF applicants for waste heat recovery projects should also consider applying to the IHRS. Please note the IHRS has a maximum grant per project of £1.5 million.

The IETF also sits alongside complementary non-investments schemes designed to increase energy efficiency in business and industry such as the Energy Technology List.

This is a list of energy efficient plant and machinery, such as boilers, electric motors, and refrigeration systems. For a product to be on the ETL, it must meet specific energy-saving or energy efficient criteria. BEIS annually reviews the technologies and products that qualify for inclusion.

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