Funding competition IETF energy efficiency and decarbonisation studies, Spring 2021

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £40 million to carry out feasibility and engineering studies into energy efficiency and decarbonisation technologies for industrial processes.

This competition has not yet opened.

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Competition sections

Description

This competition aims to support feasibility and engineering studies necessary to enable an investment decision in energy efficiency and deep decarbonisation solutions. This is the second round of the IETF Phase 1 competition.

IETF will award up to £40 million across 2 strands. These are:

In this strand, you must be an industrial businesses of any size to apply. You can apply on your own or in collaboration with other organisations. Your project must take place at a manufacturing site or data centre in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and be led by the operator of that site.

The other competition strand, IETF deployment of energy efficiency technologies, Spring 2021, 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 part of this competition on behalf of BEIS, which is a joint sponsor. Following the assessment of applications, the awarding, contracting, and monitoring of projects will be delivered by BEIS.

In applying to this competition you are entering into a competitive process. Te competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Funding type

Grant

Project size

The total eligible project costs for a feasibility study must be at least £30,000 and for an engineering study must be at least £50,000. Please refer to the funding section for rules on how much grant funding your organisation can claim.

Who can apply

Your project

Your project must:

  • start by 01 July 2022
  • end by 30 June 2024
  • up to 12 months if it is a feasibility study
  • up to 24 months if it is an engineering study

The end-beneficiary of the study must be a single manufacturing site or data centre in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

You can include multiple projects within your application but you must make sure:

  • all projects are located at the same eligible site
  • all individual elements are eligible

If you are submitting multiple studies, we will assess your application as a single submission.

If you want to apply to conduct studies across different sites, you will need to submit one application for each site.

Commitment to knowledge sharing

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

Lead organisation

This competition is aimed at businesses that use energy or produce direct emissions as a result of their industrial processes. Industrial processes here refer to a set of economic activities as defined by the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). Businesses are allocated a SIC code at the time of registering at Companies House. You will need to check your business SIC code to make sure you are eligible.
For this competition your business must fall into the following categories of activity:

  • manufacturing 10(000) through to 33(200)
  • data centres 63(110)

If you are a parent company with a SIC Code which does not reflect the activity carried out at the site of the proposed project, please email ietf@innovateuk.ukri.org with your organisation’s details, project locations and a brief outline of your project. An example of this would be where a data centre is owned by a telecoms company.

We will work with you to establish whether the activity at the site is eligible for this competition.

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must also:

  • be a registered business of any size in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • be the manufacturer or data centre operator at the site that is the focus, and end-beneficiary of the study.

A site is defined as the postcode, or multiple directly adjoining postcodes at which the project takes place.

The lead applicant must be the owner of the industrial process or data centre operator. A third party (for example, a consultancy or an energy service company) can prepare an application on behalf of the lead applicant. However, BEIS will not have a legal relationship with or pay money to a third party.

The competition is targeted at technologies that will reduce the onsite energy use or emissions generated by industrial processes or datacentres. In some cases, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) equipment integral to the process may be owned by a separate entity or may not be co-located on the immediate site. Studies investigating eligible fuel switches for CHP plants will be considered in scope provided that at least 70% of both the heat output and electricity output produced by the CHP Plant is used for an eligible process by the lead applicant or consortium. The lead applicant must in this case be an eligible end-user, and the CHP operator must be a collaborating partner on the project.

Project team

Lead organisations can collaborate with other organisations provided the project partners meet the criteria below.

To collaborate with the lead your organisation must:

  • be a business of any size, a research organisation, a research and technology organisation , an academic institution or a public sector organisation. You must read the Supplementary Grant Award Guidance to find out which definition your organisation falls into.
  • be registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • carry out its project work 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 businesses registered in Scotland or outside the UK

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in question 5 for why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must also provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you.

We expect all subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

Applications which are successful at the assessment stage will undergo due diligence. Applicants must be willing to dedicate sufficient resource to assist us in completing this process. Further information can be found in the Supplementary Grant Award Guidance.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application from the first window of the IETF to apply for this competition. This took place in the Summer 2020. Some application questions have changed, you must make sure that you are eligible, your proposal is in scope and the questions are answered in full.

Subsidy control (and state aid where applicable)

This competition provides funding in line with the UK's obligations and commitments to Subsidy Control. Further information about the UK Subsidy Control requirements can be found within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement and the subsequent guidance from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

IETF is unable to award grant funding to organisations that are considered to be in financial difficulty. Please see the Supplementary Grant Award Guidance for more information. We will conduct financial viability and eligibility tests to confirm this is not the case following the application stage.

European Commission State aid

You must apply under European Commission State aid rules if you are an applicant who is conducting activities that will affect trade of goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU as envisaged by Article 10 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

In certain limited circumstances, the European Commission State aid rules may also apply if you are an organisation located in England, Wales, or Scotland and conduct activities that affect the trade of goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU. For further information, please see section 7 of the BEIS technical guidance.

For further information see Supplementary Grant Award Guidance and BEIS guidance on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

For applicants subject to the European Commission State aid rules, applicants will be required to prove that they were not an “Undertaking in Difficulty” on the date of 31 December 2019 but became a UID between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2021. We will ask for evidence of this.

Further Information

If you are unsure about your obligations under the UK Subsidy Control regime or the State aid rules, please take independent legal advice.

You must make sure at all times that the funding awarded to you is compliant with all current Subsidy Control legislation applicable in the United Kingdom.

This aims to regulate any advantage granted by a public sector body which threatens to or actually distorts competition in the United Kingdom or any other country or countries.

If there are any changes to the above requirements that mean we need to change the terms of this competition, we will tell you as soon as possible.

Funding

Total funding available

We have allocated up to £40 million to fund projects across 2 competition strands:

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

Grant funding thresholds

The total eligible project costs for a feasibility study application must be at least £30,000. The maximum grant that can be awarded for a feasibility study is £7 million.

The total eligible project costs for an engineering study application must be at least £50,000. The maximum grant that can be awarded for an engineering study is £14 million

You should consider whether your application falls within these thresholds by estimating how much of the total project cost you can claim based on the rules outlined in the Funding section of this competition. If you are unsure, please email ietf@innovateuk.ukri.org for further information about your eligibility.

We will assess your application in terms of its value for money You must only apply for the minimum amount of grant to enable the project to go ahead.

Eligible costs

This competition provides grant funding towards the cost of the project. Industry must also contribute funding. It is your responsibility to make sure your organisation is eligible to receive government support. You must not claim funding from any other source for the same set of eligible costs. This would constitute duplicate funding.

Each project partner can claim for their share of the project costs. The maximum grant value that each partner can claim is determined by the rules below. 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.

Please refer to the Supplementary Grant Award Guidance . If you are unsure about the funding rules of this competition, please contact Innovate UK or take legal advice.

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

The maximum grant funding amount an organisation can receive is £7 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

Engineering studies

The maximum grant funding amount an organisation can receive is £14 million for each project it is involved with.

For engineering studies 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 engineering study 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

For further information please see the Supplementary Grant Award Guidance.

For organisations based in the England and Wales you must refer to the company accounts guidance for definitions of different organisation sizes.

For projects based in Northern Ireland, please read the definitions of different organisation sizes.

Effective collaboration and wide dissemination

We are expecting collaborative efforts on engineering studies. ‘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
  • reduce the costs and risks of either industrial energy efficiency or decarbonisation technologies

The intention is to support studies necessary to facilitate the permanent installation of technologies at industrial sites, rather than general research, development, and testing of a technology solution. Studies must explore an eligible technology, see Specific Themes section for details. Technology developers are not eligible to apply as lead applicants.

Feasibility studies

A feasibility study aims to investigate a chosen technological solution and the technical, economic and operational impacts that this technology would have if it was to be deployed to the process in the future.

Applicants carrying out a feasibility study of technologies associated with energy efficiency should aim to demonstrate the economic case for the technology and associated emissions reductions, while ensuring that the technological barriers are identified and are manageable.

For deep decarbonisation feasibility studies, applicants should demonstrate that the technology is sufficiently well-developed and feasible to be used in the process, while increasing understanding of the economic impacts that deploying the solution will have on the process. Feasibility studies should not be carried out as part of an options analysis, as a single technology should have been already identified prior to the study.

If you are carrying out a feasibility study it must:

  • investigate a defined technology solution that meets the eligibility criteria of the fund. Technologies must improve the energy efficiency, reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of an industrial process or achieve both
  • establish whether or not the potential technology is technically and commercially viable at the lead applicant’s site
  • enable the applicant to reach a conclusion on whether further development of the proposed technology solution is cost-effective, with the aim of eventually deploying the technology permanently
  • in the case of energy efficiency, focus on determining the costs and benefits of the scheme, alongside how it would perform with regards to the existing process (including any potential impacts on operability, environmental benefits and scheduling of the plant)
  • in the case of deep decarbonisation studies, focus on the technical barriers associated with deploying this technology and any specific barriers to deployment within this process, in addition to an assessment of the economic impacts of deploying this solution

Engineering study

An engineering study is a detailed project plan that identifies specific technical and operational requirements, equivalent to a Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study. The output of an engineering study is expected to be a full project plan, incorporating all of the information required to fully understand a project and to allow the project to be at a state where a final investment decision can be made.

Your project must provide sufficient detail to arrive at an investment decision at the end of the engineering study, with key technical and project scheduling work already complete, including indication of full confidence that the project is ready to be delivered on receipt of internal approval.

We expect your engineering study to show appropriate consideration of:

  • technical approach including performance and commissioning and acquisition of materials, expertise etc.
  • carbon reduction and other benefits analysis
  • health and safety, and permitting
  • planning and consent
  • environmental impacts
  • economic analysis and forecasting
  • project delivery requirements and scheduling including identified contractors
  • project risks and risk management strategy

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, tailored to meet the fund’s objectives, balanced across the following variables:

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

Monitoring, evaluation and knowledge sharing

You must submit data throughout the duration of the project.

BEIS will use this to:

  • check that payment milestones have been met
  • evaluate your project to see it has achieved the benefits described in your proposal
  • make sure that your project has contributed to the overall objectives of the Industrial Energy Technology 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 studies must investigate technologies that improve the energy efficiency of an industrial process or processes on the identified site. These technologies will be primarily focussed on reducing the energy requirements of existing processes on site. Eligible technologies must have been proven to work through successful operation on existing processes and/or be qualified through test and demonstration. This corresponds to Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) of 8, 9 and above.

See the supplementary Technological Scope for Energy Efficiency Studies and Deployment Projects guidance for further details, including a description of TRLs. Examples of eligible technologies include but are not limited to: improved process control, more efficient equipment, waste heat and energy recovery.

Deep decarbonisation

Deep decarbonisation studies must investigate technologies that will result in a significant reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions of an industrial process or processes on the identified site, focussing specifically on reducing the carbon content of any energy used on site. These technologies will not necessarily have an energy efficiency benefit.

We recognise that decarbonisation technologies may be less developed in commercial settings, and will therefore support technologies at 7, 8, 9 and above. This means that the technology must either:

  • have 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

See the supplementary Technological Scope for Decarbonisation Studies guidance for further details, including a description of TRLs. Examples of eligible technologies include but are not limited to: adaptations to switch to lower carbon fuels, electrification, carbon capture and usage.

Research categories

We will fund feasibility studies and engineering studies, as defined in the “your proposal” section.

Projects we will not fund

Through this strand of the competition, we are not funding:

  • option analysis or trade studies
  • repair and maintenance projects that would be undertaken in the normal course of business
  • plant closure projects
  • new build plant or expansions

Energy efficiency measures cannot include:

  • energy efficiency measures that are not integral to the industrial process, including:
- building lighting
- space heating and cooling for buildings where not integral to the industrial process on or off-site transport

  • electricity generation, including the installation of new renewable projects like solar panels or wind turbines
  • combined Heat and Power without fuel switching

Decarbonisation measures cannot include:

  • off-site work related to the wider enabling infrastructures necessary for:

- transportation and long term CO2 storage solutions

- supply of hydrogen to the site

  • direct air capture technologies
  • switches to fuels more carbon intensive than the gas grid, including fuels that possess equal carbon intensity to grid gas but incur additional emissions during transportation from source to industrial site where the fuel is being used. Note specific restrictions on biomass in the Technological Scope for Decarbonisation Studies guidance
8 March 2021
Competition opens
11 March 2021
Online briefing event
8 June 2021
Online briefing event
14 July 2021 11:00am
Competition closes
30 November 2021
Applicants notified

Before you start

You must read the guidance on technological scope and the Supplementary Grant Award Guidance before you start..

We encourage you to request an eligibility screening assessment as early as possible. This can be a valuable opportunity to get an opinion on your eligibility for the competition.

You can request an eligibility screening assessment by emailing Innovate UK at ietf@innovateuk.ukri.org. Type ‘Eligibility screening assessment request’ as your subject line of your email.

If you want help to find a project partner or for general advice on developing and improving your application, contact Jenni McDonnell, jenni.mcdonnell@ktn-uk.org, at the Knowledge Transfer Network.

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.

Public description

Describe your study in detail, and in a way that you are happy to see published. Do not include any commercially sensitive information. If your application aggregates multiple studies describe the overall package and its key features. If we award your study 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:

  • Your company’s standard industrial classification (SIC) code and industrial activity at the site of the application if different.
  • Full address of the project investment site.
  • Full address of your headquarters (if different from your company’s registered address).
  • 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.

Your answer can be up to 200 words long

Please provide the following details to help us assess whether your proposal fits the scope of the competition. If your application includes multiple projects, please provide sufficient detail for assessors to understand the distinct projects. We will also use this to assign experts to assess your application.

  • Explain how your study fits the scope of the competition, including whether the proposal is a feasibility or engineering study (or combination), and whether the technology solutions considered are focussed on energy efficiency or decarbonisation solutions (or a combination).
  • 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
  • What is the Technology Readiness Level of the technology investigated in the study?
  • If a CHP fuel switching study, please confirm that the lead applicant or consortia use at least 70% of both the end heat and power output.

See the supplementary technological scope guidance on energy efficiency and decarbonisation for further details, including a description of TRLs.


For further details, including a description of TRLs, please read the supplementary Technological Scope for Energy Efficiency Studies and Deployment Projects guidance or the Technological Scope for Decarbonisation Studies guidance, depending on the type of study.

Your answer can be up to 400 words long

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.

Additional information

This information may be used for monitoring and evaluation.

Provide details of:

  • the size of each organisation acting economically in the project team. Please refer to the Funding section for further information.

Describe or explain:

Your answer can be up to 400 words long.

2. Application questions

Answers to these questions will be scored by the assessors. You will need to pass a minimum quality threshold for all questions in order to receive funding. 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. 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. The decision will be based on your assessment score and the portfolio approach.

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

Question 1: Equality, diversity and inclusion (not scored)

We collect and report on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) data to address under-representation in business innovation and ensure equality, diversity and inclusion across all our activities.

You must complete this EDI survey and type ‘EDI survey completed’ within your answer. The survey will ask you questions on your gender, age, ethnicity and disability status. You will always have the option to ‘prefer not to say’ if you do not feel comfortable sharing this information.

Question 2. 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 mitigation 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, no larger than 10MB in size and can be up to 3 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 3. 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
  • current development status of the technology
  • 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, no larger than 10MB in size and can up to 2 A4 pages long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 4. Potential for carbon and/or energy savings

Describe and justify the anticipated benefits of the project or projects explored through the study, including predicted carbon savings and/or energy savings.

Please describe and explain the following:

  • What potential is there that realistic carbon savings and/or energy savings will be achieved by implementing the project explored through this study?
  • why this technology solution or solutions were chosen and why other options were discounted
  • how the solution or solutions are aligned with the government’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050 and your own decarbonisation plans
  • how this project goes above and beyond your existing energy and carbon reduction commitments (such as Climate Change Agreements)

You must provide predicted carbon savings in tCO2e, and expected changes to energy use in MWh. If the project would save energy, please also include the predicted fuel bill savings in £. Estimates must be in relation to a counterfactual scenario (e.g. what would happen if the identified project were not deployed). If your level of output would change as a result of the project, please also provide details of this and how it has informed the estimates.

We understand that until the study is complete there will be uncertainty around these estimates. If possible, please include a range around a central estimate and identify any key assumptions or data sources.

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 and/or energy savings at another site. It must be a PDF, no larger than 10MB in size and can be 1 A4 page long. The font must be legible at 100% zoom.

Question 5. Study cost and value for money

How much will the study cost and how have you minimised this to ensure that it provides the best possible value for money for the taxpayer?

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
  • the steps you have taken to minimise these costs to ensure that this study represents value for money for the government
  • 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 10 marks.

Question 6. Added value

What would have happened to the project without IETF funding?

Describe or explain:

  • the extent to which any of the study would have still occurred (e.g. would it not have gone ahead at all, or would it still have gone ahead but at a smaller scale?)
  • why some or none of the study would have gone ahead without public funding
  • why you are not able to wholly fund the study from your own resources or other forms of private-sector funding (such as loans)

Your answer can be up to 400 words long. The question is worth 15 marks.

Question 7. 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 Supplementary Grant Award Guidance.

Background and further information

Data sharing

We will be sharing all data about your application and project with BEIS. BEIS may contact you to obtain further information about your proposal and gather IETF evaluation information irrespective of whether your application is successful.

Further Information

The IETF is open to sites in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. To find out more information about the IETF or the application process email us at ietf@innovateuk.ukri.org.

Please note that eligibility check requests should be directed to the email service. You must include “Eligibility screening service” in your email title if you would like to check the eligibility status of your application, you will be asked to provide further details to aid with this request.

If your site is located in Scotland, you will have the opportunity to apply for the Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (SIETF). Please find further details about the SIETF on the Scottish Government webpage or contact IETF@gov.scot.

Help with your application

If you need more information about how to apply email support@innovateuk.ukri.org or call 0300 321 4357.

Our phone lines are open from 9am to 11:30am and 2pm to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Innovate UK is committed to making support for applicants accessible to everyone.

We can provide help for applicants who face barriers when making an application. This might be as a result of a disability, neurodiversity or anything else that makes it difficult to use our services. We can also give help and make other reasonable adjustments for you if your application is successful.

If you think you need more support, it is important that you contact our Customer Support Service as early as possible during your application process. You should aim to contact us no later than 10 working days before the competition closing date.


Application advice service

If you want help to find a project partner or for general advice on developing and improving your application, contact Jenni McDonnell, jenni.mcdonnell@ktn-uk.org, at the Knowledge Transfer Network.


If you have enquiries please make use of the services above. You are advised to do so as early as possible since these services may be busier as the competition approaches its close date.

Industrial Energy Transformation Fund

The UK Government announced £315 million of funding in the 2018 Autumn Budget. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and its delivery partners will manage the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, with £289 million to invest in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In September 2020, the Scottish Government announced that it will deliver the remaining funding, contributing to a total budget of £34 million over the next 5 years for the Scottish Industrial Energy Transformation Fund.

The IETF, is managed by BEIS and delivered in partnership with IUK, is now in its second round. Industry can bid for a share of up to £40 million budget.

The remaining budget will be allocated in future windows to support feasibility and engineering studies, and the deployment of energy efficiency and deep decarbonisation technologies. The next phase of the IETF will launch later in 2021. For further details please see the Government response to the public consultation on the IETF webpage.

Interactions with other BEIS funds

Recognising the scale of the challenge in decarbonising UK industrial sectors, BEIS currently offers a mix of subsidies, taxes, policy exemptions, and funding schemes to support industry to decarbonise and reduce energy bills.

We will fund studies necessary to support the commercial demonstration and permanent deployment of technologies, including those that have been developed through innovation schemes such as the BEIS led Energy Innovation Programme, including

  • the Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator which aims to increase the number of energy efficiency technologies available to industry by supporting their development to deployment stage.
  • the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (EEF), which is a competitive funding scheme to support the development of technologies, products and processes in energy efficiency, power generation and storage.
  • the Industrial Fuel Switching Competition and Green Distilleries Competition, which aim to stimulate early investment in fuel switching processes and technologies.
  • Carbon Capture and Utilisation Demonstration (CCUD) programme and the Call for CCUS Innovation.

The Transforming Foundation Industries Challenge (a part of the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge Fund, also run by IUK). This supports innovation projects which improve the resource or energy efficiency of foundation industry processes and products.

The IETF will provide continued support for eligible heat recovery studies, similar to those funded through the Industrial Heat Recovery Support Programme as that programme has now closed for new applications.

Decarbonisation technologies can require a wider package of support than the IETF provides through its grant funding for on-site work. For example, hydrogen fuel switches and carbon capture technologies are likely to require the development of supporting supply and storage infrastructures. These technologies, once deployed, can also increase operating costs. BEIS will provide wider decarbonisation support through:

  • The £1 billion CCUS Infrastructure Fund will provide industry with the certainty required to deploy CCUS at pace and at scale. The Government aims to establish CCUS in two industrial clusters by mid 2020s, aiming for four of these sites by 2030, capturing up to 10 Mt of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Working with industry, the UK is aiming for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. This ambition will be supported by a range of measures including, investment of up to £500 million for low carbon hydrogen production across the decade with £240m confirmed out to 2024/2025.
  • The Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge will commit £170 million towards deploying technologies like carbon capture and hydrogen networks in industrial clusters.
  • The Government will bring forward details in 2021 of revenue mechanisms to bring through private sector investment in industrial carbon capture and hydrogen projects, to provide the certainty investors require.

The IETF also sits alongside complementary non-investments schemes 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. IETF applicants are not restricted to the technologies on this list.

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