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Business & Economy

Funding and support on offer to North East SMEs through Energy Innovation Challenge

SMEs in the North East could receive up to £40,000 of funding to help develop new ways of using materials within the energy sector.

The Energy Innovation Challenge, organised by the North East Energy Catalyst, invites businesses to put forward new ways of using materials to reduce costs, improve efficiency, or bring other benefits to energy infrastructure.

David Lynch, Energy Innovation Partnership Manager at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), explains: “We know that we have forward-thinking and creative businesses operating here in the North East and we want to give SMEs the opportunity to develop new products and materials with support and funding.”

The Energy Innovation Challenge is led by the North East Energy Catalyst, a partnership of the North East’s energy sector organisations which aims to showcase the North East’s capabilities in developing solutions to the world’s energy challenges.

David Lynch added: “Ultimately, we want to drive economic growth here in our region, and showing that our SMEs have the means to develop innovative new energy solutions, which can be used the world over, is a great way of bringing jobs and investment to the North East.”

This is the third round of the Energy Innovation Challenge, which has already seen five businesses receive £100,000 of funding to develop new products.

The Energy Innovation Challenge (round 3) is open for entries until Friday 19th February and SMEs are invited to put forward applications based on the use of materials in any aspect of electricity, gas and water infrastructure, such as pipes, valves or cables.

Successful businesses will have the opportunity to apply for £20,000 investment from the North East Innovation Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by Northstar Ventures and/or a Local Growth Fund matched grant of up to £20,000 to help bring new ideas to market.

The North East Energy Catalyst is supported by ERDF and the Energy Innovation Challenge received grant funding from the government’s Local Growth Fund via the North East LEP.

More details are available at or from David Lynch on [email protected].

About the North East LEP

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a public, private, and education sector partnership that covers Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland local authority areas.

The £270.4m Local Growth Fund, secured as part of the North East Growth Deal, supports the North East LEP’s delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.