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Business & Economy

North East SMEs invited to help solve global energy challenges

Businesses in the North East are being invited to put forward their solutions to tackle global energy challenges in a new scheme that will offer funding and support to help firms take their ideas to the next stage of development.

The Energy Innovation Challenge is open for applications until May 1 2020 and is being backed by the North East Energy Catalyst – a new partnership that brings together organisations in the North East energy innovation, demonstration and delivery sectors.

A series of three challenges will run over the next year and a cohort of up to 10 successful businesses per challenge will be identified by an expert panel.

The successful cohort will receive a programme of support to help develops their solutions and bring them to market.

Businesses will also have the opportunity to secure funding toward development and commercialisation, with Northstar Ventures offering £20,000 of investment, subject to eligibility, to 10 businesses.

SMEs with well-developed business cases will also be able to submit matched grant applications for Local Growth Funding (LGF) for up to a further £20,000.

David Lynch, energy innovation partnership manager at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Through the Energy Innovation Challenge we hope to support small and medium sized businesses in our region to take the lead in developing new ways of tackling some of the issues that are being faced around the world, such as the challenge of providing energy to homes and businesses while also reducing carbon emissions.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the region which demonstrates the added value of bringing partners together through the North East Energy Catalyst.

“The North East is built upon a legacy of innovation in power, from steam to electricity and now sustainable energy – we are a force to be reckoned with and now is the time to propel the North East onto the global energy stage.”

Businesses can find out how to enter the Energy Innovation Challenge at