Marketing No Comments

Innovate UK: UKRI announces close to £1.3M of funding for digital energy data projects

UKRI has today announced close to £1.3 million of new funding across nine innovative new digital energy data projects.

The funding is being awarded through UKRI’s ‘Modernising Energy Data Applications (MEDA) phase 1’ competition overseen by the Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

In the competition, projects were required to develop data applications that address the challenges faced by organisations and individuals to deliver net-zero local energy systems. The nine winning applicants are:

  • Urbantide Ltd
  • Alian Ltd
  • Brits Energy Ltd
  • City Science Corporation Ltd
  • Power My Hub Ltd
  • Zuhlke Engineering Ltd
  • GL Industrial Services UK Ltd
  • Mind Foundry Ltd
  • Advanced Infrastructure Technology Ltd.

The competition ran through Autumn 2020 and is the first of a two-phase opportunity that will be followed by the development and testing of prototypes from these winning projects.

Providing scalable commercial opportunities

Projects were required to demonstrate their benefits to the users of local energy systems, provide scalable commercial opportunities, and utilise the Open Energy data architecture being developed through projects funded under the previous MEDA competition.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

The successful projects include Urbantide’s solution to integrate the smart meter system data across the UK to identify those who would benefit from energy efficient measures – and offer appropriate solutions. They also include Brits Energy’s technology platform for maximising the benefits of digitally-controlled crop production by managing the energy input.

Rob Saunders, challenge director for the Prospering from the Energy Revolution challenge, said:

“The quality and range of concepts put forward in this initial competition not only shows what is possible by using some of the newest ideas in data and technology, but also highlights the variety of inefficiencies in the current energy landscape that can be improved as we move towards our net-zero ambitions in the UK.

Whether it’s industry, farming, investment or efficiency for people’s homes, there is a part to play for innovative technology that reduces usage for us all. We are now looking forward to helping these projects move to the next phase of bringing their solutions to life through testing and development of the ideas.”

Source: Science Business

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

Haydale has been awarded a £1.1 million loan facility

Haydale, the Loughborough-based advanced materials group, has been awarded a £1.1 million loan facility by Innovate UK Loans Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of UK Research and Innovation.

Haydale, with the support of Innovate UK, is implementing its plan to expand its capacity to manufacture functionalised nanomaterials including Graphene to meet growing demand.

Haydale will be investing in a HT1400 plasma reactor and ancillary equipment to provide a facility to be able to increase production volume by at least eight-fold once fully optimised.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

The reactor will increase production at the Ammanford facility to an industrial level with capacity to functionalise over 30 tonnes per annum of graphene and other nanomaterials on a single shift pattern.

The Innovation Continuity Loan will be available for the company to drawdown in four quarterly tranches, commencing on the 31 March 2021 and the final tranche drawn by 31 December 2021.

Loan repayments will commence 27 months after the final drawdown and be paid over a subsequent period of 24 months. The Innovation Continuity Loan attracts at an interest rate of 7.4% per annum though only paid at 3.7% on the amount drawn down with the rest of the interest deferred until the repayment period commences. The company has signed the standard Innovate UK Loan agreement.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

Commenting on the announcement, Keith Broadbent, Chief Executive Officer of Haydale, said: “Haydale is delighted to have been awarded this loan by Innovate UK and is looking forward to significantly expanding our manufacturing output capacity to be ready to meet growing demand for our functionalised powders, inks, elastomers and composites.

“We are grateful to Innovate UK for their support of our strategy which will allow Haydale to deepen its roots in the UK industrial landscape, whilst supporting the UK’s high tech and advanced materials supply chain strategy.“

Source: East Midlands Business Link

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

Companies to benefit from £28.5M investment into cutting edge equipment

Investment from the driving the electric revolution challenge at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is providing a critical financial boost to nine facilities located across the UK.

The £28.5 million investment in new equipment, which will be operational later this year, builds on existing capability and fills gaps in the UK’s current capability. The investment will enable a competitive electrification supply chain to be built across sectors, including:

  • industrial
  • transport
  • energy

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

The new equipment

The new equipment consists of:

  • a high power integrated electrical propulsion and powertrain accelerator at the Power Networks Demonstration Centre, University of Strathclyde
  • assembly lines for power electronics and electrical machines at the North East Innovation Centre, Sunderland
  • a high frequency coil manufacturing and magnetic test facility at the University of Nottingham
  • a power electronics reliability and failure analysis facility and an electrical machines winding centre of excellence at the University of Warwick
  • a wide band gap power electronics component industrial pilot line at Swansea University
  • a production line for recycled sintered magnets at the University of Birmingham
  • a prototype facility for ceramic and copper elements and subassemblies for integrated modules at the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult in Newport.

Nationwide capability

Led by Newcastle University, this investment will play a vital role in bringing together a UK-wide network of over 30 academic, research and technology organisations. The network gives businesses the opportunity to:

  • develop manufacturing process technologies
  • industrialise the processes needed for power electronics, electric machines and drives (PEMD) scale up
  • reduce risk by sharing expertise, technical advice and facilities.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

Four regional industrialisation centres will coordinate and build on the UK’s national capability to deliver long-term sustainable growth on the road to net zero. The four centres are in:

  • Scotland
  • the south-west and Wales
  • the north-east
  • the Midlands.

Together they will help businesses scale up the use of electric-powered vehicles and machines across a range of industries and transport systems to grow the UK supply chain.

Making the UK a world leader in PEMD

Professor Will Drury, driving the electric revolution Challenge Director said:

“This investment represents a vital step forward in making the UK a world leader in PEMD.

With access to the centres and network open to all, we aim to give all UK businesses and researchers the ability to develop and scale new PEMD technologies and manufacturing processes.

Only by investing now in developing PEMD will the UK achieve its net zero ambitions.”

Professor Brian Walker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research Strategy and Resources at Newcastle University said:

“At Newcastle University, we are delighted to be leading the driving the electric revolution industrialisation centres national project.

The support from UKRI allows us to bring to life a vision that was conceived by colleagues from across the UK and connects the UK’s best research and development across PEMD.

It is essential that the UK grasps the opportunity to lead in providing supply chains for electrification of multiple modes of transport if we are to maintain our manufacturing capacity and meet our targets for electric vehicles in 2030 and net zero carbon by 2050.”

Source: Science Business

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

Research funding cut is a blow to Global Britain

The UK government is being warned it risks doing serious, long-term harm to the country’s university research base.

The vice chancellors of Cambridge and Oxford have told ministers not to take funds for continued participation in the EU’s science programme from within the existing national research budget.

To do so would effectively represent a £1bn cut in support, they write in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The government says it will set out its plans for R&D spend shortly.

  • Space projects scrubbed in UK overseas aid cut
  • Cummings wanted to double science budget
  • SciTech moves to the heart of UK security

Prof Stephen Toope and Prof Louise Richardson’s comments voice a concern that has been growing in the research establishment ever since the Brexit Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) was signed at the end of last year.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

The TCA made provision for Britain to associate to the EU’s research framework, the latest iteration of which is called Horizon Europe. But the London government has not yet made clear how a subscription – likely to be €1-2bn a year – will be funded.

Profs Toope and Richardson say the money must be additional; it cannot be taken from the existing budget line of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the agency responsible for dispersing grants for university research.

Were that to happen, “the consequences for British science and innovation will be nothing short of calamitous”, their Telegraph comment says.

“It would… be deeply damaging,” Oxford’s Prof Richardson told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.

“Treasury is facing many difficult decisions at the moment. But we think this is an investment in our future that we as universities can help the government realise its ambitions to be a science superpower, and, indeed, to be a ‘Global Britain’.”

Last week UKRI wrote to universities to tell them that funding was being reduced in another area of international collaboration – those projects supported through the overseas aid budget.

The agency said it would now have only £125m to distribute in the coming financial year, even though it had already approved support for projects to the tune of £245m, which itself was well short of the £500m originally promised through what’s called Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Projects affected range across the board from global health and green energy to agriculture, violence reduction, and women’s safety.

Prof Jenni Barclay, a volcanologist at the University of East Anglia, helped organise a rapid petition to oppose the ODA cut, collecting more than 3,000 signatures.

“What’s absolutely unprecedented about the action that’s having to be taken because of the size of this cut is that this is stopping projects that have been competitively funded, and are already in process,” she told the BBC’s Science In Action programme on the BBC World Service.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

It is the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which leads on science funding in the UK.

A spokesperson told the BBC this week that the UK remained “a world-leading aid donor” and would be spending “more than £10bn this year to address poverty, tackle climate change, fight Covid and improve global health”.

In response to the letter from Profs Toope and Richardson, BEIS pointed to the written answer science minister Amanda Solloway gave to her shadow, Labour’s Chi Onwurah, at the beginning of the month.

This stated that the government would set out R&D spending plans for 2021/22 – including funding for Horizon Europe – in due course.

“Participating in Horizon Europe will strengthen R&D to build on the UK’s world class reputation for research and innovation,” the minister said.

“It provides exciting opportunities for UK businesses and SMEs to support growth and innovation, working with our international partners. Business organisations and researchers have strongly welcomed us securing this outcome.”

By Jonathan Amos

Source: BBC

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

UKRI awards £171M in UK decarbonisation to nine projects

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has today announced a milestone in UK decarbonisation, with the award of £171 million funding across nine significant projects.

The funding is being awarded through UKRI’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) decarbonisation of industrial clusters phase two: deployment competition. It is delivered by the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge.

Significant emissions reduction

In the competition, projects were expected to be able to support delivery of significant emissions reduction in at least one UK industrial cluster by 2030. This is in line with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy industrial clusters mission.

The nine winning projects include:

  • three offshore storage sites for CO2 (in the north-west, north-east and Scotland)
  • CO2 capture and/or hydrogen production projects in the north-west, Scotland, Teesside, Humberside (two projects) and south Wales.

The competition ran through the second half of 2020. It aims to deliver significant reductions in industrial CO2 emissions in industrial clusters by 2030 through development of offshore storage and onshore infrastructure.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

Projects were required to demonstrate:

  • the regional and national significance of their proposals
  • how net zero could be delivered in their region by 2040, supporting the UK target of net zero by 2050.

The successful projects include:

  • HyNet’s plan to develop a full-chain hydrogen project in the North West, including repurposing old oil and gas assets for CO2 transport and storage
  • south Wales industrial cluster’s plans to provide the UK with lower carbon steel and reduced carbon cement products that will benefit wider UK infrastructure.

Low-carbon industrial sector

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

“We were the first major economy to put into law our target to end our contribution to climate change, and today we’re taking steps to be the first major economy to have its own low-carbon industrial sector.

While reaching our climate targets will require extensive change across our economy, we must do so in a way that protects jobs, creates new industries and attracts inward investment – without pushing emissions and business abroad.

Ahead of COP26, the UK is showing the world how we can cut emissions, create jobs and unleash private investment and economic growth. Today’s strategy builds on this winning formula as we transition low carbon and renewable energy sources, while supporting the competitiveness of Britain’s industrial base.”

Bryony Livesey, challenge director for the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, UKRI, said:

“The announcement of this funding is a significant step in our progress of supporting largescale decarbonisation efforts, and we are looking forward to working alongside the projects as they put their revolutionary plans into action.

The benefits to these regional clusters will be substantial, both in terms of the environmental impact, as well as the opportunity for jobs and increasing the global competitiveness of industry in these areas. It once again demonstrates the UK’s industry as being at the forefront of innovation and creating greener solutions for the future.”

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

Cutting-edge research and innovation

This investment adds to UKRI’s long tradition of investing in cutting-edge research and innovation to understand, tackle and mitigate the effects of climate change.

This year the UK hosts the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) summit in November. UKRI will use its role as a steward of the research and innovation system to bring our communities together. We aim to create sustainable and resilient solutions and encourage new behaviours and new ways of living that enable the UK to reach net zero by 2050.

About the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge

UKRI’s £171 million Industrial Decarbonisation programme is part of the ISCF. It aims to support the development of low-carbon technologies that will increase the competitiveness of industry and contribute to the UK’s drive for clean growth.

It will reduce the carbon footprint of heavy and energy intensive industries in the UK, such as:

  • iron and steel
  • cement
  • refining and chemicals.

Funding will be focused on developing technologies such as:

  • carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS)
  • hydrogen fuel switching.

The technologies will be deployed and scaled up within the UK’s largest industrial clusters.

Funding from the challenge will drive industrial decarbonisation whilst enhancing productivity for these regions, to create new jobs for a low-carbon future.

This challenge is the first active funding stream as part of a wider government commitment to cut industrial emissions. It will develop at least one low-carbon industrial cluster by 2030, and the world’s first net zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 in support of the industrial clusters mission.

Source: Science Business

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here