£6m energy innovation funding on offer from Innovate: Energy Researcher of the Year Awards available in Heriot-Watt competition


A total of £6 million is potentially available to support new technologies that improve efficiency, reduce cost and minimise the environmental impact of coal, natural gas and oil – via Innovate UK.

And in addition, prizes are also on offer for young Scottish energy ‘pioneers of the year’ in the Energy Academy at Heriot Watt University’s competition to stimulate, recognise and reward innovation and creativity among Scotland’s young energy researchers.

From the Innovate fund, £4 million will be set aside for business-led, collaborative R&D projects ranging in size from £250,000 to £1.5 million, while £1 million will be available for smaller-scale feasibility studies.

An additional £1 million is available through the National Environment Research Council (NERC) for the academic element of projects that fall within NERC-remit and support and focus on translation of existing research outcomes to meet industry issues and challenges.

Dr Derek Allen, Lead Technology, Energy at Innovate UK said: “We are actively seeking innovations that will improve efficiency, reduce cost and minimise environmental impacts, which could be anything from advanced fossil fuel process technologies to carbon capture and storage or new approaches to decommissioning. The deadline for expressions of interest is 15 April 2015.

The Energy Academy at Heriot-Watt University is working in partnership with Scottish Energy News to celebrate achievement by individuals or companies that have been working on energy or energy-related research for less than 10-years.

  Do you stand out from your peers? Are you:

  • An enthusiastic undergraduate
  • A post-graduate doing further research?
  • Already working in research and development (R&D)?

If so – send in an entry to this competition. You (and our team) could scoop a £500 cash prize and become a young Scottish energy ‘pioneer of the year’ in this Energy Academy competition with Heriot Watt University.  This competition is open to students and young graduates at all universities and colleges – as well as those newly-recruited into industry.


But hurry – the deadline for applications is Tuesday 17 March 2015.

When you look back on what you’ve done or look forward to what you are going to do, how has this or how might this shape the direction of future research or R&D in the energy sector in Scotland?

 If you can convince our panel of judges of the impact or potential impact of your work, or you know someone that you think is worthy of consideration, you/they could win an award of £500. But we need to hear from you!

The awards will be presented at a ceremony hosted by the Green Investment Bank in Edinburgh on Thursday 14th May by the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, MSP. 


Prizes will be awarded to one individual or company in each of the following categories:

  • Energy and the environment;
  • Energy in the marine environment;
  • Energy materials and storage;
  • Energy and fossil fuels;
  • Energy infrastructure and society; and
  • Energy entrepreneurship.


The competition is open to any company or individual undertaking pure or applied research and/or research and development at a Scottish university, HEI or company (irrespective of size).  There’s no age limit, but you need to have been working on energy or energy-related research for less than 10-years.

How to apply

Send us your CV and a good story about yourself and what you’ve done or what you are about to do – it’s as simple as that.  E-mail your application to:


 What you should include

As well as the above, we would like to see:

  • a letter of nomination (although applicants may self-nominate);
  • some evidence of the quality of your work or the impact it has had or you, or your peers think that it’s likely to have (we aren’t being prescriptive about this; it’s up to you how you choose to do this);
  • how you are committed to the future development of energy research and R&D in Scotland

Our panel will be looking for:

  • Early-career researchers, an excellent academic record relative to your peers at the same stage of your career and evidence of how you are going to develop this; and/or
  • Evidence of an outstanding contribution to your chosen field of energy- or energy-related research.
  • Applicants for the energy entrepreneurship category, evidence of how your work has made or you think will make, a demonstrable contribution to society and the economy in Scotland.

The shortlist of finalists will be announced approximately one month before the Awards ceremony in May 2015.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Patrick McCarthy

Heriot-Watt University

Tel: 0131 451 3881

email energy@hw.ac.uk  

or  p.mccarthy@hw.ac.uk

* Meanwhile, the Oil and Gas Technology Leadership Board (TLB) – set up to develop the technologies that will help maximise N. Sea production – has announced that its energy research priorities are to improve recovery from small oil fields, and to encourage innovations in well construction and inspection methods of ageing production platforms.

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