Cable puts £20m up for grabs in new funds for innovation and investment to tackle energy trilemma

energy trilemmaA £14 million fund to help businesses develop new products and technologies to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy security and reduce costs has been announced by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable.

The fund will encourage companies to invest in technologies which help to meet UK future energy needs in a more environmentally friendly way, while at the same time boosting economic growth.

In a separate competition, Innovate UK is also making £5 million available to increase R&D and fund feasibility studies to reduce the environmental impact of extracting and using fossil fuels.

It will help develop innovative technologies to take advantage of the changing energy landscape and make £1 million specifically available for feasibility studies led by small businesses. 

Business Secretary Cable said; “We are facing a trilemma. As well as reducing emissions and improving energy security, we need to reduce costs for energy users. Governments have their role to play, but we also need there to be investment by businesses in innovation to develop new products and technologies.

“We are making £14 million available to encourage that investment and make sure that British companies have help to tackle this challenge.”

Meanwhile, the Energy Catalyst, which is run by Innovate UK – formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board – will give support to early stage ideas all the way through to prototype demonstrators.

Any business which has developed a cutting-edge product can apply for funding to help bring their product to market. 

Iain Gray, Chief Executive, Innovate UK, said: “The energy sector is already a significant contributor to the UK economy. The size of the market and the possibilities for innovation to address these challenges creates great opportunities for those businesses to develop and grow.

“That’s why Innovate UK is providing them with support to develop technologies that tackle the challenges, and bring them to market.”


Heriot-Watt University – Scottish Energy News Researcher of the Year Awards 2014-2015

Meanwhile, Heriot Watt University has opened its doors to
 students and young professional energy researchers –  from all other universities and colleges in Scotland as well as from young graduates working in the Scottish energy industry –  to enter the inaugural Heriot-Watt University – Scottish Energy News Researcher of the Year Awards 2014-2015 to encourage this kind of innovation.

The competition was launched by Professor Stephen Chapman, Principal of Heriot Watt University,at the University’s first Energy Showcase event where more than 120 energy industry experts gathered to hear about research and partnership opportunities to drive innovation in the sector.

Already a number of inquiries from potential applicants have been received by the Energy Academy – just days after the formal launch.

The competition is fully open for entries and prizes in the following categories will be presented in May 2015 by Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism:

  • Energy and the Environment
  • Energy in the Marine Environment
  • Energy Materials and Storage 
  • Energy and Fossil Fuels 
  • Energy Infrastructure and Society
  • Energy Entrepreneurship
Fergus Ewing, MSP, Scottish Energy Minister
Fergus Ewing, MSP, Scottish Energy Minister

Candidates should send applications for the Heriot-Watt University – Scottish Energy News Researcher of the Year Awards 2014-2015 by email to:

The deadline for entries is 31 January 2015.

For more information:

Sponsorship Opportunities

Commercial corporate sponsorship opportunities exist for energy companies to become involved with the Heriot-Watt University/ Scottish Energy News Researcher of the Year Awards 2014-2015 in the above categories.

The earlier you confirm your sponsorship package, the greater the value you will enjoy: Visit:

For full details of these EXCLUSIVE sponsorship packages –  including attendance at the Heriot Watt  University / Energy Academy awards ceremony and presentation of prizes by FERGUS EWING,  MSP, Minister for Energy and Enterprise in the Scottish Government  – contact the Scottish Energy News team at:

ContactPublicityLogo15 Newton Terrace
Glasgow G3 7PJ
Tel: 0141 204 2042

or click the banner (below) for more details

Speaking about the awards, Professor Stephen Chapman, Principal, Heriot-Watt University, said:

“The Heriot-Watt University Energy Academy is a pan-university initiative supported by all Schools at our Edinburgh, Orkney and Borders campuses. It has two principal objectives: to consolidate energy research activities and facilitate interdisciplinary programmes, both within the university and with other higher education institutes, and to ensure external parties can easily gain an appreciation of our vision, skills-base and active research projects in energy.”

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer – Robert M. Buchan Chair in Sustainable Energy Engineering, and Director of Heriot Watt University’s Energy Academy, said;

“Regardless of the direction of travel in terms of energy policy, most people would agree that it must be clear and consistent so that researchers, investors and developers can make robust decisions that allow future generations to inherit a stable and sustainable energy infrastructure based on effective and affordable technology.

“Through the Heriot-Watt University – Scottish Energy News Researcher of the Year Awards 2014-2015, we look forward to bringing together academic research teams and companies that would benefit from new technologies.”

 Julian Jones, Vice-Principal, Heriot Watt University, centre, with Prof, Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Director, Energy Academy, and Mark R Whittet, Executive Director, Scottish Energy News

Mark R. Whittet, (LLB, BA) Executive Director, Scottish Energy News, Ltd, said: “Having played a leading role in providing the energy sources for the first industrial revolution in the 19th century, Scotland is again prominently placed to play a leading role in the second industrial revolution in the 21st century.

 “As a nation, we have the potential to maximise economic returns from fossil fuel exploration and recovery in the North Sea at the same time as pioneering leading technological innovation in exploiting Scotland’s large wind and wave power resources on a global scale – given the right ambition and encouragement.

“Heriot Watt university – and its Energy Academy experts – are already making a highly positive contribution to this 21st century industrial revolution and we hope that the Heriot-Watt University/ Scottish Energy News Researcher of the Year Awards 2014-2015 will help to stimulate, accelerate, recognise and reward the brightest brains in the process of energy and engineering innovation for the national – and international – good.”

To be eligible for the Heriot-Watt University/ Scottish Energy News Researcher of the Year Awards 2014-2015, applicants should have worked in the energy sector for less than 10 years.

Applications from nominees or their sponsors should demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • An excellent academic record relevant to their peers at the same stage of their career at this point
  • Outstanding career progression or achievement in their chosen field of Energy research
  • For the Energy Entrepreneurship category, evidence of entrepreneurial achievement in the eyes of their peer group.

The competition is open to any:

  •  Graduates enrolled on accredited programmes of learning, whether full- or part-time or on distance learning courses;
  • Post-graduates from any Scottish university currently undertaking – or who have completed – a programme of study/research;
  • Researchers employed in their chosen field of research or who over the last 10-years have at some time undertaken energy research in ScotlandThe Energy Academy offers a wide range of consultancy services to business and industry, including R&D, expert witnesses, professional advice, technical analysis and reports, use of laboratory facilities and language translation services.

The Energy Academy business development team can help link companies into world class research and expertise; Facilitate collaborations, joint industry partnerships, strategic alliances and Knowledge; Identify appropriate funding mechanisms for collaborative work; offer consultancy support; provide cutting edge facilities and technical support; Provide students for placement opportunities

Based at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh and at the International Centre for Island Technology in Stromness, Orkney, Energy Academy engineers, scientists and researchers collaborate on R&D with colleagues in other universities, working across a wide range of themes including: Advanced energy materials; CO2 capture, storage and utilisation; Energy markets and policy; Energy and the built environment; Energy storage and networks; Energy-economy-environment interactions; Modelling and quantification; Oil and gas; On-shore and off-shore wind energy; Solar and wave and tidal energy. Emerging themes also include biomass, geothermal energy, hydro-power and nuclear energy.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Patrick McCarthy
Energy Academy 
Tel: 0131 451 3881

Brian Robinson, Director, Energy Storage Scotland CIC, left, and Dr. Patrick McCarthy, Energy Academy, Heriot Watt University.

Since launch in September 2013, the Scottish Energy News business-to-business daily email newsletter is sent to more than 3,700 individually-named and actively subscribed readers every day.

In addition, the Scottish Energy News website is now visited by an average of more than 8,000 unique visitors per month (Jul-Sept 2014). While most readers/ subscribers are based in the UK/ Ireland, 10% of readers are based in North America and Japan/China/ Australia.

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