Green Innovation Challenge Fund
Call for CASE Project Applications
Deadline for Applications: Friday 13th May 2022
The Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy (CASE) is an industry led, collaborative, sustainable energy research centre hosted at Queen’s University Belfast, partnering with Ulster University and the Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).
We are pleased to announce that we have been selected to manage the Green Innovation Challenge Fund (GICF) on behalf of the Department for the Economy NI. This new £4.5 million award will allow us to discover the Path to Net Zero Energy as outlined in the NI Energy Strategy 2021.
Established through the Invest NI competence centre programme, CASE has successfully bridged the gap between academic research offerings and industry research needs, but now we are seeking to go further and faster by seeking to integrate wider societal thinking into the research. To date CASE has allocated £7.5m to 40 research projects involving Queen’s, Ulster University, AFBI and 100 companies. The fund aims to further the goals of the 10X Economic Vision, Green Growth Strategy and the Energy Strategy by:
- Encouraging green innovation in renewables and low carbon technologies;
- Providing support to businesses to engage in research and development so that they can continue to innovate and drive new commercial opportunities;
- Providing advisory services and support to assist companies understand innovation and develop their innovative capabilities;
- Assisting SMEs to gain the skills they need to engage in innovation activities;
- Assisting businesses to exploit new opportunities through the adoption of new technologies;
- Fostering collaboration and partnership between industry, academia and other civic institutions.
CASE is seeking applications from suitably qualified consortia for research and development funding to support the decarbonisation of the energy system. Proposals are sought from across the following research areas:
- Ocean energy – wave, tidal, offshore wind, floating solar
- Bio-energy – anaerobic digestion, biogas production, upgrading and bio-fuel production
- Energy systems – community / local energy, grid stabilisation, ancillary and distribution system operator services, demand side management, integrated supply chains and Power-to-X
We would particularly welcome Pathfinder project applications which tackle technical, environmental, policy and social acceptance barriers in technologies which have been verified to TRL 6. These projects should aim to realise significant impacts across the wider supply chain, involve researchers from both technical and social science subject areas and may involve funding requests in excess of £250k.
The Small Print
- All CASE projects are collaborative, involving both partners from at least of one of the three Research providers who are signatories to the CASE Participation Agreement (Queen’s University, Ulster University and the Agri-food and Biosciences Institute), working with industrial partners.
- For small scale feasibility projects, with a timeline of six months and receiving CASE funding of no more than £37,500 (total project cost £50,000) a minimum of two industrial partners are required. For all other projects, a minimum of three industrial partners must participate in the project.
- CASE projects are funded at 75%, with 100% of the funding received by the research providers and 25% in-kind contribution from the industrial partners. Where a project involves partners from outside of Northern Ireland, links to relevant government strategy and the benefit of the project to the Northern Irish economy must be clear and will be interrogated during the selection process.
- There is no upper limit to eligible project sizes; but projects with values in excess of £500k (£375k of funding) will be subject to an external verification process before letters of offer can be issued.
- Industry partners pay a membership fee to CASE of £550 per annum (additional membership benefits can be found on the CASE website) and also contribute to the cost of their project;
- 1% of academic project costs for small companies (<50 employees)
- 2% of academic project costs for medium companies (>49 employees)
- 4% of academic project costs for large companies (>250 employees)