Multi-million pound funding awarded to organisations looking to accelerate the net zero transition
Nine organisations have been selected by the Net Zero Technology Centre (NTZC) as the second group of recipients of their Open Innovation Programme.
The nine winners will each receive £500k in funding with room for further match funding from industry partners to focus on producing and deploying data and digital technologies aiming to help in the net zero transition journey. Aside from this financial boost, projects will also have access to industry data facilities and expertise.
Initial funding for the programme came from a joint investment by the NCTZ, which gave £3m and by industry partners, who provided £6m.
Chosen from over 150 applicants, the winners include Heriot-Watt University, whose project is developing crewless vessels to maintain and repair offshore wind farms. Other fund-receivers are technology suppliers SUPCON, which is looking to deploy AI-powered robots for greenhouse gas survey inspection, and consultancy firm Quasset, which is developing sustainable robotics to support tasks on normally unattended facilities.
Commenting on the importance of the programme, CEO of NZTC, Rebecca Allison said: "By harnessing the power of real-time data collection, analysis, and predictive modelling, robotics and artificial intelligence the energy industry can access unique insights, make smarter decisions, reduce emissions and enhance safety. These technologies will accelerate progress towards net zero and facilitate the energy transition.”
The first period of the funding competition awarded over £20m and focused on reducing offshore emissions and accelerating clean energy production. Amongst the twenty winners was Glasgow-based technology firm Innovatium, which developed “the air battery” – a device that allows energy to be stored in liquified air.
Funded by the UK and Scottish Governments, the NZTC launched in 2017 aiming to become the “go-to” technology centre for the North Sea energy industry. Since then, it has co-invested with industry partners over £220m in technology and published several reports suggesting recommendations to accelerate and affordable net zero transition. Its most recent report outlined a project to develop a cost-effective hydrogen pipeline between Scotland and Europe.
Reacting to the programme's potential, the Scottish Government's well-being economy secretary Neil Gray said: “I welcome this progress supporting cutting edge technology which will help Scotland reach net zero by 2045.
“These innovative projects can help us create an economy which is fair, green and growing.”
Final award decisions are subject to due diligence checks and business case validation.