The Innovation Exchange programme is working alongside Electric Corby Community Interest Company, on a Community Renewal Funded approach for North Northamptonshire Council, to develop a roadmap options programme, on how to get the region to net zero. As part of this, the project has already looked at a wide range of existing projects, but now wants to widen the net to look for any new relevant innovative technologies, enabling initiatives, behavioural change projects and even revolutionary concepts that might be important for delivering net zero before 2050. This challenge is specifically looking for sustainable approaches in delivering new housing developments within the North Northants region.

The north Northamptonshire region must continue to provide housing that is both cost-effective for the builders and affordable for the market. Electric Corby CIC is looking for innovations that will help make these houses as close to net zero as possible within the cost constraints of developments. Any new build housing, when submitted for development approval, would have to consider the move away from carbon fuels for transport and the introduction of electric or other fuelled transport installations. The buildings may have heat pumps or other forms of gas heating such as hydrogen networks. The housing stock would also look at the potential of complete insulation solutions (existing or novel approaches) to retain the heat and any forms of low-cost power generation which may take the load away from the grid at peak times and assist the residents in keeping their energy costs affordable.

The region is looking for strategic solutions that can be implemented in the most practical and cost-effective manner to deliver sustainable homes for the future as there will be limitations to full net zero initially but ease as new ideas come in to the market place.

The challenge will include but is not limited to:

  • Sustainability strategies for new developments – aligning with the urgent demand from local authorities to build new homes that meet low carbon standards and financial viability criteria of developers combined with meeting new building regulations and growth in uptake of EVs.
  • Modern methods of construction (MMC) – the viability of different options and the roadmap to provide skills to build with MMC and set up manufacturing in North Northamptonshire. This may include retraining of installers who may be improving older stock.
  • Localised sources of heating and energy generation, potentially as a collective system or mini-grid or mini heat network.

This list is not exhaustive and we would welcome other ideas that would assist in meeting Net Zero. Any ideas submitted can be separate ideas or specialist areas that may lead to consortia being established by marrying up several ideas make a stronger project with greater impact across the region to give a whole energy management scenario.

Proposals are welcome for:

  • Novel approaches to the construction of new builds, including training
  • Existing market-ready technologies relating to construction or other sustainable ideas around housing developments
  • Approaches in behavioural change that can positively influence sustainability in regards to new housing developments and decision making within the planning and build phase.
  • Established solutions from other sectors of industry which can be adapted for this application.
  • Development proposals based on existing competences.
  • Universities and catapults with solutions above TRL 5 +

Entrants to this competition must be established businesses, startups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs, and must be UK based or have the intention to set up a UK base.

Rewards & Benefits

  • Capital investment or Collaborative Tender opportunity from Electric Corby to co-create and deliver solutions
  • Support from Innovate UK KTN
  • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot
  • Technical support
  • Invitation to attend or present at Innovate UK KTN events
  • Potential business/commercial collaboration or collaborative grant application.
  • Investor introductions (if investment is required)
  • Support if any Innovate or similar competitions are relevant.