Through a unique combination of capabilities in energy, services and regeneration, EQUANS, an ENGIE company, is well placed as the partner of choice to help businesses and local authorities in the transition to a net zero future.

As a strategic supplier to the UK Government, with hundreds of customers across the public and private sector, EQUANS is committed to being a leader in the energy transition by deploying innovative solutions at scale. To support this strategy, EQUANS has partnered with Innovate UK to establish the Clean Growth Innovation Fund, an investment fund ring-fenced for UK-based start-ups and SME’s that are delivering on the UK’s Clean Growth agenda.

Through the Clean Growth Innovation Fund, EQUANS is looking to make strategic investments in cleantech start-ups and SME’s. As a strategic investor, EQUANS will help its portfolio of invested companies scale by providing access to capital, expertise and customers. This equity investment is matched by non-dilutive grant funding from Innovate UK to help invested companies accelerate their innovative R&D activity.

This is one of four challenges being run by EQUANS: see details of the other three on KTN-iX. Please note there is an opportunity to engage directly on all four challenges in an event coordinated by EQUANS,  KTN and Cambridge Cleantech on Thursday 22nd July, 12noon – 1:30pm – click here to book a place.

The Challenge

As part of this KTN IX challenge, EQUANS is working with KTN to look for companies with solutions to decarbonise heat that are interested in securing investment through the Clean Growth Innovation Fund.

By responding to this challenge, EQUANS will review your submission and successful applicants will be invited to pitch their solution to EQUANS, following the closure of the challenge, or sooner should there be high volumes of applications within any challenge area.

What does EQUANS mean by solutions to decarbonise heat?

EQUANS is a leading provider of low-carbon heat to public and private sector customers, owning and operating 9 district heating and cooling schemes and delivering the award-winning EQUANS Zero whole house retrofit solution. These solutions are only part of the jigsaw; significant innovations are needed to address the systemic challenges the UK faces to decarbonise heat. In particular, EQUANS is looking for innovations that address typical heat decarbonisation challenge pain points as well as those that validate the provenance of low carbon fuels and allow heat networks to integrate with other energy systems.

EQUANS is interested in disruptive technologies, platforms and business models that solve these challenges alongside engagement tools that change the way consumers interact with heat.

Examples include:

  • District heating decarbonisation solutions
  • Integrating heat networks with other energy vectors
  • Waste heat recovery and utilisation solutions
  • Big data solutions for decarbonising heat
  • Low carbon cooling solutions

Reference example: EQUANS is looking to decarbonise a district heating and cooling network that is currently fed by a gas combined heat and power unit and a biomass boiler. EQUANS wishes to improve the efficiency of the network, integrate zero carbon heat production technologies and support adjacent decarbonisation challenges in the local area. Do you have a product/service/solution that can address these challenges?

To be eligible for the Clean Growth Innovation Fund, you must define a project that you wish to be funded, which addresses the customer challenges and opportunities presented.

This project must cost between £100,000 and £1,200,000: 50% of the funding will come from EQUANS as an equity investment, and 50% of the funding will come from Innovate UK Grant.

Example: A company is valued at £2,500,000 and requires £500,000 for its project. £250,000 will come from EQUANS as aligned equity investment (10% shareholding) and £250,000 will come from Innovate UK as a non-dilutive grant.

Given the aligned investment is equity from EQUANS, there is a need for the business applying for the competition to have a strategic alignment with the priorities and challenges set out. You should also explain how you believe a strategic partnership between your company and EQUANS might be beneficial for both the company and EQUANS. Please include a pitch deck with your application.

Entrants to this competition must be:

  • UK based micro, small or medium-sized business (SME)
  • Able to carry out your project work in the UK
  • Intending to exploit the results through a UK-based company

Innovate UK and KTN do not take any share of IP ownership or enter into commercial venture through the iX programme.