As part of its stakeholder engagement on the needs and potential future support for Net Zero innovation, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) wants to gauge the level of interest in potential new innovation support to develop tools and technology which help to overcome barriers to heat pump deployment. Therefore, we are inviting you to submit an informal expression of interest in the potential future heat pump innovation funding which is outlined below (see section 3).
Even if you are not interested in this potential innovation support (for example, due to timing or other constraints), we would encourage you to complete the informal expression of interest form so we can understand what might affect take up of heat pump innovation support at this time or in the future. It is, therefore, also an opportunity to shape potential future innovation support focused on heat pumps.
Please note that this invitation for informal expressions of interest is not a formal part of any procurement process and does not indicate a formal or firm commitment to future heat pump innovation support opportunities from the Department. Submitting an informal expression of interest in response to this invitation does not commit you or your organisation to any specific course of action. Equally it will not disadvantage you or your organisation in any future funding opportunities if you do not submit an informal expression of interest response.
2. Are you interested in innovation funding support?
By completing this informal expression of interest, you are indicating whether – if the opportunity arose – your organisation is likely to be interested in applying through a competitive process for innovation funding which meets the outline requirements set out below.
Or you can use the interest form to explain why your organisation would not be interested in an innovation support opportunity in line with these requirements.
3. Outline timing, budget and scope requirements for potential innovation support
While the detailed format and arrangements for any future heat pump innovation support cannot be confirmed at this stage, the outline timescales, funding levels and high-level scope of the potential future heat pump innovation support which is relevant to this informal expression of interest are outlined below.
You may also find it useful to consider the detailed eligibility, terms and conditions of the most recent heat pump innovation support provided by DESNZ through its Heat Pump Ready, Stream 2 competition which can be found here. Information on Heat Pump Ready Stream 2 innovation projects currently being funded can be found here.
a) Indicative Timeline (subject to change)
A simple indicative timeline for potential future support in the scope of this informal expression of interest is set out below. This timeline should be used to consider your response to this informal expression of interest, i.e. whether your organisation would be able to deliver a new innovation project in line with these indicative timings.
- Innovation support competition open for applications: Autumn 2023;
- Project start: from January 2024
- Project completion: 28th February 2025 (fixed deadline)
b) Indicative Funding Levels
- Potential Funding Range: From £100,000 up to £1 million per project
- Match funding requirements: Project teams would also be required to part-fund any innovation projects themselves. The level of private sector, match funding required is likely to range between 20%-75% and will depend on the type of project work, organisation size and project team make-up. Small and medium sized companies would receive higher levels of any innovation support, potentially up to 80% of total eligible project costs (for small companies) and up to 70% of eligible project costs (for medium sized companies).
c) Indicative Scope
- Type of innovation activity: All projects would only involve either industrial research or experimental development or a combination of these activities. See Annex 1 for definitions of these innovation activities.
- Technology readiness: All projects would be expected to deliver an innovative product, process, tool or technology at technology readiness level 8 or 9 by the end of the project.
- Project location: Project activities would be conducted in the UK.
- Project team: Projects would be delivered by individual, private sector businesses or by a consortium of project partners led by a private sector business.
- Project objectives: All projects would be required to meet one of the following objectives:
- Improving the ease of heat pump deployment in ‘harder-to-treat’ homes – for example, projects testing novel locations or form factors for thermal storage; development of systems requiring smaller thermal storage; development of novel pipework replacement processes. (Please note, these examples are not intended to be a comprehensive list of possible project areas.)
- Developing innovative solutions to enable heat pumps to be deployed in ‘distress purchase’ situations (i.e. when a new heating system is required urgently).
- Improving performance and/or reducing costs of heat pumps with low-GWP (below 150 GWP) refrigerants, while ensuring safety.
- Reducing the lifetime costs or improving the overall lifetime performance of heat pumps, or improving the consumer experience of using and living with a heat pump.
4. Next Steps
To indicate your level of interest in potential future funding support from DESNZ for heat pump innovation as outlined above, please complete and submit the online informal expression of interest form which can be accessed here, by close at 14:00 on 12 July 2023.
If you would prefer a MS word version, please email email@example.com
Annex 1 – Project Activity Definitions
‘Industrial research’ means the planned research or critical investigation that is aimed at the acquisition of new knowledge and skills for developing new products, processes or services; or that is aimed at bringing about a significant improvement in existing products, processes or services.
This would include digital products, processes or services, in any technology, industry or sector (including, but not limited to, digital industries and technologies, such as super-computing, quantum technologies, block chain technologies, artificial intelligence, cyber security, big data and cloud technologies). Industrial research comprises the creation of component parts of complex systems, and may include the construction of prototypes in a laboratory environment or in an environment with simulated interfaces to existing systems as well as of pilot lines, where necessary for the industrial research and notably for generic technology validation.
‘Experimental development’ means acquiring, combining, shaping and using existing scientific, technological, business and other relevant knowledge and skills with the aim of developing new or improved products, processes or services.
This includes digital products, processes or services, in any technology, industry or sector (including, but not limited to, digital industries and technologies, such as for example super-computing, quantum technologies, block chain technologies, artificial intelligence, cyber security, big data and cloud or edge technologies).
This may also encompass, for example, activities aimed at the conceptual definition, planning and documentation of new products, processes or services. Experimental development may comprise prototyping, demonstrating, piloting, testing and validation of new or improved products, processes or services in environments representative of real-life operating conditions where the primary objective is to make further technical improvements on products, processes or services that are not substantially set. This may include the development of a commercially usable prototype or pilot which is necessary for the final commercial product and which is too expensive to produce for it to be used only for demonstration and validation purposes.
Experimental development does not include routine or periodic changes made to existing products, production lines, manufacturing processes, services and other operations in progress, even if those changes may represent improvements.