The energy networks have committed to supporting innovation with the creation of an Innovation and Industry Charter.

This comes after research – conducted by the energy networks through the EIC, formerly the Energy Innovation Centre – found that over a third of SMEs experienced challenges at procurement following successful innovation R&D, and a further 41% said navigating the procurement process of energy networks was “prohibitive”.

As a result, the energy networks have acted on recommendations made in the report, creating the Innovator and Industry Charter, designed to strengthen engagement between the global innovation community and the UK energy networks.

The Charter sets out three key actions, including the creation of a single innovator engagement platform. This would be an industry wide calendar serving as a “one-stop-shop” for innovators to identify opportunities, events and industry deadlines in one place.

Secondly, the energy networks are to create a unified set of guidance for innovators to understand project lifespans. This would also address the challenge of procurement.

Lastly, the stakeholder engagement process is to be simplified.

It is hoped that these actions will ensure that more innovation becomes business as usual faster and more cost effectively.

Denise Massey, managing director at the EIC, said: “Given the climate emergency and the continued pressing need for change and increased pace, the Innovator and Industry Charter is a clear signal from the Industry of its willingness to challenge itself to ultimately improve access and engagement with SME innovators.”

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