SMEs invited to apply for Living Lab trial of domestic energy products and heat services

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Innovators of domestic energy products and heat services are invited to apply for one of three Energy Systems Catapult packages to run a trial in our Living Lab this winter (2019/2020).

The Catapult is focusing on Small and Medium-sized (SMEs) businesses developing innovations that enable the adoption of low carbon retrofit measures to improve home comfort, energy efficiency and drive down consumer bills.

Three winning SMEs will get an opportunity to test their products or heat services in the Living Lab, receive unique consumer insights and data to accelerate commercialisation.

Energy Systems Catapult commercial lead, Marc Brown, said: “We’re looking for SMEs that have the consumer or end user as the focus of an innovation that encourages the uptake of low carbon technologies, heat services and energy efficiency measures.

“Living Lab trials can help SMEs gather real world data to validate the benefits and appeal of product and services or provide evidence to attract further investment.

“We want to help innovators secure a deeper understanding of their customer value proposition including fuel poor or vulnerable consumers, to overcome potential uptake and delivery challenges, and to improve business planning and support launching new products and services to market.

What type of SMEs are we looking for?

Ideally SMEs will have a product or service that is nearly ready to enter the market or already active and able to be installed in January 2020. SMEs planning to explore selling heat as a service are welcome to use existing Catapult service templates.

Examples of innovations could include:

  • Using historic home and consumer data to create and price a heat service.
  • Improving the performance and cost effectiveness of low carbon heating or hybrid heating solutions.
  • Advanced multi zone control solutions as an enabler for better performing and more appealing low carbon heating and delivery of new energy services business models.
  • Measures that improve efficiency of heat delivery or reduce heat loss from the fabric of the building.
  • Diurnal to multi-day or seasonal heating storage.
  • Solutions that deliver healthier lived environments which may be through improved air quality or reducing humidity and build-up of damp and mould.

What is the Catapult offer?

Energy Systems Catapult is offering access to a £30-£45k package of services for up to 3 SMEs, with each SME needing to fund £5-£10k of the services. The Catapult will fund the remaining balance through in kind contributions, with services including:

  1. Home Truths Panel
    Testing the SME’s proposition through the our Home Truths panel, providing feedback from circa 500 consumers.
  2. User Experience
    Offering the product/service to Living Lab homes, with the aim of trialling it in up to 5 homes. The Catapult will gather feedback from consumers in the Living Lab on the installation (for products), set up, early use and longer-term use to identify ‘loves/hates and opportunities for improvement.
  3. Performance data
    After the trial, the Catapult will share data collected through its digital platform during the trial (e.g. gas consumption, air temperature, relative humidity, local weather) from the homes that the SME’s product/service was installed/tested in.

What are the deadlines?

The closing date for applications is 12pm 6th January 2020. All responses will be sent to marc.brown@es.catapult.org.uk. Shortlisted SMEs will be notified on the evening of the 7th January 2020 and invited to present their application to a panel at the Catapult’s Birmingham office on the 9th January 2020. Please direct all questions in relation to your application to marc.brown@es.catapult.org.uk.