Climate Innovation Platform - Innovator Challenge

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The Climate Innovation Platform (CIP) Low Carbon Energy Solutions Innovator Challenge supports businesses committed to driving energy technology innovation. 

Delivered by the University of Birmingham (UoB) in partnership with Energy Systems Catapult (ESC), the CIP Low Carbon Energy Solutions Innovator Challenge has been designed for SME innovators who are developing low carbon energy solutions. The programme offers successful applicants tailored packages of support to drive the commercialisation of innovative energy products and services.

This video introduces the Climate Innovation Platform and the benefits it can offer to SMEs. (Video transcript)

Supported by HSBC UK, applications are welcomed from SME’s registered in the UK, and particularly those who can travel to Birmingham to engage with in-person workshops.

Those selected for the CIP Low Carbon Energy Solutions Innovator Challenge will have access to several linked opportunities, including but not limited to:

  • ESC’s Energy Launchpad Incubation Programme
  • Cash grants of up to £5,000 during phase one, with the possibility of further funding for businesses selected onto phase two
  • Incubator management and workspace at Tyseley Energy Park
  • Business engagement support through University of Birmingham
  • Tailored mentoring
  • Access to supply chain partner networks
  • Market research and IP strategy
  • Collaboration and invitation to events
  • Grant writing and bid development
  • Investor readiness and introductions


  • This Innovator Challenge call is targeted at SME innovators who are developing low carbon energy solutions to meet the Net Zero Carbon Climate Challenge. Successful SMEs will have access to a range of incubation services sourced from ESC’s energy transition expertise and within the University of Birmingham's Energy Innovation Hub based at TEP. There will also be the opportunity to participate in cross cohort events, to support network development and collaboration with other climate focused entrepreneurs.

    This fourth challenge call will focus on:

    • Innovative low carbon generation or infrastructure technologies into the built environment
    • Low carbon heating and/or cooling innovations for the built environment
    • Leveraging end user, infrastructure and network data to create new digital platforms, services and business models that accelerate the transition to net zero
    • Energy storage Innovations
    • Innovative Energy from Waste
    • Innovative hydrogen generation solutions for deployment in the transport sector
    • Infrastructure innovations which accelerate the adoption of electric vehicle use
    • Energy storage and smart local energy systems innovations for network optimisation
    • Enabling active, interoperable control systems that delivers more efficient and flexible operation of the local energy system and networks
    • Innovations to decarbonise the textile sector, of particular interest would be natural solutions to decarbonise the product supply chains and unique renewable energy sources

We are looking for innovations that unlock potential, effecting all demand side vectors and supply side technologies.  These products and services will aim to maximise all stakeholder’s commercial value whilst, accelerating their adoption.


Successful applicants can benefit from the following:

  • The SME will secure a tailored range of bespoke services, which collectively will support the SME gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities the energy transition is creating accelerating the development of its technology and commercial readiness.
  • The opportunity to engage in one to many cohort events
  • The opportunity to gain access to supply chain partners to support the development of scalable market entry demonstrators
  • The introduction to funding from angels to institutional investors
  • ESC and the UoB will deepen its learning of the challenges facing innovators in establishing new markets, and the priorities required to accelerate their opening

Target SMEs

Ideal SMEs responding to this challenge will be seeking to enter or are active across the energy system, using technology to deliver new business models or solutions in an innovative way.

We recognise that innovations come from across all sectors of society, the programme actively welcomes applications which will help deliver an energy sector which is truly representative of the UK’s culturally diverse range of skills and innovators.  

If you feel your business does not fit into any of these broad categories, but has potential for climate impact, please do contact to discuss viability. 

Our Current Cohort

 In July 2023, CIP welcomed their third cohort on to the programme


ELPS Energy LogoELPS Energy are creating a one-stop shop platform for energy efficiency works connecting vetted suppliers and consumers and providing innovative Pay-For-Performance (P4P) financing solutions. 


Nested Loop Logo - with a transparent backgroundNested Loop develop and sell smart home energy storage systems, that empower people to increase the amount of renewable energy they're using, save money on their bills, and contribute to the energy security of wider society. 


Checklist Film Logo


Checklist Films Ltd will become a pioneer in the UK film industry for decarbonising all of our activities thus ensuring we make film productions that take nothing from our planet but give much to society.

Kaasai logoKaasai is a software company building fast automated data processing pipelines and light weight fast  automated data connection capabilities for stakeholders in the renewable and energy transition industry. 

Daphne Water Solutions logo

Daphne Water Solutions have developed a sustainable technology that removes chemicals contaminants from waste water enabling its reuse. The technology meets the zero-pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment. 

Peer Carbon Logo

Peer Carbon delivers hourly, location based carbon accounting and through its Carbon Flex API can enable businesses to reduce carbon emissions by a further 10 - 15%. 

 Salinity Solutions Logo


Salinity Solutions have developed a disruptive technology to dramatically reduce the high carbon footprint of water treatment. ​They can support a wide range of industries in the effort to solve the emerging global water crisis.


First Editions Logo - strapline innovation on top

First Editions is the largest, specialist trade manufacturer of British-made, branded sports bottles and drinkware. They place sustainability centre stage and offer complete transparency throughout our supply chain.

Furbnow logoFurbnow delivers low-carbon homes without the hassle from plan to delivery with our vetted marketplace powered by our Home Digital Twin Platform. They help homeowners and private landlords looking to invest in energy efficiency in their property



hubl logisitics



At Hubl Logistics, we empower mid and last-mile delivery companies, SMBs, and fresh & frozen food producers to achieve sustainable, cost-effective temperature-controlled transportation by utilizing our cutting-edge Coolrun pods.

Scan the Sun LogoThe ScanTheSun software is an innovative approach to the design of cost-effective and energy-efficient solar installations and tools for their sale by manufacturers and installers.

Origin Logo


Origin21 has a solution to lower the cost of extracting hydrogen from water using sonication, thereby making green hydrogen more affordable and competitive with grey hydrogen. 

Rendesco Logo


Rendesco is the UK’s leading company in the design and build of low-carbon heat networks using heat pump technology. Their  heat networks provide heating and hot water for 3,000+ homes across the UK.



Our Previous Cohorts 


In February 2023 fourteen cleantech businesses celebrated their graduation from the Climate Innovation Platform’s Low Carbon Energy Solutions, Innovator Challenge (Video transcript)

Cohort One

In November 2021, CIP welcomed its first cohort of 13 SME’s focussed on driving energy technology innovation onto the programme, they graduated in April 2022. 

connected response logo

Connected Response’s mission is to use their HeatSage retrofit technology to release the 1.5m households with electric storage and water heating from the shackles of Economy 7-type tariff night-time charging and associated fuel poverty. 

Demand Logic Logo

Demand Logic is a Building Analytics platform which provides actionable insight to reduce carbon emissions, increase Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and improve maintenance in buildings.

Everimpact logo

Everimpact have developed an IoT software that combines satellite, ground sensors, and AI data to establish clients’ carbon footprint and are a provider of real-time measures of CO2 emissions at asset and territory level. 

Faraday Battery logo

Faraday Battery Limited is a young SME, manufacturing battery packs at 0.1 MW to 1 MW scale for critical transport markets including electric trains, electric buses, and electric aircrafts. 

Veritherm Logo

The Veritherm Testing solution is a method for assessing the thermal performance of homes, offering an accessible service to measure real-world building performance, with minimal disruption.

Nomad Energy Solutions logo

Nomad is a technology-based service provider offering deep insights into building behaviour and gathering real time data to enable precision performance analytics and control.

PyTerra LogoPyTerra is developing a blockchain-backed platform which trades ESG tokens across multiple parties to raise low carbon project funding.

Steamology Logo

Steamology deliver scalable and modular solutions for industrial steam heat and power, embracing the hydrogen economy, eliminating emissions and replacing fossil fuels and fossil fuel engines.

Sygensys Logo

Sygensys is developing patented technology to enhance the performance of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology improving grid resilience. 


Data Catalyst delivers Smart Data as a Service - simply, and securely. Founded in 2020, their USP is to take the lessons of Open Banking and apply them to smarten-up shared data across sectors. 

Energineering logo

The MECHAPRES venture team are developing of a first-of-a-kind multi-energy-vector technology, endorsed by the International Energy Association as a subcategory of thermo-mechanical storage. Find out more on the Engineering website. 

Voltempo Logo

Voltempo creates rapid electric vehicle charging solutions for trucks, buses, cars and vans by installing a single megawatt site-wide charger, that can then charge between five and fifty vehicles simultaneously.

Fintricity logo

Kendra Labs, a subsidiary of Fintricity Ltd is a cloud native data and AI platform company providing an enterprise grade data layer for enterprises. 

Cohort Two 

 In July 2022, CIP welcomed its second cohort, they graduated in February 2023. 

mage (14)


Airhive is developing a modular Direct Air Capture technology that interfaces with the rapidly growing stock of air source heat pumps to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere.

Carbon Track LogoCarbonTRACK is enabling the UK’s transition to net zero by providing a simple, affordable way for owners of consumption, storage and generation energy assets to contribute to the energy eco system.

Emergent Logo


Emergent exists to accelerate the decarbonisation of homes. To do so we turn solar PV and other residential decarbonisation technologies into investible assets. 

Hy-Met LogoHy-Met Limited was established to help the transition to a sustainable energy economy by tackling key measurement challenges that are barriers to adoption of clean technologies.
Incube LogoIncube Space enables commercial real estate owners and tenants to reduce energy waste while providing optimal indoor air quality to occupiers
Microcab logoMicrocab is a UK based SME specialising in the design & development of Low Carbon mobility platforms, in particular the use of hydrogen and fuel cells to achieve zero emission mobility.
Noco LogoNOCO is a London based ClimateTech start-up that breaks down national net-zero pathways to the local energy system level.
Olsights LogoOlsights is a clean energy advisory analytics and web app developer founded in June 2020. Our purpose is to accelerate the energy transition by providing timely clean energy insights.

Perlemax LogoPerlemax is a development company  focussed on microbubbles. Currently there are two created techniques, which will impact many different processes, through improving yields, cutting power consumption or allowing new techniques to be realized.

Oxto Energy Storage Logo

OXTO Energy has developed a new generation of mechanical batteries. Our mission is to support the acceleration of the energy transition.

Surple LogoSurple removes the barriers to energy efficiency by making it easy to understand your energy consumption.



Sherwood Power reduces industrial and commercial business user cost by storing excess wind and solar electricity to release it during expensive periods to and/or generate revenue.

Quantenergy LogoQuantenergy provides accurate data-led insights to fast-track cleantech investment decisions that will achieve Net Zero targets and substantial financial savings for commercial and public sector property owners.




Delivered by the Birmingham Energy Institute

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In partnership with Catapult Energy SystemsEnergy Systems Catapult Logo