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Energy Innovation Centre announces move to CLG

Cheshire’s Energy Innovation Centre has announced that it will be backed by major energy industry players to become a company limited by guarantee (CLG) and a legal entity in its own right. This coincides with a recent visit to the centre by the Energy Secretary Ed Davey, showing confidence and support for its work and ambitions.

Denise Massey

The centre, based in Capenhurst, has been affiliated with EA Technology since it was set-up as a joint NWDA / ERDF funded project in 2008.

Northern Power Grid, Electricity North West, Scottish & Southern Energy, Scottish Power Energy Networks and UK Power Networks are all backing the move to CLG status which means that the centre will be able to continue to provide access to new technology for their networks and extend the support services available.

This news follows the recent announcement of a £29.2m funding pot available from Ofgem’s Innovation Funding Incentive scheme and the £500m Low Carbon Network Fund (LCNF).

The funding can be accessed via the Energy Innovation Centre and investments will be selected by five of the UK’s leading electricity distribution companies; Electricity North West, Northern Power Grid, ScottishPower Energy Networks, Scottish and Southern Energy and UK Power Networks.

Director of the centre, Denise Massey (pictured), said: “Becoming a CLG will see no change to the centre’s operation or its objectives. We will continue to accelerate bright ideas for the energy industry to market, especially in light of the Government’s commitment to a low carbon future. The centre’s success has proved the model has a strong place in the energy innovation marketplace and is testament to EA Technology’s vision back in 2008. Since our launch in 2008, EIC has worked with more than 100 SMEs and has created 64 business opportunities with six companies, securing a total of £20m in funding.”

Mark Mathieson, Managing Director Of Networks at Scottish and Southern Energy said: “Over the last four years the Energy Innovation Centre has proven the model that our Innovation funding can be invested wisely in early stage ideas and to great effect.

“The EIC is developing a model of best practice, accelerating early stage businesses to market and for this reason, for us, the CLG structure is sustainable and now has an increasingly strong role to play for the energy networks generally.”

A recent success story from the centre is Live Alert; a device invented to protect the lives of farmers and outdoor workers who risk becoming electrocuted if their metal vehicle touches a power line.

The inventor of the device, David Lloyd Jones, secured £60,000 funding needed from four energy networks and the product is soon to be released onto the market.

The centre is looking to expand its technical team to deal with the rapidly growing number of enquiries from SMEs and entrepreneurs as awareness of the centre increases, and it hopes to create two more new companies and 30 new jobs by 2015.

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