Energised small businesses can win big!

For immediate release – 28 August 2018

A £10,000 prize will be on offer for at this year’s Low Carbon Networks Innovation (LCNI) conference, the UK’s largest smart grid conference, as start-ups and SMEs will have the chance take part in the Dragons’ Den-style event.
The Innovate UK and Energy Networks Association’s Dragons’ Den-style session is one of the highlights of this year’s Conference programme. Entrants will pitch their project ideas to a panel of senior managers from the gas and electricity networks who will judge the proposals.
The competition is a great opportunity for everyone involved. Judges are looking forward to seeing the creative and innovative ideas from the SMEs. The eventual winner or winners will receive funding to help them winners to further develop a full proposal for a Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) project.
As well as taking part in the Dragons’ Den session, successful applicants will be allocated a stand on the Innovation Hub. Companies will also receive one free pass to the Conference and Exhibition.
The 2018 event will offer a unique opportunity for innovators: to raise their profile, develop relationships, gain insight into the needs of the UK’s gas and electricity network operators and seek funding opportunities. The innovation showcase zone will provide a great position for SMEs to exhibit their innovative solutions for the industry at a major UK event.
The seed fund of £10,000 has been put forward by Innovate UK and Energy Network Association’s gas and electricity members. The closing date for applications is the 31st August 2018. Successful applicants will be informed by the 7th September 2018.
Mark Thompson, Head of Energy at Innovate UK says:
“We’ve long recognised that LCNI is the “golden go-to” event for anyone working in innovation that affects or could be used in the UK’s energy networks. We are very excited about the prospects for the new Dragons Den-style session at the event, and hope that this high profile exposure and the prize on offer will bring forward fresh thinking and disruptive ideas that creates new win-win opportunities for both innovators and our energy system”
David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association says:
“The energy networks are always excited to hear about new, innovative ideas that will help them to shape the energy system of the future. SMEs have a really important role to play so the £10,000 prize will go a long way to help them develop a comprehensive and innovative project. I would strongly urge anyone who’s interested and has a good idea to enter, and we’ll look forward to welcoming you at the LCNI in October.”


Notes to Editors

  • The Energy Networks Association (ENA) represents the companies that operate and maintain the gas and electricity grid network in the UK and Ireland. Serving over 30 million customers, they are responsible for the transmission and distribution network of “wires and pipes” that keep our lights on, our homes warm and our businesses running.
  • Sponsored by Cadent, the LCNI will be held on Tuesday-Wednesday 16-17 October 2018 at The International Centre, Telford.
  • To complete an application form to participate in the innovation hub and the dragons’ den session click here. Successful applicants will receive:
    • Opportunity to pitch their cross-vector project proposal at the Dragons’ Den Session and win a £10,000 seed fund.
    • An LCNI Conference and Exhibitors pass.
    • A pod on the Innovation Hub.
    • A one-page summary of their company and innovation in a brochure to be produced for the exhibition. Companies are required to upload suitable text with their application.
    • Networking support and personal introductions to network innovation teams.
    • Online promotion by Innovate UK, BEAMA, ESC and EIC prior and during the event, via organisation websites and twitter.
  • Tickets for the LCNI Conference are available here.

For further information please contact:

Peter Kocen
Senior Press and Public Affairs Manager
Energy Networks Association

T: +44 (0) 20 7706 5118
Email: [email protected]
Press Team: [email protected]