Innovation Exchange challenge: Heating of Multi-Occupancy Retirement Courts

Innovation Exchange is working to identify low-carbon space and water heating solutions for multi-occupancy retirement courts through a retrofit programme.

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Pitch opportunity, support, potential business collaboration.

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Innovation Exchange is working with Wealden District Council and the Greater South-East Net Zero Hub to identify better means of heating multi-occupancy retirement courts as their existing systems are renewed. The ambition is to provide cost-effective, very low carbon heating of water and spaces through a retrofit programme, with the heating able to deliver both warmer background temperatures and locally elevated temperatures, compared to more mainstream residential dwellings.

Entrants are expected to be established businesses, academic institutions, startups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs that are UK based, or have the intention to set up a UK base. Consortia approaches are welcome.

Wealden District Council are keen to explore innovative technologies for both energy generation and heating that are either near market ready and at a lower readiness for potential future use. The District Council has identified a site for a potential pilot.

The local authority has several retirement courts comprising between 14 and 70 units for people of retirement age.  Some of the courts are now coming up to the replacement of heating systems, generally gas boilers but also a heat pump. The local authority are looking for innovators that have ideas and practical solutions for providing reliable, cost effective, low-carbon, space and water heating for the comfort and safe wellbeing of the residents against the elevated temperature characteristics needed for these residents.

The local authority is open to both additional energy generation, water heating and space heating solutions; such as solar, heat pumps, radiators and other emitters and any other forms of keeping the buildings and rooms warm. The local authority would also be interested in solution providers who may have localised additional heating for where the residents may sit for extended periods of time, this could allow other parts of the building to be at a slightly lower temperature.

Any form of heating will need to keep the residents warmer than a normal home due to the need to keep the aged at a slightly higher body temperature, with many choosing to be just under 25 degrees in the main room. The flats are between 38 and 71 sqr.m with between 14 to 70 flats in a given retirement court plus communal spaces between 500 and 1400sqr.m. For full functional and technical requirements, please visit the Innovation Exchange site at the link below.

Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to pitch to Wealden District Council. The package may also include:

  • Support from Innovate UK KTN.
  • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot.
  • Technical support.
  • Invitation to attend or present at Innovate UK KTN events.
  • A potential business collaboration.
  • Investor introductions (if investment is required).
  • Support if any Innovate UK or similar competitions are relevant.
    Networking to other solution providers.

Related programme

Innovation Exchange

Innovation Exchange

Innovate UK KTN’s Innovation Exchange is a cross-sector programme supporting innovation transfer by matching industry challenges to innovative companies from other sectors. It does this by putting large businesses with technical needs in contact with companies who have the right innovative solutions, for faster development of novel solutions.


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