KTN Innovation Exchange challenge - innovative approaches to decarbonisation of large engines

KTN’s Innovation Exchange is supporting The Greater South East Energy Hub and 14 Local Authorities in their area to identify novel solutions to innovation challenges. The challenge holder is looking for novel solutions for reducing carbon emissions within local authority vehicle fleets. 

Opportunity Details


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Purchase of solution, possible investment

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KTN’s Innovation Exchange has posted a challenge from the Greater South East Energy Hub,  a collaboration of eleven Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). These LEPs are working together to increase the number, scale and quality of local energy projects being delivered across the greater south east region of England. The Energy Hub works with public sector organisations and their stakeholders to support the development and financing of local energy projects. The Energy Hub is working with 14 local authorities to ensure they meet their net zero goals around electrification of transport (additional ones may also express interest).

The government recently announced that UK would need to reduce its carbon emissions by 68% before 2030 from 1990 levels. Between 1990 and 2018 the transport sector reduced their carbon emissions by only 3% so this an area that needs particular focus. Several of the Local Authorities have declared climate emergencies, setting net Zero Carbon targets. Furthermore, some are developing/have developed clean air plans. To enable this, they would like to have market ready solutions to decarbonise their existing fleet of vehicles in a cost-effective way.

The local authority fleets are diverse and of various ages but typically include vehicles like: refuse vehicles, single and double decker buses, road sweepers, utility vehicles, mini-buses, gritters and other specialist vehicles. These vehicles often have an in-use life between 7 and 15 years. It is important to find ways to reduce carbon emissions from the fleets without replacing the vehicles with new models. The vehicles operate over a wide range of duty cycles from rural and semi-rural to urban. It may be that electric retrofit options are more suitable for urban routes, while other technology such as hydrogen could offer emission reduction for rural routes. Local authorities are looking for technology providers who can provide decarbonising solutions for these vehicles with the caveat that other emissions must not be worsened.

The Energy Hub and their stakeholders, including local authorities who operate vehicles, may be interested in modular retrofit solutions that can be easily matched to use cases.


Rewards and benefits

Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to pitch to the challenger. The package may also include:

  • Support from KTN and Greater South East Energy Hub
  • Introductions to relevant organisations or potential collaborations and any applicable funding streams
  • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot
  • Technical support from fleet managers within local authorities with support from their business teams as required
  • A place in KTN events
  • Potential access to a public procurement network


If you have a possible solution to this challenge, find out more and apply via the Innovation Exchange here.

Related programme

Innovation Exchange

Innovation Exchange

Innovate UK 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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