KTN-iX challenge: Digital Tools for the Built Environment

Through this iX challenge, EQUANS, part of the ENGIE Group, is looking for SME’s with innovative tools for the built environment who are interested in corporate strategic investment, with innovations across energy, mobility and infrastructure that enable smarter and greener places. Alongside technical innovations, EQUANS is interested in educational tools that help to promote behavioural change in communities, supporting democratisation in achieving decarbonisation.

Opportunity Details


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The project must cost between £100,000 and £1,200,000: 50% of the funding will come from EQUANS as an equity investment, and 50% of the funding will come from Innovate UK Grant.


Innovate UK

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Through a unique combination of capabilities in energy, services and regeneration, EQUANS, an ENGIE company, is well placed as the partner of choice to help businesses and local authorities in the transition to a net zero future.

As a strategic supplier to the UK Government, with hundreds of customers across the public and private sector, EQUANS is committed to being a leader in the energy transition by deploying innovative solutions at scale. To support this strategy, EQUANS has partnered with Innovate UK to establish the Clean Growth Innovation Fund, an investment fund ring-fenced for UK-based start-ups and SME’s that are delivering on the UK’s Clean Growth agenda.

Through the Clean Growth Innovation Fund, EQUANS is looking to make strategic investments in cleantech start-ups and SME’s. As a strategic investor, EQUANS will help its portfolio of invested companies scale by providing access to capital, expertise and customers. This equity investment is matched by non-dilutive grant funding from Innovate UK to help invested companies accelerate their innovative R&D activity.

This is one of four challenges being run by EQUANS: see details of the other three on KTN-iX. Please note there is an opportunity to engage directly on all four challenges in an event coordinated by EQUANS,  KTN and Cambridge Cleantech on Thursday 22nd July, 12noon – 1:30pm – click here to book a place.

The Challenge

As part of this KTN IX challenge, EQUANS is working with KTN to look for companies with digital tools for the built environment that are interested in securing investment through the Clean Growth Innovation Fund.

By responding to this challenge, EQUANS will review your submission and successful applicants will be invited to pitch their solution to EQUANS, following the closure of the challenge, or sooner should there be high volumes of applications within any challenge area.

What does EQUANS mean by digital tools for the built environment?

EQUANS manages a vast number of public and private estates and is a leading provider of integrated facilities management services. In order to supplement the in-house solutions developed by EQUANS Smart Buildings, EQUANS is looking for innovative solutions that can facilitate the decarbonisation of buildings, optimise asset management and promote healthy environments.

These solutions could provide insight, action or outcomes as they increase the connectivity and flexibility of the built environment. Examples include:

  • Carbon accounting, reporting and compliance solutions
  • Data capture, analysis and insight solutions
  • Net Zero prop-tech and IOT
  • Energy and asset management platforms
  • Educational and gamification tools

Reference example: EQUANS is providing integrated facility management services to a customer across their multi-site estate. To improve operational efficiency, reduce carbon intensity and lower the customer’s energy bills, EQUANS has embarked on a process of digitising this service provision. Do you have a product/service/solution that can enhance EQUANS’s offering to this customer?

To be eligible for the Clean Growth Innovation Fund, you must define a project that you wish to be funded, which addresses the customer challenges and opportunities presented.

This project must cost between £100,000 and £1,200,000: 50% of the funding will come from EQUANS as an equity investment, and 50% of the funding will come from Innovate UK Grant.

Example: A company is valued at £2,500,000 and requires £500,000 for its project. £250,000 will come from EQUANS as aligned equity investment (10% shareholding) and £250,000 will come from Innovate UK as a non-dilutive grant.

Given the aligned investment is equity from EQUANS, there is a need for the business applying for the competition to have a strategic alignment with the priorities and challenges set out. You should also explain how you believe a strategic partnership between your company and EQUANS might be beneficial for both the company and EQUANS. Please include a pitch deck with your application.

Entrants to this competition must be:

  • UK based micro, small or medium-sized business (SME)
  • Able to carry out your project work in the UK
  • Intending to exploit the results through a UK-based company

Innovate UK and KTN do not take any share of IP ownership or enter into commercial venture through the iX programme.


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