Net Zero Living: Fast Followers
Local authorities can apply for a share of up to £6 million to build skills and capabilities to accelerate local progress towards net zero.
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, are investing £6 million in this Fast Followers competition as part of the Innovate UK Net Zero Living programme.
The aim of this competition is to support local authorities in up to 20 places and fund a dedicated Net Zero Innovation and Delivery officer role. The funding will help you to further develop your net zero delivery plans, improve delivery pathways and enable adoption at scale of innovative products and services.
We will invest up to £300,000 per place over 2 years. If successful you will also have access to net zero skills and capability support provided by Innovate UK and our partners.
If successful you must:
- recruit a specific Net Zero Innovation and Delivery Officer to participate in the programme
- actively participate in a programme of net zero delivery support modules to be provided by Innovate UK and its partners
- implement the learning gained to a specific net zero project
Your project must:
- have total grant funding request between £250,000 and £300,000
- start on 1 July 2023
- end by 30 June 2025
- last for 24 months
- carry out all of its project work in the UK
- recruit and have a suitable candidate ready to take on the “Net Zero Innovation and Delivery Officer” role before commencement of the project
To lead a project or work alone your organisation must be a UK Local Authority (this includes county councils, district councils, unitary authorities, metropolitan districts and London boroughs). Regional collaborations coordinated through bodies such as combined authorities are also eligible. Eligible local authorities can work alone or in collaboration, including collaborations of local authorities.
Parish councils, community councils and town councils are not eligible to apply as a lead but can be a collaborative partner. Other UK registered organisations can collaborate.
The aim of this competition is to support local authorities in up to 20 places and fund dedicated Net Zero Innovation and Delivery officer roles. The funding will help you to further develop your net zero delivery plans, improve delivery pathways and enable adoption at scale of innovative products and services.
- demonstrate a knowledge of your understanding of the challenges in delivering your net zero plans
- create and recruit a Net Zero Innovation and Delivery Officer role within the local authority
- describe the support that will be offered to the Net Zero Innovation and Delivery Officer role within the local authority
- demonstrate senior level support and commitment for the Net Zero Innovation and Delivery Officer role
- include details of a previous net zero case study, that identifies your areas of need, how you tackled them and how the lessons learnt would create further impact
- explain how innovation would improve your approach to non-technical barriers
- how you would use the grant funding to invest in specific initiatives to identify and define improvements in non-technical barriers
If you are successful, during your 2 year project you will be expected to:
- complete a series of activity modules managed by Innovate UK
- provide better definition to your net zero plans and identify at least one project to demonstrate the impact of the funding
- produce a clearly defined net zero delivery plan that is supported by your stakeholders
- participate in monthly Fast Follower peer network cohort activities arranged by Innovate UK and participate in mentoring activities
- participate with training modules and expertise made available by Innovate UK to improve net zero delivery and disseminate this learning into your organisation and to your partners
- openly share learnings with the cohort and publicly, contributing to communications within your own organisation and other agencies
- develop a long-term plan demonstrating how the programme activities will support net zero delivery using a whole systems approach, including financing, beyond the funding period
- monitor impacts and share these and wider insights with Innovate UK and publicly
- produce a final report, in an agreed format, that documents all this list of requirements
You must identify a potential project that you will implement your programme learning and innovative approaches on.
Your project must focus on:
- identifying and addressing human, process and non-technical barriers, not infrastructure and technical barriers
- demonstrating the impact that these alternative approaches can make through application within a live project
- delivering net zero activities relating to heat, power, mobility or manufacturing
Non-technical barriers to delivery include, but are not limited to:
- capacity, capability and skills
- consumer engagement and behaviour change
- policy and regulation
- system governance
- common data standards for open source and interoperability
- ability to influence strategic grid reinforcement