SBRI competition - Modernising Energy Data Applications phase 1

Organisations of any size can apply for a share of £750,000, inclusive of VAT, to develop data applications that help to address core challenges faced in the UK. The aim of the competition is to develop data applications that address the challenges faced by organisations and individuals to deliver net zero local energy systems. Briefing recording now available.

Opportunity Details


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Projects can range in size up to total costs of £150,000, inclusive of VAT.



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This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by UKRI, and sponsored by BEIS and Ofgem. The aim of the competition is to develop data applications that address the challenges faced by organisations and individuals to deliver net zero local energy systems.

A briefing recording is now available: click here to view.

The data-driven applications must facilitate progress towards net zero local energy systems whilst improving people’s lives, by combining energy data with data from other sectors. The outputs should benefit the users of local energy systems and provide scalable commercial opportunities to the funded organisation.

This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition. Only successful applicants from phase 1 will be able to apply to take part in phase 2. A separate application as well as expert panel interview will be required for applicants for the phase 2 competition.

Phase 1: research and development contracts, feasibility study

The first phase involves research and development (R&D) contracts being awarded to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed solution. Including capturing users views on the proposed service, as well as evaluation of the benefits towards costs, decarbonisation, user experience and governance. A total of up to £750,000, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this phase.

Feasibility study R&D contracts can be up to to £150,000 per project, inclusive of VAT. This is for each project for up to 3 months. Projects are expected to start by 1 March 2021 and end by 31 May 2021.

We expect to fund up to 6 projects. The assessors will consider fair value in making their evaluation.

We welcome bids from single organisations, who may choose to work alone or with other organisations and sector specialists as subcontractors.

Successful applicants from phase 1 will be invited to apply for phase 2.

Phase 2: research and development contracts, prototype development and testing (only upon successful completion of Phase 1)

The second phase will award up to 3 R&D contracts. Up to £420,000, inclusive of VAT, will be allocated for each contract, to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 9 months.

The contract is completed at the end of phase 2, and the successful organisation is expected to pursue commercialisation of their solution. Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be the subject of a separate, possible competitive, procurement exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.



To lead a project, you must:

We encourage partnerships with academic institutions or research organisations, that facilitate applied development of emerging data and digital techniques including, but not limited to:

  • machine learning techniques
  • simulation environments
  • edge computing

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design.


The aim of this competition is to demonstrate that applications which combine data from multiple sectors can:

  • help individuals and organisations deliver net zero local energy systems
  • improve people’s lives, and
  • create business opportunities

You must build upon work with Modernising Energy Data Access (MEDA) competition winners.

Your application should demonstrate how the open source software solutions developed under the MEDA competition can facilitate better access and interoperability of energy data for innovators, by building upon the approaches developed through the MEDA projects.

MEDapps projects must:

  • demonstrate that by combining energy data with data from other sectors, solutions can be built that help accelerate the move towards net zero local energy systems that meet the needs of their users.
  • address the real world need of a user (organisation or persons) within a local energy system
  • meaningfully utilise one or more data sources from a sector other than the energy sector.

Sectors could include other infrastructure sectors such as (but not limited to):

  • telecommunications
  • water
  • transport, or
  • waste

and non-infrastructure sectors such as (but not limited to):

  • agriculture
  • social care
  • health

If you want help to find a project subcontractor or stakeholders to engage with to develop your idea, contact the Knowledge Transfer Network’s Energy team.

A briefing for this event was held on 22nd September – watch the recording here.


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