SBRI Competition: Open Digital Solutions for Net Zero Energy

Organisations can apply for a share of £1.2 million, inclusive of VAT, to develop open solutions to accelerate decarbonisation of energy in the UK.

Opportunity Details


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£300,000 per project; this is expected to cover 100% of costs.



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This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The aim of the competition is to develop open software, hardware and data solutions that address the challenges of transforming to a net zero energy system in the UK. The competition will stimulate the development of collective equity for the sector and the creation of communities to support the development of reusable and open net zero energy solutions.

Your open solutions should accelerate the delivery of net zero energy in the UK. The outputs should be adopted by first users and have potential to be supported and adopted by the wider community and other users across the energy sector.

Projects in this competition must follow appropriate open approaches such as the Open Source Definition stewarded by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and have suitable open licencing, such as OSI approved licences. You must consider business model innovation options to support scaling and commercial growth based on open solutions.

Projects are expected to start by 1 July 2022 and end by 31 March 2023, and can last up to 9 months.

A total of up to £1.2 million, inclusive of VAT, is allocated to this competition. No further funding will be available as part of this competition after this single phase contract. Each contract will be up to £300,000 inclusive of VAT, and cover each project for up to 9 months. We expect to fund 4 projects.

Your application must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively to R&D services, including solution exploration and design. R&D can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service.

You must demonstrate that your open approaches and solutions can:

  • help citizens and organisations accelerate to a net zero energy system
  • stimulate collaboration across the energy sector to accelerate the development of shared and open digital resources
  • increase the transparency of digital solutions in the energy sector to improve security, quality, and value
  • create business growth opportunities based on supporting and adopting open principals and solutions
  • drive interoperability across organisations and solution providers

Your project must:

  • develop original open software, hardware or data solutions that accelerate the transition to net zero energy in the UK
  • embrace open principles including appropriate open approaches such as the Open Source Definition stewarded by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and have suitable open licensing, such as OSI approved licences.
  • actively foster the development of a community to support and adopt the open solution
  • include a first user as part of the project
  • demonstrate a credible and practical route to industry adoption

This competition will be supported by the Energy Systems Catapult. They will:

  • provide light touch support on the application process
  • provide projects with technical support throughout their duration
  • support collaborative working between successful projects
  • support open community building

Example open solutions could include:

  • heat pump controller
  • wind turbine location optimisation software
  • digital twin
  • smart sensors
  • battery management system
  • building heat loss software
  • heat network control system

You can email the Energy Systems Catapult to ask for application support and how the Catapult could support your project at

Your project must also:

  • use high quality user research and user experience techniques
  • use state of the art analytical techniques and methods for enriching data to gain information and insight, for example: data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence or statistical mathematics techniques
  • identify and design solutions that best utilise digital information exchange across the energy industry data ecosystem, and other sectors
  • foster innovation and lower information-related barriers by increasing visibility of data and data processing methods, and ease of data access
  • follow energy data best practice guidance
  • demonstrate how you are utilising diversity and inclusivity, both in your project delivery team and the users group you are designing a solution for

Innovate UK KTN will be holding a briefing on Wednesday 9th February at 1pm, online: register to attend by clicking the button below.


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