Strategic Innovation Fund - Round Three Innovation Challenges


Publication date

Industry sector

  • Transmission Network
  • Distribution Network

The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) is a funding mechanism within the RIIO-2 network price control for the Electricity System Operator, Electricity Transmission and Electricity Distribution, Gas Transmission and Gas Distribution sectors.

Working in partnership with Innovate UK, Ofgem aims to find and fund ambitious, innovative projects with the potential to accelerate the transition to net zero. These projects should help shape the future of the gas and electricity networks and succeed commercially where possible.

To do this, we set the strategic direction (using Innovation Challenges) on what the SIF will fund. The third round of SIF Innovation Challenges will open to applications in September 2023. Innovators are invited to submit ideas that can help to tackle these challenges via Innovate UK’s Innovation Funding Service portal which is open from the 1st June until mid-August 2023. The best ideas will have an opportunity to pitch to the energy networks and submit applications for funding. The third round of SIF Innovation Challenges will open to applications in September 2023.

Working with stakeholders, we have identified four Innovation Challenges:

1. Whole system network planning and utilisation to facilitate faster and cheaper network transformation and asset rollout

2. Novel technical, process and market approaches to deliver an equitable and secure net zero power system

3. Unlocking energy system flexibility to accelerate electrification of heat

4. Enabling power-to-gas (P2G) to provide system flexibility and energy network optimisation

Below we provide a copy of our Innovation Challenges. Within this, we have described the process used to develop the Innovation Challenges, as well as the scope and partnership requirements for each challenge. This documentation is issued in advance of the opening of the Innovate UK portal for applications in order to provide those bidding with extra time to develop partnerships and project ideas.