Strategic Innovation Fund - Innovation Challenges


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

Working in partnership with Innovate UK, the SIF 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. We will invite funding applications from network companies and the Electricity System Operator to address these Innovation Challenges.

The first SIF Innovation Challenges will open to applications on 31 August 2021, when we will invite project proposals from licensees.

Working with our stakeholders, we have identified four Innovation Challenge areas. These are:

  • Whole system integration
  • Data and digitalisation
  • Zero emission transport
  • Heat

Below we provide a copy of our Innovation Challenges, together with other documents which licensees will have to complete when bidding for funding. This documentation is issued in advance of the publication of the SIF Governance Document in order to provide those bidding with extra time to develop their projects.