Innovate UK is investing £1.2 million dedicated to fostering collaborative projects that focus on the development of digital twins, enhancing data interoperability, and boosting cyber resilience across the nation’s energy infrastructures.

This initiative is part of the broader “Building a Secure Resilient World” programme (BSRW), which aims to safeguard the critical infrastructure that powers our daily lives. The primary goal of this competition is to strengthen the cyber resilience of the UK’s energy networks through advanced digital solutions, particularly by supporting the creation and integration of digital twins.

What is a Digital Twin?
A digital twin is a digital replica of a physical entity, system, or process that can be used for simulation, analysis, and optimisation. This technology allows for detailed insight into the operation and potential vulnerabilities of energy networks, offering significant opportunities for improvement in both efficiency and security.

Competition Details and Requirements
The competition invites proposals that:
• Develop, support, or deliver digital twins within energy networks.
• Significantly improve the cyber resilience of these networks.
• Enhance the quality and interoperability of data across energy networks.
• Engage end-users throughout the development process and demonstrate testing in real-world conditions.

Eligible projects may also:
• Enable the development of digital twins specifically for energy networks.
• Improve the resilience of systems, technologies, data, and information within these networks.
• Foster increased collaboration among SMEs, energy networks, and researchers.
• Deliver products, services, or solutions with potential for commercialization.
• Help achieve the objectives of the UKRI’s BSRW programme.

Who Can Apply?
Applications are welcomed from SMEs specialising in:
• Cybersecurity
• Data interoperability
• Operational technologies
• Analytics and digital twins

SMEs from outside the energy sector are particularly encouraged to apply, highlighting the competition’s focus on bringing innovative perspectives and technologies into the energy domain.

Funding Scope and Project Eligibility
The competition closes at 11am on 24th May 2024.  Eligible projects should request grant funding between £100,000 and £300,000 and must be completed within 6 to 12 months. All project activities must occur within the UK, and the results must be exploited domestically. The projects should be ready to commence by 1st October 2024, and wrap up by 30th September 2025.

Alternative Funding and Competition Dynamics
Applicants are encouraged to explore other funding avenues, such as the OFGEM SIF competition, to maximize their potential sources of support. It’s crucial to understand that this competition is highly competitive, and funding is limited. Even highly scored projects may not secure funding if the available resources are exhausted.

What Next?
For a free consultation to discuss your project’s fit with the competition, contact RedKnight today.