Business news


Posted By:
Lanyon Group

12th Aug 2022

The Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy (CASE) is pleased to announce that it has been selected to manage the Green Innovation Challenge Fund (GICF) on behalf of the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland.

CASE is an industry led, collaborative, sustainable energy research centre hosted at Queen’s University Belfast, partnering with Ulster University and the Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI). This new £4.5million award will help progress Northern Ireland along the path to Net Zero Energy, as outlined in the NI Energy Strategy 2021.

Speaking at the launch of the next round of funding, CASE Chairperson, Trevor Haslett CBE said,

Since it was established through the Invest NI competence centre programme, CASE has successfully bridged the gap between academic research offerings and industry research needs. Now we are seeking to go further and faster by being a facilitator to help alleviate the current energy crisis and move Northern Ireland further along the path to Net Zero. This next round of funding wil help a range of projects move forward and add their expertise to the mix. We wish all of those who apply for funding every success.”

Earlier this year, after the first announcement of funding, CASE allocated approximately £1m to four research projects involving Queen’s University, Ulster University, AFBI and 13 companies.  The projects will investigate the production of bio-fuels from waste cooking oil; develop new technology for marine mammal observations around tidal energy deployments and aid with the decarbonisation of the agriculture sector through innovative nutrient management. The research impact and outcomes will benefit the project consortium and the wider Northern Ireland economy.

Further funding is now available to CASE Member companies through the Department for the Economy’s Green Innovation Challenge Fund. The fund aims to further the goals of the 10X Economic Vision and the Energy Strategy by:

  • Encouraging green innovation in renewables and low carbon technologies;
  • Providing support to businesses to engage in research and development so that they can continue to innovate and drive new commercial opportunities;
  • Providing advisory services and support to assist companies in understanding innovation and developing their innovative capabilities;
  • Assisting SMEs to gain the skills they need to engage in innovation activities;
  • Assisting businesses to exploit new opportunities through the adoption of new technologies;
  • Fostering collaboration and partnership working between industry, academia and other civic institutions.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said:

“I welcome the success of the initial pilot of the Green Innovation Challenge Fund meaning we have been able to directly fund support for research and innovation to develop proposals from NI businesses on low carbon technologies helping to place us at the forefront of the energy transition. As recent global events have illustrated, the issue of securing an indigenous supply of low carbon or zero emission energy is more critical than ever. Diversifying our energy mix with new technologies in green hydrogen or developing low carbon synthetic alternatives to our everyday liquid fuels will increase our efficiency and move us forward on the path to be a zero carbon economy.”

CASE is seeking applications from suitably qualified consortia for research and development funding to support the decarbonisation of the energy system.  Proposals are sought from across the following research areas:

  • Ocean energy – wave, tidal, offshore wind, floating solar
  • Bio-energy – anaerobic digestion, biogas production, upgrading and bio-fuel production
  • Energy systems – community / local energy, grid stabilisation, ancillary and distribution system operator services, demand side management, integrated supply chains and Power-to-X

Trevor Haslett concluded,

“We would particularly welcome Pathfinder project applications which tackle technical, environmental, policy and social acceptance barriers in technologies which have been verified to TRL 6. These projects should aim to realise significant impacts across the wider supply chain, involve researchers from both technical and social science subject areas and may involve funding requests in excess of £375k.”

Further details on the funding criteria are available at