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SHIFT fuels innovation with second round of funding for London SMEs tackling the climate emergency


  • SHIFT launches second round of £1.47m innovation programme to support London SMEs addressing the climate emergency 
  • The Future Industries Demonstrator Programme to invest in and support 215 London-based SMEs dedicated to tackling the climate crisis
  • The second of three open innovation challenges focuses on sustainability in construction and clean energy innovation.
  • Successful bids will win up to £25,000 funding along with access to support, expertise, networks, and dedicated workspace, on and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
  • The two-year programme is part-funded by £1.47m from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Apply here: www.shiftlondon.co.uk/future-industries-demonstrator/sustainable-structures-challenge

SHIFT, east London’s innovation agency based at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, has today (Thursday, February 8) announced the launch of the second round of the Future Industries Demonstrator Programme. The Future Industries Demonstrator has received £1.47m from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to address the urgent challenges posed by the climate emergency, and to support and scale London-based SMEs in their development of sustainable solutions. 

Pioneering startups and SMEs are now invited to apply for the next Open Innovation Challenge calling for solutions that reduce or prevent carbon emissions in the construction and energy sectors.. Organisations can apply for financial backing, coupled with access to valuable support, networking and dedicated workspace. SHIFT is collaborating with experts from innovation company Plexal, University College London, and Hackney Wick Fish Island Community Development Trust to provide holistic support to successful applicants, including 1:1 coaching from a circular business specialist, and dedicated workspace at The Loop, east London’s new hub for circular economy businesses. 

The theme of the second challenge is ‘Sustainable Structures.’ Organisations that are working on a solution to one or both of the key challenges facing east London’s built environment are particularly welcome to apply:

  • Building for the future (Construction): Integrating sustainability in construction and enhancement of new and existing structures. This includes innovations in measuring emissions, pioneering materials, financing retrofit, and new retrofit solutions.
  • Fuelling the future (Clean Energy): Innovation in clean energy, including diversifying the energy mix, developing storage solutions for clean energy, and empowering individuals and businesses to play an active role in the future of London’s energy system. 

Abdul Rahim, the Chief Innovation Officer of SHIFT, said: “We had a great response to the first challenge with high quality bids from local organisations as well as interest from across the capital. We are optimistic that we’ll see an equally impressive response to this latest challenge. 

“This programme is aimed at delivering systemic changes for lasting impact rather than piecemeal action. We know there are organisations that can deliver these structural changes and our funding and support can help them scale-up their ideas to deliver practical and lasting change.”

Applications for the second challenge are open until March 15, 2024 with an online information webinar scheduled for February 28, 2024 for those interested in applying. You can sign up to attend here

The first challenge saw five companies gain access to £125,000 funding and a bespoke accelerator programme powered by Plexal. 

The third and final innovation challenge will launch in July 2024. 

Applications are now open via the SHIFT website. SMEs can also sign up to join SHIFT’s Membership ecosystem of 100+ innovative organisations to get access to exclusive benefits and to stay updated with all the latest information about the Future Industries Demonstrator Programme.  

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