The Technology Strategy Board
(TSB) provides millions of pounds in grants to support innovative UK companies every year, but following a review of its low carbon buildings
programme, it is now looking to switch its funding away from the technology innovators
to the supply chain
"We are targeting major developers, major contractors and large property owners or large tenants," Ian Meikle, head of the TSB’s Low Impact Buildings
programme, told GreenWise
. "We don’t want technology providers to apply for the funding
, but the people with purse strings to apply."
Change of focus
The change of focus follows a number of projects the TSB has been involved in, including the Energy Efficiency
Whitehall competition, a £2.75 million retrofit programme that has been taking place across a number of Whitehall buildings. The project, which is part-funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and concludes in March, is trialing a range of innovative energy efficiency solutions.
"Whitehall [project] worked well, but we want to get out to the rest of the market," Meikle said. "You get good ownership during a trial – and it’s about meeting the needs of the [end user].
"We all know what it’s like to have product pushed on us, but often the product doesn’t meet our needs."
Another reason for the change in funding strategy is repeatability, said Miekle."If it works, we’ve got x number of projects to roll it out to," he said.
An example of an initiative that is successfully delivering these objectives, according to Meikle, is AIMC4. The £6.4 million project, part-funded by the TSB, is a consortium of leading housebuilders including Stewart Milne Group, Crest Nicholson and Barratt Developments. Aircrete concrete supplier H+H, Oxford Brookes University and the Building Research Establishment are also involved in the project. The aim of the partnerships is to research, develop and pioneer the volume production of low carbon homes.
"The closer you get to the supply chain
, the better the outcome," Meikle said. "By collaborating between themselves and with their suppliers, the partners in AIMC4 have totally improved their product."
Calls for funding from the TSB’s low impact building programme apply to projects with value ranging between £1million to £10 million, said Meikle.
Those companies interested in applying should do so via the Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network, he said.
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