Over £9m awarded to nine game-changing data and digital technologies to accelerate net zero

  • Over £9 million awarded to data and digital technologies that will enable the energy transition, as part of NZTC’s 2023 open innovation programme, £3 million from NZTC and over £6 million co-funded by industry.
  • Nine winning technologies to secure up to £500K NZTC funding with the potential of additional match funding from industry.

The Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) has today [5th September 2023] announced the nine winners of its 2023 Open Innovation Programme. The funding competition focused on developing and deploying data and digital technologies that will enable the delivery of the UK’s net zero ambitions.

A total of 143 businesses from across the globe applied for up to £500K each in funding from NZTC. The entire awarded sum surpasses £9 million, comprising £3 million from NZTC and over £6 million co-funded by industry partners.

The winning projects will support the transition towards net zero, trialling and deploying technology within the UK continental shelf. As well as funding, the technology developers gain access to data, facilities, and technical expertise from industry across six technology focus areas:

  1. Integrated data platforms
  2. Visual simulations
  3. Predictive automation
  4. Ultimate remote operations
  5. Trials/demos for today’s robots
  6. Robotic manipulation capability

The winning technologies are:

  • Aircube for the design and development of human-assisted, long range, robotic manipulation capability with haptic feedback.
  • FutureOn for development of their FutureTwin platform to incorporate renewable energy assets, carbon emission tracking and plant optimisation, transforming FutureTwin into an integrated digital platform for de-risking and accelerating Net Zero energy projects in the UKNS.
  • Heriot-Watt University for the development of robotics and uncrewed vehicle inspection systems for offshore wind farms using forward looking sonar.
  • Nauticus for executing underwater inspection and survey missions using supervised autonomy​.  Offshore Testing and third party validation of the launch and recovery of a UAV through USV with subsea work scope(s) mission execution.
  • Predyct to develop their predictive artificial intelligence (AI) driven maintenance system with nano-sensors to eliminate visual inspections and non-destructive testing (NDT) on wind farms and offshore energy assets.
  • Quasset for the development of scalable and sustainable robotics for inspection, maintenance and support tasks on Normally Unattended Facilities (NUF).
  • SUPCON for the development, pilot, and deployment of an intelligent and AI-Powered autonomous ground robot and drone for greenhouse gas survey and assets inspection.
  • VISR for the development of a metaverse energy control room and unified platform for human-robot collaboration and remote based both onsite and remotely.
  • XL Group for accelerating the service industry’s capability for the provision of modular, scalable robotic fleet management.

Final award decisions are subject to due diligence checks and business case validation.

Rebecca Allison, Chief Operations Officer, Net Zero Technology Centre commented: “We had a fantastic response to our latest call for ideas and the competition was strong, which demonstrates the appetite for developing net zero focused technologies. By harnessing the power of real-time data collection, analysis, and predictive modelling, robotics and artificial intelligence the energy industry can access unique insights, make smarter decisions, reduce emissions and enhance safety. These technologies will accelerate progress towards net zero and facilitate the energy transition.”

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