A grant scheme funded through solar feed-in-tariffs (FiT) has been launched by energy supplier Centrica.
The Energy for Tomorrow scheme has been designed to support entrepreneurs who have concepts and innovations that tackle climate change, lower energy bills and deliver what Centrica describes as “real impact to people and communities”.
Six to ten organisations will be partnered as part of the scheme, receiving a boost of between £100,000 and £500,000 over a period of up to three years. Smaller organisations with a turnover of under £1 million will be given priority, as well as projects focused on the UK and entrepreneurs form diverse backgrounds.
The scheme’s revenue is derived from the FiTs of solar panels installed on over 250 schools across the UK, Centrica said, with the panels currently saving each school close to £2,500 a year.
Applications are now being accepted for the first theme, ‘Innovations that help make people’s lives easier and more sustainable’.
“British industry is missing out on a huge pool of talent whose ideas and innovations could deliver significant impact and benefit to society,” Sarah Wright, fund manager at Energy for Tomorrow, said, stating that the importance of diversity in innovation “cannot be underestimated”.
Centrica pointed to research from Beauhurst that found that 91% of all venture capital investment in the UK is raised by companies with all male founding teams, as well as research from RateMyInvestor showing that 1% of venture-backed founders were black over the last five years.
Energy for Tomorrow is accepting applications from charities, CICs and not-for-profit and for-profit companies and enterprises with “a clear social mission”. This includes those that are innovators, helping people and supporting communities.