Funded development support for your company's future

Part of the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator project, the Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) programme offers support worth up to £129,000.

Keele University is working with businesses, graduates and academics to create Europe’s first ‘at scale’ Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND)* – a living laboratory where new energy-efficient technologies can be researched, developed and tested in a real world environment.  

A key element of Keele University’s SEND project is a collaborative RD&I product development programme on industry-led university research, and we are looking for ambitious Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire businesses who want to develop their products or services or to develop new markets.

Your company can benefit from

  • An intensive three-year programme of funded research and development (RD&I) to develop a new product, process, service or a new market for the company
  • A paid-for specialist Graduate Researcher for up to three years
  • An opportunity to undertake a substantive collaborative project with a research organisation with expertise in your area
  • Support from one or more specialist academics from Keele University or another carefully selected organisation
  • Funding towards your Graduate Researcher’s equipment and/or software
  • Exclusive access to Open Innovation and networking events with industry leaders on Smart Energy, generation, networks and systems.

The programme will include a team of 26 Graduate Researchers and Engineers working to support Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire-based small or medium-size enterprises (SMEs).  Each RD&I project will consist of a three-year programme of collaborative RD&I activity, delivered by a graduate researcher and a University-based RD&I team working with a local SME.  Graduate researchers will be offered the opportunity to register for a PhD while working full-time on the collaboration with the eligible business.  For information on current projects, please click here.

To register your interest in being one of an exclusive group of 26 ambitious businesses to benefit from an intensive three-year programme of funded RD&I to develop products or services link to smart energy, please contact Keele University's Business Gateway on business.gateway@keele.ac.uk or 01782 733001.

Additional information

EU and UK Gov funded *The SEND project (ref. 32R16P00706) is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme, and is available to ERDF eligible companies. The project is also receiving funds from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The demonstrator will build on the University’s privately-owned and managed smart energy network infrastructure and aims to optimise energy distribution and improve the management of a range of building-based and campus-wide on-site renewable or lower carbon energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.

Implementation of the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator commenced in 2017 and it is expected that, once established, the Demonstrator will:

  • Produce savings of up to 3,800 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per year
  • Benefit over 240 businesses in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP area
  • Create up to 440 jobs
  • Support the UK renewables sector more generally

Shorter-term funded projects, internships, product development, leadership development, consultancy, innovation workshops and a wide range of other projects and facilities for businesses of all sizes are also available through Keele University's Business Gateway.