Three-month Research, Development & Innovation project opportunities

Keele University is looking to commission a series of exciting opportunities with Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire-based small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the delivery of 25 three-month research, development and innovation (RD&I) projects linked to the Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) and supporting solutions that can contribute to the UK Renewable Energy Road Map.

The SEND project will enable the development of research, development and innovation within 25 Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire-based SMEs by placing a researcher to support the business to progress their project proposal. 

The European Commission defines an SME based on staff headcount and either turnover or balance sheet total:

Company categoryStaff headcountTurnoverBalance sheet total
Medium-sized < 250 ≤ €50m ≤ €43m
Small < 50 ≤ €10m ≤ €10m
Micro < 10 ≤ €2m ≤ €2m

Project proposals will be assessed by an expert panel prior to commissioning to secure the best fit to the research required.

A dedicated support team is in place to support the business and research team from the initial concept stage through to completion of research.

The area of the research work that Keele University is looking to commission is indicated in the table below:

R&D capability deliveredResearch objectives
As is energy usage, energy supply and usage data, inputs for modelling Existing energy use models, behavioural effects on energy demand, non-energy uses of energy data e.g. health
Integration of smart meter and home network. C&I Controllers and appliance level load control Appliance level demand management, cybersecurity behavioural aspects of demand side management
Integration of power, gas, heat supply and usage for whole system modelling Whole gas modelling, use of new energy vectors eg H2, Nh3. GHG saving modelling.
Enables renewable energy and storage balancing across the system Network impacts of renewables, integration of newer renewables, end-user and network storage opportunities.
Enables scheduling / dispatching if renewable DER to balance micro-grid. Islanding and reconnection, business models for local energy markets, supply security in local energy, behavioural responses to local energy.
Enable charging and storage and vehicle 2 grid capability. Low-carbon vehicles as stores, cybersecurity in vehicle 2 grid, behavioural requirements.
Management of energy network to overcome congestion points & reduce/delay upgrade investment.  Operation of networks of the future.
Product development in energy sector enterprises supporting the renewable energy sector Research and trialling of new products on the SEND Platform.
Research into behavioural characteristics in the use of domestic meters To understand the reluctance to adopt and utilise smart metering.
Sector Skills Research to identify HE energy sector skills requirements in Computing, AI, Robotics and Mathematics.
AI Technology Development of smart applications to enable behavioural adaptations in energy use and system management.