Research, Development & Innovation projects

Opportunities for three-month projects

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire SMEs are being encouraged to take advantage of an exciting opportunity to collaborate with Keele University on sustainability-related projects.

Linked to the University's ground-breaking Smart Energy Network Demonstrator programme, local organisations are invited to submit proposals for projects relating to smart energy, low carbon or other sustainable technologies, where Keele can support with research, development and innovation.

Successful proposals will see a talented researcher working on the project with the business for three-months, aided by a dedicated University-based team who will support from concept to completion.

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

Designed to contribute to the UK Renewable Energy Road Map, the areas of the research work that Keele University is looking to commission are indicated in the drop-down below.

If you are a Stoke-on-Trent or Staffordshire-based SME who is interested in discussing this opportunity, then please contact Julian Read, SEND Business Engagement Manager, on

The areas of the research work that Keele University is looking to commission are 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.

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

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).