Get involved

Collaborate with the Electricity System Operator to deliver innovation.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is investing in innovation by working with industry and academia to develop and deliver innovation projects. Our partners involve large businesses, small medium-sized enterprises, research organisations, as well as utilities and network operators.

If you are interested in the types of innovation projects we are undertaking, please have a look at our NIA Annual Summary.

Learn about our Innovation process

We are looking to collaborate with partners to solve challenges facing the future energy system.


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Innovating with the Electricity System Operator

We’ve put together a document to help you understand our innovation process, ways we fund innovation and how to get involved.

View the Innovating with the ESO document (interactive)
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Submit your Big Idea

Fill in the Big Idea form - this will be sent straight to our Innovation team who will assess your idea.

Submit your Big Idea

Before you submit your big idea, please note:

  • ESO’s Innovation Strategy
    We publish our Innovation Strategy annually, outlining key innovation priority areas we are aiming to focus on in the upcoming year. We strongly recommend having a look at this publication before submitting your idea. This will ensure your idea is aligned to one or more of our innovation strategic priority areas.

  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
    NIA and SIF Governance IPR requirements address two types of IPR:

    • Background IPR consists of all the rights in IPR brought to a project by a participant or created or acquired or licensed by the participant independently of the project. Background IPR will still be owned by the participant that brought it to the project.

    • Foreground IPR is the IPR created by the project. Each project participant shall own all Foreground IPR that it independently creates as part of the project, or where it is created jointly then it shall be owned in shares that are in proportion to the work done in its creation.

More information on the position on IPR (as well as Innovation process) can be found in the Energy Networks Innovation Process (ENIP) Document.

  • Data Access Details
    Details on how network or consumption data arising in the course of a NIC, NIA or SIF funded project can be requested by interested parties, and the terms on which such data will be made available by the ESO can be found in our publicly available “Data sharing policy relating to NIC/NIA/SIF projects.
    ESO already publishes much of the data arising from our NIC/NIA/SIF projects at Smarter Networks Portal (SNP). You may wish to check this website before making an application under this policy, in case the data which you are seeking has already been published.

  • Smarter Networks Portal
    If your idea is not suitable for the ESO, you can submit your idea to Energy Networks Association (ENA) through Smarter Networks Portal (SNP)– these ideas will be discussed at the next relevant working group meeting following which formal decision response will be sent by ENA on behalf of the Energy Networks.

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Email the team

If you want to reach out to the ESO Innovation Team, we’d be happy to hear from you. Please get in touch.

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Stay up to date

Stay up to date with ESO updates and future events by signing up to our mailing list.