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.
Network Innovation Allowance (NIA)
Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) is a set allowance that each network receives to administer as part of their network price control. It is designed for early-stage research and development or small-scale demonstration projects.
Using NIA, we develop and provide funding for projects which link to at least one of our innovation priorities (detailed in our Innovation Strategy). We welcome your project proposals throughout the year.
Fill in the Big Idea form - this will be sent straight to our Innovation team who will assess your idea.
Before submitting your Big Idea, we recommend reading our NIA Project Requirements.
Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)
The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) is administered by Ofgem with support from Innovate UK (UKRI). It is focused on funding large-scale transformational research and development projects in 3 phases (Discovery, Alpha, Beta). You can read more about the phases and requirements of the fund in the SIF Governance Document.
For each Discovery funding round application, Ofgem and UKRI publish challenge areas related to the energy transition to net zero that projects should address. You can keep up to date with the latest challenges and deadlines on Ofgem's website and their SIF newsletter.
If you think you have a idea for a large scale transformational project suitable for SIF funding and the ESO you can email us with your proposal.