The innovation team organises and participates in events throughout the year to create a space for idea creation, collaborative project development, and to share outcomes from our innovation activities. 


Find out about future events

Our innovation events are driven by collaboration. Subscribe to our mailing list and we’ll let you know when the next event will be. Don’t miss out.

Upcoming events

Past events

19 April 2023

Innovation Strategy Webinar

Virtual Event

Join our Innovation Strategy webinar to find out about our role as an Innovation team, funding mechanisms, priority areas for the year ahead, projects in our portfolio and how you can get involved.

Download the slides

20-21 July 2022

Open Innovation Event


In June 2022 we launched a call for stakeholders across the energy sector to submit project proposals addressing priority challenge areas, to join an Open Innovation Event in Birmingham July 2022. Following the call, we selected five project proposal teams to collaborate with subject matter experts from National Grid ESO (ESO) and other networks (ET, GT, WPD) to develop their ideas over two days at the event.

Download the Open Innovation Event challenges

8-9 December 2020

Energy Networks Innovation Conference

Virtual Event

The flagship Network Innovation conference has been rebranded from LCNI to ENIC. This annual event is where all the GB electricity and gas networks present the latest findings from their R&D and innovation activities over the last year.

27-28 November 2019

Open Innovation Event


We want to partner with academic, industry and other innovators to develop projects that address our innovation priorities in electricity. Significant funding is available for successful applications.

Soundbites Open Innovation event

30-31 October 2019

Low Carbon Networks Innovation Conference and Exhibition


Come and hear how we are contributing towards a secure, sustainable and affordable electricity system.

October 2018

Power Responsive Flexibility Forum

The Crystal, London

The SO Innovation team presented an overview of their process, as well as informing attendees of the upcoming refresh of the SO Innovation Strategy, the various sources of funding available, and how to get involved with innovative ideas.

Power Responsive Presentation

October 2018

Power Potential dissemination event

The Crystal, London

The Power Potential project is a joint initiative with National Grid ESO and UK Power Networks, which aims to create a new reactive power market for distributed energy resources and generate additional capacity on the network. Power Potential could save energy consumers over £400m by 2050 and generate up to an additional 4 GW in the south-east region of the UK. This is the first project in the world to trial this!

The project hosted its first industry dissemination event and it was a great success! The November event, which took place in London, highlighted the latest updates from the commercial and technical workstream of the innovation project, as well as other topical subjects within the energy industry.

16-17 October 2018

Low Carbon Networks Innovation (LCNI) Conference

International Centre, St Quentin Gate, Telford

LCNI brings together experts from across the energy sector to showcase the latest electricity and gas network innovation projects and technology crucial in supporting the sector’s transition to a low carbon energy future. The Electricity System Operator will showcase its latest achievements and invite you to visit our stand to check them out and learn more about innovating with us.

28 June 2018

Energy Networks Association dissemination event

ENA offices, 4 More London Riverside, London

National Grid System Operator will present findings from some of its innovation projects at ENA’s dissemination event, focused on new technologies and commercial evolution.

22-23 May 2018

Utility Week Live

National Exhibition Centre, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham

Visit the SO Innovation team at Stand E49.Learn about our innovation priorities and find out how to collaborate with us. Also check out a virtual reality experience that brings to life concepts like energy system balancing, system inertia and reactive power.

23 March 2018

Open Innovation Day


Open Innovation Day gave industry and academia an opportunity to co-create innovation projects with experts within National Grid System Operator.

The Innovation team held a competitive open call, reviewed over 120 applications and selected the most promising innovation ideas to be worked up into projects. Eight groups from industry and academia were invited to Open Innovation Day, an intensive one-day project development event, and five of them were selected to further develop project ideas and ultimately apply for NIA funding.

5-6 March 2018

SO Hackathon:Hack the Demand Curve 
(Watch our video)


Hack the Demand Curve brought together 40 people from across the SO to work on three challenges facing different parts of the business:

  1. How to better forecast the future energy implications of new technologies that have few real-world precedents.
  2. How to reimagine our approach to balancing the grid in order to prepare for unknown future extremes.
  3. How to explain challenging concepts and efficiently solicit feedback to enhance the System Operability Framework process.

Three innovation projects are being taken forward that each address one of the challenges outlined above.

26 January 2018

Innovation Day: Open Data API


This Innovation Day explored how data sharing could improve transparency and be applied to yield consumer benefit.

6-7 December, 2017

Low Carbon Networks Innovation conference


LCNI brought together hundreds of industry experts to share their knowledge and experience as the industry prepares for a low-carbon future. National Grid SO launched a prototype Virtual Reality experience to test how well the technology brought technical concepts to life through interactive game-play. We also shared the midway project results two of our in-flight Network Innovation Competition (NIC) projects, namely the Enhanced Frequency Control Capability project and the Power Potential project.


Date Publication
June 2024

Innovation Annual Summary 2023/24

In the past 12 months we have operated 75 live projects, the highest number to date, working with a wide array of stakeholders and project partners. Our annual summary provides insight into the culture of innovation at ESO, our successes and areas for improvement.

View the innovation summary report

October 2023

Energy Networks Annual Innovation Summary report 2023

The energy networks invest millions of pounds each year into innovative projects to develop a greener, more reliable, efficient and accessible energy system of the future. This report reflects on the progress networks have made in 2022/23, with a focus on RIIO-2 funded innovation. 

View the innovation summary report

30 August 2023

Open call for Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) Discovery Round 3

Are you an innovator and want to collaborate with us? If so, we’re inviting you to respond to our open call to collaborate with us on developing Discovery project proposals for Round 3 of the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). 

Find out more about the open call 

July 2023 

Electricity System Operator (ESO) - Innovation Annual Summary 2022/23

In the 12 months from April 2022 to March 2023, we have launched the highest number of innovation projects in any year to date. Our Innovation Annual Summary highlights some of these ground-breaking projects and our collaboration activities over the last year. 

View Interactive NIA Annual Summary 2022/23

April 2023

Electricity System Operator (ESO) Innovation Strategy Refresh 2023/24

This refresh of our ESO Innovation Strategy sets out our innovation priorities for the year ahead (2023/24).

Download ESO Innovation Strategy 2023

July 2022 

Electricity System Operator (ESO) - NIA Innovation Annual Summary 2021/22

We have published our latest NIA Annual Summary which details all of our innovation and collaboration activities over the last twelve months and the 24 NIA projects we worked on in 2021/22.

View Interactive NIA Annual Summary 2021/22

April 2022

Electricity Operator (ESO) Innovation Strategy Refresh 2022/23

This refresh of our ESO Innovation Strategy sets our out innovation priorities for the year ahead (2022/23)

Download ESO Innovation Strategy 2022

July 2021

Electricity System Operator (ESO) - NIA Innovation Annual Summary 2020/21

In the 12 months, from April 2020 to March 2021, we have once again committed our full Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) funding to talking our strategic priorities, you can read more below in our summary report.

View NIA Annual Summary 2020/21

April 2021 

Electricity Operator (ESO) Innovation Strategy Refresh 2021/22

Our refreshed strategy sets out how we’ll be innovating in the first year of RIIO-2 and where we want to focus our efforts to set us on the right path to 2025 and beyond.

View ESO Innovation Strategy 2021

July 2020

Electricity System Operator (ESO) - NIA Innovation Annual Summary 2019/20

We have released our latest NIA Annual Summary following collaboration with 27 partners on innovation projects last year (2019/20). The report offers a progress update on all the innovation projects completed or being undertaken by the ESO over the last 12 months.

Download NIA Annual Summary 2019/20

July 2019

Electricity System Operator (ESO) - NIA Innovation Annual Summary 2018/19

The ESO has released its latest Innovation Annual Summary following collaboration with 34 partners on innovation projects last year (2018/19). The report offers a progress update on all the innovation projects completed or being undertaken by the ESO over the last 12 months.

Download NIA Annual Summary 2018/19

February 2018

System Operator Innovation Strategy

The first innovation strategy has been published for the System Operator, setting our innovation priorities for the next year for both electricity and gas. This strategy discusses how we have identified and prioritised these areas of focus and how our portfolio of projects is working to address them.

Download SO Innovation Strategy 2018 

February 2018

Innovating with the System Operator

This brief guide introduces the SO Innovation team and our new innovation process.

Download Innovating with the ESO 2018 

July 2017

Electricity System Operator (ESO) - NIA Innovation Annual Summary 2017/18

The first NIA Annual Summary has been launched for the ESO, as a separate business within National Grid Group. This summary highlights key innovation activities undertaken by the ESO in 2017/18, using NIA funding to improve services and develop products which benefit the future energy system for our customers and the end consumer.

Download ESO Innovation Annual Summary