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Innovate with the Electricity System Operator
Submit proposals to join our Open Innovation Event

National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) invites you to submit project proposals to participate in our Open Innovation Event on 20 and 21 July 2022 in central Birmingham.

We want to partner with academia, industry and other innovators to develop projects that address challenges relating to our innovation priorities and the Strategic Innovation Fund.

The application is open now and closes on Sunday 3 July 2022 at midnight.

Applicants that pass the first selection round will be invited to a two-day event in the centre of Birmingham to collaboratively develop ideas into comprehensive project proposals alongside ESO subject matter experts. Proposals will then be 'pitched' to a panel of industry judges for Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) funding or to be further developed for application to the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). Please ensure at least two members of your proposal consortium are available to attend the in-person event on 20 and 21 July 2022.

Your application must focus on one of the following challenges:

  1. Use Cases for VirtualES

  2. Network Modelling 2.0

  3. Strategic Innovation Fund Challenge Areas

For more information, please download this document that provides a summary of the challenges listed above.

Open Innovation Event challenges

Proposals developed through the Open Innovation Event may be selected to be taken forward through Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) funding or further developed for a Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) proposal. For more information on NIA and SIF, please download the documents below.

Network Innovation Allowance

Strategic Innovation Fund

Innovation with ESO front cover

The application process

Below is a guide to our application process, please note important dates.

What do I have to do?

Complete our online application form by midnight on Sunday 3 July 2022. As the Open Innovation Event will provide the opportunity to further develop proposals, we acknowledge that applicants may not be able to provide all the details requested in the application form. However, please complete as much of the application form as possible.

We recommend preparing your answers before submitting through the online application form. Please download this document to view the online application form questions.

Online application form

When will I know if my project has been shortlisted?

We will contact you to let you know whether you have been shortlisted by Wednesday 13 July 2022 at the latest.


Can I submit more than one idea?

Yes, but a separate application form must be submitted for each idea and must address one of the challenges listed above.


Any questions?

If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected]

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you.