British companies challenged to develop more energy efficient lighting for homes

A GBP£1.2m research fund from the Technology Strategy Board and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) aims to help companies become market leaders in the best ultra energy-efficient lighting, while contributing to reduced energy consumption in our homes.

Businesses will be invited to compete for contracts through a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition, which will be run in two phases. In the first phase, companies will be awarded up to GBP£40,000 to carry out technical feasibility studies, lasting up to 3 months. In the second phase, proposals with the most promising technologies will receive up to GBP£450,000 to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units, which will then be subjected to a vigorous 6-month field trial.

Environment Minister Dan Norris said:

“Moving towards a more sustainable, low carbon and resource efficient future is vital for our environment, but also offers great opportunities for economic growth and job creation. This exciting competition could bring enormous benefits both for British businesses and for consumers. The more efficient lighting is, the more money consumers save on energy bills and the economy will benefit from new jobs and new manufacturing helping Britain to lead the global market for low carbon technologies.”

Outlining the aims of the competition, the Head of SBRI, Mark Glover, said:

 “The UK has already put in place measures to remove the least-efficient lighting products based on Victorian incandescent technology in favour of energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). However there is potential to move further and this competition aims to develop a capability within the UK for the supply of Ultra Efficient Lamp technology, which can provide lighting for the home that is of high quality with exceptional efficiency and long lifetimes. At the end of the demonstration period, we want to see high-quality, compact Ultra Efficient Lamps that everyone would be happy to use at home.”

The first phase of the competition opens on 22 February 2010 and the deadline for applications is 19 April 2010.

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