Delhi, India: The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) regional office in New Delhi has announced the launch of 5th Innovation Challenge on Innovative Low Carbon Technologies. Applications will be accepted until 31st May 2022. The Innovation Challenge is conducted under the Facility for Low Carbon Technology Deployment (FLCTD; https://www.low-carbon-innovation.org/), which is jointly implemented by UNIDO and Bureau of Energy Efficiency.
The Innovation Challenge covers thematic area of “Electrical Energy Storage Systems” in which applications are invited for innovative solutions on electrochemical batteries, supercapacitors, hybrid energy storage systems including super/ultra-capacitor & electrochemical battery systems and critical components for electrical energy storage systems including power conversion system.
Customized Energy Solutions (CES) India, powered with India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) is the implementing partner to support the project management unit in planning and implementation of the innovation challenge.
The project provides financial assistance of up to US$50,000 to the winners to validate their innovation and demonstrate its efficacy (performance) in actual field conditions – a necessary step before commercialization. It also supports innovative technologies in advance stage of development for field demonstration and validation and does not support innovation that are at the ideation-stage, proof-of-concept or at lab-scale.
Commenting on the Innovation Challenge 2022, Sandeep Tandon, National Programme Manager, Facility for Low Carbon Technology Deployment (FLCTD) said, “UNIDO’s Innovation Challenge provides unique opportunity and risk-capital of up to INR 3.5 million to validate the efficacy and performance of innovative technologies for scale-up and commercialization. Already from a pool of 59 winning innovations that are being supported with INR 180 million, 17 have completed technology trials and 13 have been commercialized. The challenge is open to entrepreneurs, start up and registered private entities. FLCTD is helping industrial and commercial sector players to choose proven innovative low carbon technologies for decarbonization.
Debi Prasad Dash, Executive Director, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) said, “India’s energy storage sector is seeing many positive developments like the PLI and battery swapping announcement, and the energy storage policy is also expected from the Ministry of Power. With these developments, we will see many startups and large companies diversify their business into energy storage space and this will help many indigenous innovations in India that will support the ecosystem. This all will catalyze the growth of startups in India. With the national labs and research institutes, we expect new innovations to come in India like other emerging countries.”
The selection process includes post application screening, pitching to an expert panel, in-person visits, and technical and financial due-diligence. The project orientation of FLCTD is more technology-focused as compared to the standard fundraising opportunities available for innovators, so the shortlisted applicants are also provided mentoring through each round of the selection process to help them in improving their chances of final selection.