Digital Twin Energy Grids

Key Features

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1.2 million for collaborative projects that enable digital twins, data interoperability and cyber resilience in the UK energy networks. This funding is from Innovate UK.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £1.2 million

Opens: 22nd Apr 2024

Closes: 24th May 2024

! This scheme is closing soon


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £1.2 million in innovation projects.

These will be for collaborative projects that enable digital twins, data interoperability and cyber resilience in the UK energy networks. This competition is part of the Building a Secure Resilient World programme (BSRW).


The aim of this competition is to improve the cyber resilience of the UK’s energy networks by enabling the development of digital twins.

Innovate UK use this definition of a Digital Twin.

Your project must:

  • enable, support or deliver digital twins in energy networks
  • improve the cyber resilience of the energy networks
  • improve access to high quality and interoperable data in energy networks
  • engage with end users in its development

You can demonstrate testing in end user or real world conditions.

Your project can:

  • enable the development of digital twins for energy networks
  • improve cyber resilience of the systems, technologies, data and information in energy networks
  • increase collaborations between SMEs, energy networks and researchers
  • deliver products, services or solutions that could be commercialised
  • help to deliver the goals of the UKRI Building a Secure and Resilient World programme (BSRW)

Innovate UK encourage proposals with BSRW projects and related initiatives. Further details can be found in the supporting information section.

Applications are welcomed from SMEs who specialise in:

  • cybersecurity
  • data interoperability
  • operational technologies
  • analytics and digital twins

Innovate UK encourage SMEs to apply from outside the energy sector

Innovate UK encourage proposals that collaborate with Ofgem regulated companies involved in the distribution, storage, connection and transmission of energy, including those not eligible for SIF funding.

Innovate UK also encourage you to align with:

Your project can create a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM).

Specific Themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • developing digital twins and their underpinning technologies
  • enabling future federated digital twins
  • system modelling for data driven decision making
  • improving data interoperability, sharing, quality and security
  • securing operational and control room technologies
  • cybersecurity threat detection, analysis and mitigation
  • data driven technologies for grid stability, forecasting, balancing
  • demand side response security such as Energy Smart Appliances
  • data sharing licensing and legal considerations


Your project must:

  • have a total grant funding request of between £100,000 and £300,000
  • last between 6 months and 12 months
  • carry out all of its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • start by 1 October 2024
  • end by 30 September 2025

Projects must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

Lead organisation

To lead a project your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • be or involve at least one grant claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • collaborate with other UK registered organisations
  • carry out its project in the UK and have an impact on the UK electricity network

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Academic institutions cannot lead an application.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • licensed energy company or regulator

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service (IFS) by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in IFS. They are responsible for entering their own project costs in the application.

To be an eligible collaboration, the lead and at least one other organisation must apply for funding when entering their costs into the application.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK and you must select them through your usual procurement process.

You can use subcontractors from overseas but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the UK.

You must provide a detailed rationale, evidence of the potential UK contractors you approached and the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use an overseas subcontractor.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate to the total project costs.

Number of applications

A business can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in two further applications.

If a business is not leading any application, it can collaborate in any number of applications.

All other organisations can collaborate on any number of applications.

Use of animals in research and innovation

Innovate UK expects and supports the provision and safeguarding of welfare standards for animals used in research and innovation, according to best practice and up to date guidance.

Any projects selected for funding which involve animals will be asked to provide additional information on welfare and ethical considerations, as well as compliance with any relevant legislation as part of the project start-up process. This information will be reviewed before an award is made.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

You can make a maximum of two submissions to Innovate UK with any given proposal. If Innovate UK judges that your proposal is not materially different from your previous proposal, it will be counted towards this maximum.

If your application goes through to assessment and is unsuccessful, you can reapply with the same proposal once more.


Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • are not in scope for this competition
  • do not have an application for cyber resilience of the energy grids
  • do not consider interoperability of data
  • are only applicable on gas networks

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance, for example, giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it exports a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage, for example, giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that it uses 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Up to £1.2 million has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

If your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

Choose the applicable categories below:

Research, Development and Innovation Streamlined Subsidy Scheme Category 2

Industrial Research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

Research, Development and Innovation Streamlined Subsidy Scheme Category 2

Experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Research participation

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 50% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 50% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.