The Energy Networks Association (ENA) is aiming to make innovation more accessible and transparent with the launch of a new Smarter Networks Portal.
This portal, which combines the previous Network Innovation Collaboration Portal and Smarter Network Portal into a one-stop-shop, is to provide innovators with a simple way to submit their ideas directly to networks.
It also offers information on all completed and live projects, with an improved search function allowing users to search for projects by network or innovation topics among other features.
Users will also be able to find out information on webinars and dissemination events and will be able to sign up for weekly email updates on new projects that are tailored to their interests.
The ENA said that the portal will provide more information on the opportunities for energy networks to collaborate on innovation, helping to drive the type of innovation required to reach net zero as well as helping network operators drive efficiencies and improvements to the ways they manage the networks.
“The UK’s energy networks are already viewed as some of the most innovative in the world; tools like the Smarter Networks Portal will keep it that way," Dan Clarke, head of innovation at the Energy Networks Association, said.
In March 2020, the ENA released its Innovation Strategies, prioritising five areas that require advances in the electricity system to help it decarbonise and develop.
Consumer vulnerability, net zero and the energy transition, optimised assets and practices, flexibility and commercial innovation, and the whole energy system were identified as the key areas, with the latter being of particular importance.