The new Launchpad funding is designed to build on innovation clusters that have significant growth potential and to deliver jobs, growth, and higher productivity, supporting Government’s Levelling Up agenda.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Our region is at the forefront in driving forward the UK’s net zero ambitions, with innovation in offshore wind, CCUS and hydrogen delivering thousands of jobs in cleaner, healthier and safer industries of the future for local people.

“We’ve all heard of the landmark investments and world-first schemes that are being pioneered in our region, but this is a brilliant opportunity for our local business, large and small, to help drive innovation and play a role in our journey to Net Zero.

“I would urge businesses from across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool to find out how they can get involved and take advantage of the support available to help turn innovative ideas into action.”

Innovate UK CEO Indro Mukerjee said: “Innovate UK has been building strong regional partnerships across the UK to support local innovation and commercialisation. Today’s launch of the Tees Valley launchpad is an important step and another example of active collaboration with regional partners to deliver growth and productivity through innovation.”

The area is at the forefront of the UK’s clean energy ambitions, with a number of transformative projects already secured.

Work is under way on SeAH Wind’s mammoth £400million offshore wind monopile manufacturing facility at the Teesworks site. Teesworks will also be home to Circular Fuels’ pioneering £150million waste to gas facility.

The Net Zero Teesside project is aiming to create the UK’s first decarbonised industrial cluster by 2040. NZT Power’s gas-fired power plant with carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) capabilities, will take carbon produced from the facility and transport it to the North Sea for storage.

Led by Bp, the NZT project will also establish two large-scale hydrogen production facilities – HyGreen Teesside producing green hydrogen, H2Teesside producing blue. Kellas Midstream is also establishing its own blue hydrogen facility – H2NorthEast – in the region.

To find out more about the Tees Valley Launchpad competition, click here.
To sign up to a local stakeholder engagement session, click here.