Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Joint announcement with Technology Strategy Board:British companies challenged to develop More energy efficient lighting for homes

Joint announcement with Technology Strategy Board:British companies challenged to develop More energy efficient lighting for homes

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 26 January 2010

12/01 Ultra energy efficient lighting could transform Britain’s homes and energy use with a new Government initiative to encourage innovation and research in the lighting industry.

A £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 £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 £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.

Notes to Editors

SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) is co-ordinated by the Technology Strategy Board. The initiative is designed to encourage government departments and other agencies to ensure that a proportion of their procurement budget goes to innovative companies and that the departments are procuring innovative solutions to some of the challenges that they face. The aim of SBRI is to use the power of government procurement to drive technology development, especially in early-stage companies, supporting projects through the stages of prototyping and demonstration, which are typically hard to fund. SBRI offers an excellent opportunity for businesses to develop and demonstrate technology, supported by a customer, and to reach the first rung on the government procurement ladder. For further information about SBRI please visit:

The Ultra Efficient Lighting (UEL) competition for development contracts is being run by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as part of its programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production. Together, they have allocated up to £1.2m in total to 100% fund development work on Ultra-Efficient Lighting for deployment in the domestic environment.

Phase 1 of the competition, which is intended to show the technical feasibility of the proposed concept, will see multiple development contracts placed for a maximum of 3 months and up to £40,000 per project. The target applications will be directional and non-directional lighting for the domestic market. Projects should cover specific technical work leading to the demonstration of a UEL source which meets the technical criteria.

Phase 2 contracts are intended to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units from the more promising technologies in Phase 1. Multiple funding up to £450,000 will be available, for projects lasting a maximum of 12 months. It is anticipated this will involve making further improvements from Phase 1, such as refining the detailed design, preparation for manufacturing, and conducting product liability testing and documentation, including CE mark certification.

The output of phase two is the production of 50 lighting units for field trials over a further 6 month period, which will be coordinated by the Technology Strategy Board. These phase two products should have full safety certification, environmental reliability studies and at least 3 months of life-test evaluation under accelerated conditions showing performance expected to achieve > 25,000 hours (L70).

Further information about the competition, including technical criteria, will be available shortly on the competitions page of the Technology Strategy Board website:

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established and funded by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Please visit

Any media enquiries should be addressed to the Technology Strategy Board’s media relations consultant or manager (see below).

Companies and other organisations seeking further information about these and other funding competitions should visit the Competitions page of the Technology Strategy Board website –, email or phone the helpline on 0300 321 4357.


Defra Press Office
Phone: 020 7238 6600

Rosie Moss
Phone: 020 7238 5610