In January, Topsector Energy made a subsidy of € 100,000 available for the hiring of an innovation broker by SMEs. In total 18 entrepreneurs applied for a financial contribution via TKI Urban Energy, TKI Nieuw Gas, TKI Energie & Industrie, or TKI Wind op Zee - as part of Topsector Energy. In total, 11 SMEs that are developing innovative products or services related to the Climate and Energy Transition (under Mission A, B and C), received a subsidy to hire specialist knowledge from so-called innovation brokers.
The applications came from SME entrepreneurs active in solar energy, wind energy, hydrogen, batteries, energy-saving, etc. All applications aim to accelerate innovations. The requests for help vary, for example, they are looking for help with drawing up a business plan, a patent application, or an investor deck. Sometimes they need help in forming project consortia or finding and contacting private investors and supervision on conversations with them. These activities also fall under the subsidy scheme.
“The subsidy scheme was exhausted almost immediately. It is a clear signal that entrepreneurs have a strong need for expert advice in areas that is not part of their daily activity, nor is within their field of competence.” says Martin Weissmann, of the Financing Desk of the Topsector Energy. “The Topsector Energy stimulates the 'creation side' of innovation in many ways. With this scheme, among others, Topsector Energy is helping entrepreneurs to 'valorize' their innovation, and thereby accelerate the energy transition”.
In July Topsector Energy will make more resources available for a new subsidy round for the Innovation broker scheme, which has proved to be popular. 80% of the costs of hiring an innovation broker will be reimbursed, with a maximum of € 10,000 per application.