Low Carbon Innovation Fund invests in Norfolk business

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Connected Energy, based in Hethel, near Norwich, has recently benefited from investment from the Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 (LCIF2).

The company specialises in reusing electric vehicle batteries, which typically become redundant after losing just 25% of their capacity, to build the grid-scale energy storage systems needed to smooth fluctuations in demand by large energy users, and in supply by solar and wind farms.

Matthew Lumsden, CEO and founder of Connected Energy, commented: “We’re delighted to add LCIF2 to our growing roster of investors. The fund is an interesting hybrid, backed by and therefore strengthening our links with local and national government, but with a typical private fund’s focus on financial returns.”

Low Carbon Innovation Fund 2 (LCIF2) supports products and technologies which are innovative and will have a tangible impact on greenhouse gas emissions. These need not be only in renewable energy or related sectors; however, they must be inherently more energy or resource efficient than what is currently operating in the market.

LCIF2 is a venture capital fund operated by the University of East Anglia, supported by Norfolk County Council and managed by Turquoise, the UK merchant bank specialising in energy, environment and efficiency.  It is further supported by three Local Enterprise Partnerships, including New Anglia LEP.

It provides investment funding alongside private sector investors as well as mentoring and support through its wide network and expertise. Nearly £1.7 million has been invested into the first 7 companies since launching in 2020.

Ali Naini, Managing Director of Turquoise, added: “We are delighted to have hit such a milestone so early in the life of LCIF2.  Given the circumstances of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to get funding out to good companies in the region.  Once LCIF2 was open we needed to hit the ground running and I am proud of the team’s achievements in this regard”.

Iain Dunnett, Senior Growing Places Co-ordinator for New Anglia LEP, said: “The LEP is prioritising support to developments that can demonstrate real ‘clean growth’ innovation and a strong contribution to sustainable business development. The LCIF2 fund is a commitment by New Anglia LEP, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Hertfordshire LEP and other partners to provide investment in businesses that are innovating to achieve the objective of net zero carbon.”

LCIF2 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, with the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as the Managing Authority. LCIF2 is investing a total of £10.9M by the end of 2023 and is seeking expressions of interest from companies developing or selling products and technologies which are innovative and will have a real impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

LCIF2 will be holding short events on 31 March and 13 April on Zoom for interested parties to find out about the fund and how to apply. Please visit www.LCIF.vc to register for either of these events.

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