There are many competitions and awards open to businesses in Essex with some great prizes to be won, ranging from cash prizes to coaching and advice. Competitions and awards are a great way to increase your credibility, access marketing and benchmarking your business.

Please take a look at the information below to find out what competitions and awards your business can access.

  • £20 Million Hydrogen Supply Competition for Energy Business Innovators

    The government has announced a £20 million boost for businesses embracing the potential for a future UK hydrogen economy. Hydrogen fuel is a safe and low-carbon alternative for energy in buildings, industry and transport, however, it is currently extremely costly to produce and transport.

    This is the latest clean technology to receive government funding, as a result of the Clean Growth Strategy.

    The £20 million Hydrogen Supply Programme will look to significantly reduce the high cost of producing large volumes of low carbon hydrogen, so that the technology can become a competitive, clean energy supply of the future.

    The competition aims to accelerate the development of a lower cost low carbon bulk hydrogen supply (with a focus on UK production). This will be achieved through two phases:

    1. Developing several hydrogen process engineering designs, alongside a supply / production plan, which details the development steps needed for each process.
    2. A development phase which will demonstrate key components or further develop the design of the new hydrogen production process.

    Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Claire Perry, said:

    “Clean, green and safe, hydrogen has an exciting role to play powering the UK but needs to be cheaper and more widely available to live up to its potential. [This] £20 million funding boost, part of our modern Industrial Strategy, will help to address these challenges so that we can sustain the exciting momentum building in our low carbon hydrogen economy, creating high-value jobs up and down the country.

    “Clean Growth is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy and creates huge opportunities for the UK, securing our place as global leaders in this field.”

    If you are interested in applying to the programme, please email

    Schedule Date/duration

    Launch of £20m BEIS Hydrogen Supply programme June 2018
    Phase 1 open for applications June to October 2018
    Phase 1 projects start November 2018
    Phase 1 complete, Phase 2 open for applications May 2019
    Phase 2 projects start June 2019
    Projects complete Before 31 March 2021

    If you are interested in applying to the programme, please read the Hydrogen Supply Programme guide HERE

  • Creative Europe MEDIA Funding Available for Audiovisual and Video Games Content

    2019 Support for Development of Audiovisual Content – Slate Funding Call

    This Call is open to European companies whose activities contribute to the objectives on the Creative Europe MEDIA Sub-programme, particularly to European independent audiovisual production companies which have been legally constituted for at least 36 months prior to the submission date and that can demonstrate a recent success. The applicant must also own the majority of rights related to the projects.

    Development activities for the following projects are eligible:

    • Feature films, animations and creative documentaries of a minimum length of 60 minutes intended primarily for cinematic release.
    • Fiction projects (one-off or series) of a total duration of minimum 90 minutes, animation (one-off or series) of a total duration of minimum 24 minutes and creative documentaries (one-off or series) of a total duration of minimum 50 minutes intended primarily for the purposes of television.
    • Fiction projects of a total duration or user experience of minimum 90 minutes, animation of a total duration or user experience of minimum 24 minutes and creative documentaries of a total duration or user experience of minimum 50 minutes intended primarily for the purposes of digital platform exploitation.

    In order to be eligible, applications must include a minimum of three and a maximum of five eligible projects.

    The total budget available is €12.5 million. The financial contribution awarded is a subsidy. Applications requesting a financial contribution of less than €70,000 will be ineligible.

    The deadline for applications is 20 February 2019.

    2019 Support for Development of European Video Games Call

    Under this Creative Europe MEDIA support scheme, applicants may submit a proposal to develop a concept and project (activities to the point that the concept leads to a playable prototype or trial version) of highly innovative and creative narrative storytelling video games designed for commercial exploitation for PCs, consoles, mobile devices, tablets, smart phones and other technologies. In all cases the video game must be intended for commercial exploitation.

    This Call is particularly aimed at European video game production companies which have been legally constituted for at least 12 months prior to the submission date and that can demonstrate a recent success. The applicant must also own the majority of the rights related to the submitted project.

    The total budget available is €3.78 million. The financial contribution awarded is a subsidy between €10,000 and €150,000 provided the amount does not exceed 50% of the total eligible costs of the action.

    The deadline for applications is 27 February 2019.

    For full guidance and to apply please click HERE.

  • Horizon 2020: Industrial Leadership - Dedicated SME Instrument 2019 Deadlines

    Horizon 2020 is the EU’s research and innovation programme for 2014 to 2020. The aim of the SME Instrument is to attract more SMEs to Horizon 2020, to provide support to a wider range of innovation activities and to help increase the economic impact of project results by its company-focused and market-driven approach.

    The SME Instrument supports high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and bring to market new products, services and business models that could drive economic growth. The SME Instrument is for innovators with ground-breaking concepts that could shape new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and worldwide.

    Competition for SME Instrument support is high and very selective. Only the highest quality proposals will receive funding following a thorough evaluation by multinational panels of technology, business and finance experts.

    Selected companies receive funding and are offered business coaching to scale up their innovation idea, and can also receive mentoring. They are helped in networking with other SME Instrument clients, with other companies of all sizes, and with potential co-investors and follow-up investors across Europe. SME Instrument clients will gain visibility and increase their chances of success in European and international markets.

    For-profit SMEs – including young companies and start-ups from any sector – are eligible. They must be established in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 associated country. There are no set topics, although negative impacts on climate and the environment should be avoided.

    The SME Instrument provides full-cycle business innovation support. It has three phases, includes a coaching and mentoring service, and applications will be accepted throughout 2019 for Phase 1 and Phase 2:

    • Phase 1: Feasibility study. Funding is a lump sum of €50,000 Projects should last around six months
    • Phase 2: From concept to market. Grant funding is provided (funding rate 70%) of between €500,000 and €2.5 million. Projects should normally take 12 to 24 months to complete, but could be longer in exceptional and well-justified cases.
    • Phase 3: Commercialisation. Additional EU support extended via a range of business support services offered on the EIC Community Platform, open to SMEs benefiting from the different EIC calls for proposals.

    Deadlines in 2019 for Phase 1 proposals are: 13 February 2019; 7 May 2019; 5 September 2019; and 6 November 2019.

    Deadlines in 2019 for Phase 2 proposals are: 9 January 2019; 3 April 2019; 5 June 2019; and 9 October 2019.


  • Launch of 2019 EU Sustainable Energy Awards

    The Sustainable Energy Europe Awards were launched by the European Commission in 2006. The aim of the awards is to promote sustainable energy by highlighting outstanding and innovative projects which have the potential to be replicated. Anyone in the EU can submit a recent project – from a local initiative to an industry-wide programme – that could help citizens, industry and the public sector work towards the Energy Union.

    Awards are available in the following categories:

    • Engagement – Recognising activities with high social acceptance potential, inspiring and motivating citizens to change their energy usage habits.
    • Leadership – Recognising activities that, if replicated, can contribute to the European energy and climate targets and long-term decarbonisation objectives, having significant socio-economic benefits.
    • Innovation – Recognising outstanding EU funded activities that show an original and innovative way to the sustainable energy transition.
    • Youth – Recognising outstanding activities carried out by or targeting young people (below 30).

    Winners are announced as part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week which attracts media interest from across Europe. After the ceremony, a networking cocktail will be held, where Conference participants can meet the winners and runners to discuss their ideas.

    A wide range of organisations are eligible to apply including private companies, public authorities, energy agencies, NGOs, cooperatives, chambers of commerce, industry and consumers associations, media, academic institutions and research and technological centres.

    Nominated activities, projects and actions must be ongoing, or not concluded before 30 June 2019, and carried out within the EU.

    Applications are made online. Applicants may either nominate an energy champion, or apply themselves.

    Applications for the 2019 awards should be submitted by the 4 February 2019 deadline.

    For more information please click HERE.


  • Advancing the UK's Low Carbon Automotive Capability Competition (APC 12)

    The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) is investing through the ‘Advancing the UK’s Low Carbon Automotive Capability (APC12)’ funding competition, in partnership with the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK (IUK) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

    APC 12 is seeking proposals for collaborative industrial research and experimental development projects that demonstrate the development of on-vehicle technologies for on or off-road vehicles. These must either accelerate the development of low and zero tailpipe emission capable technologies, or demonstrate significant changes in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

    APC is particularly looking for projects that support the UK’s long-term supply chain and associated capabilities, in the design, build and manufacture of low and zero tailpipe-emission capable vehicles. This includes technologies such as motors, batteries, power electronics, hybridisation and alternative propulsion systems. Projects must support the growth of these technologies, creating more jobs and capability throughout the UK supply chain.

    IUK has allocated up to £20 million to match fund innovation projects in this competition. A project’s total eligible costs can be between £5 million and £40 million, for projects to last between 18 and 42 months. The total grant request at application cannot exceed 50% of the total eligible project costs.

    Projects must be led by a business working in partnership with others and must include an SME and a vehicle manufacturer or tier 1 supplier. To collaborate on a project, an applicant must be a UK based business, academic organisation, or research and technology organisation (RTO). They should carry out the project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

    The competition opens on 7 January 2019 and the deadline for applications will be midday on 6 March 2019.


    7 January 2019   Competition opens

    10 January 2019   Briefing event

    6 March 2019 12:00pm   Competition closes

    1 April 2019   Invite to interview

    10 April 2019   Deadline for presentation slides and responses to feedback

    29 April 2019   Interview panels begin

    31 May 2019   Applicants notified

    For more information and to apply CLICK HERE.