Innovation & Enterprise


Future Industries Demonstrator: Tackling the climate emergency

Collaborate with SMEs on projects which tackle the climate emergency through the Future Industries Demonstrator.

Future Industries Demonstrator (FID) is an innovation programme for London-based small and medium enterprises (SMEs) tackling the climate emergency. It’s run by SHIFT, an inclusive innovation district in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. UCL is one of several partners of SHIFT.

The programme will include three open innovation challenges. The first focused on enhancing east London’s natural environment. The second and current challenge is focused on reimagining buildings and energy systems for a net zero future.

The programme is also a knowledge exchange opportunity for UCL academics. UCL researchers will be able to collaborate with the SMEs on the programme to co-create and develop solutions focused on East London.

Find out more about the Future Industries Demonstrator on the SHIFT website.

Who it’s for

This opportunity is open to members of staff and doctoral students at UCL. This includes part and full-time researchers and academics from any discipline. Honorary lecturers, and undergraduate and master's students are not eligible.

Project themes

The current challenge focuses on reimagining buildings and energy systems for a net zero future.

Collaborations will need to fit into one of the following themes:

  • Updating measurement and communication of the environmental impact of buildings
  • Pioneering materials that are environmentally friendly, durable and cost-effective
  • Breaking down financial barriers to retrofitting at scale
  • Implementing retrofit solutions that enhance energy efficiency and living conditions while reducing costs
  • Reshaping the future of energy by diversifying and enhancing the energy mix
  • Supercharging the capture, storage and management of renewable energy sources
  • Demonstrating the power of micro-scale solutions that empower individuals and businesses to play an active role in sustainability

About the programme  

The companies taking part in the second programme cohort will work intensively over five months from May 2024, to research, test and deploy new solutions on the theme of enhancing east London’s urban environment.

Participating UCL researchers will work with the companies to define research questions, test new hypotheses and create or exchange knowledge. The aim is to create quantifiable outcomes for businesses and citizens in east London. 

The collaborations between researchers and companies will need to work to: 

  • understand the behaviour and needs of communities 
  • analyse environmental or economic systems to better target solutions 
  • understand the application of theories of behaviour change, community engagement, governance and regulation, ethics 
  • apply new economic theories and models 
  • evidence the need for or impact of environmental solutions


Participating UCL researchers will have an opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to further develop a collaboration formed during the FID programme.

Details of the funding call will be published here when confirmed.