Network Innovation Competition (NIC)

NIC is an annual competition that funds flagship innovative projects to deliver financial and environmental benefits for gas customers. Collaboration is an important objective of the NIC. You can find out more about these projects on this page.

NIC criteria

There is a fund of £20m available each year to:  

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Accelerate the development of a low carbon energy sector
and/or deliver environmental benefits
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Deliver value for money for gas customers
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Create knowledge that can be shared across energy networks
in Great Britain (GB), or create opportunities for roll-out across
a significant proportion of GB networks
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Be innovative (ie not business as usual) and has an unproven
business case where the innovation risk warrants a project to
demonstrate its effectiveness


Timeline

The competition runs on an annual basis – with the following timeline:

  • Autumn 2017 – Call out for ideas.
  • April 2018 – Projects submitted to Initial Screening Process (ISP).
  • August 2018 – Full project submission for evaluation.
  • September 2018 – Ofgem expert panel review and interviews.


NIC 2018 call for ideas 

We want your ideas for a 2018 Gas Transmission NIC Programme!

We are calling for proposals to develop substantial innovations for the UK’s gas transmission network. To help focus your ideas we have mapped out some key themes and ideas where we would welcome proposals.

Submission deadline is 30th November 2017

The 2018 themes are focused in four main areas:

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The Efficiency Challenge

There’s always room to improve - and our customers expect us to do it. How can we deliver the same work but a step-change cheaper, faster or significantly more flexibly? Can we find and prove new methods to isolate, modify, repair, divert or decommission our assets better than legacy industry standards?

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Asset Management

By 2021 over 70% of our sites and pipelines will be over 40 years old. What are the new and smarter techniques to collect and exploit data about these assets? What new technology and methods are there for the repair and replacement of aging assets? Are there new solutions to old problems that give more flexibility?

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Future of the National Transmission System (NTS)

All futures will require a more flexible and responsive network. What do we need to investigate and develop now in order to operate a more distributed gas system? How can we welcome unconventional gas sources and design for future gas transmission network demands? And how do we allow flex between the gas and electricity vectors?

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Safety and Environmental Impact

All futures will require a more flexible and responsive network. What do we need to investigate and develop now in order to operate a more distributed gas system? How can we welcome unconventional gas sources and design for future gas transmission network demands? And how do we allow flex between the gas and electricity vectors?

    Find out more

    To find out more detail about the challenges we have under each theme, please download our call for proposals info sheet. You’ll also find our proposal submission form and guidance document to submit your idea here.


    Existing projects

    We have two live NIC projects: