Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain your brochure and background on the projects you are involved in?

How do I find out more about your technology strategy?

How can I keep up to date with the ETI's activities?

Latest news and announcements from the ETI are available as a RSS feed. You can access the feed by either navigating to the news page and clicking on the orange RSS feed icon in your browser tool bar or by adding a feed from our RSS page to your favourite RSS reader. You can also follow the latest news and announcements on Twitter at http://twitter.com/the_ETI Or sign up to receive our news alerts by going to http://www.eti.co.uk/ and click to the bottom right hand corner.

How does the ETI select and define which projects you commission?

The ETI develops and defines its programmes and projects on the basis that the particular low carbon technology (or technologies) has the potential to play a substantial role in the future UK energy system from 2020-2050.These choices are informed via widespread discussion with Members and external specialists and consultants from the public and private sector, utilising outputs from the ETI’s Energy System Model. Even when specific low carbon technologies are identified, funding from the ETI has to bring significant acceleration and impact of that technology in the future UK energy system. Given the focus for developing technologies that will play a substantial role in the future UK energy system, tender documents (Requests for Proposals) are typically very specific about the types of technology to be developed and the specific outcomes required.

How does the ETI select the project delivery team?

The ETI’s mission is to accelerate the development and deployment of low carbon technologies that will play a substantial role in the future UK energy system from 2020-2050. We typically work with the best expertise from any organisation (from large corporates, small to medium sized enterprises, consultancies and / or academia) either nationally or internationally that have the capability to deliver the ETI project. The team involved in delivering the ETI project can either be assembled in a consortium structure with a lead co-ordinator, or can deliver the project through a principal contractor/sub-contractor structure. Typically, after a tender document (Request for Proposals or RfPs) has been published and circulated to stakeholders (Click here to find out how RfP’s can be automatically issued to you when they become available), an expert panel will review and make recommendations on all submitted proposals received. Typically the review panel will recommend a preferred bid. Following the review panel, the ETI Executive Committee approves the start of contract negotiation with the preferred bidder. The contract negotiation stage involves ETI staff working together with the preferred bidder participants to agree all HSE, technical, project governance and commercial issues. Contract negotiations vary from project to project and can include the complexity of the project, the number of parties involved, the organisations and the commercial terms. Formal approval to start the project is then sought from the ETI Board.

Do the ETI help put a project delivery team together?

There are some occasions when workshops are held in which this is possible, although this can vary from project to project. However, the ETI generally expects that you will have identified the constituent make up of your delivery team (either as a consortium or principal contractor structure) prior to applying and as such does not tend to assist with this process during the Request for Proposals process. However, one option for finding the requisite capability to strengthen the delivery team could be through exploiting one of the Knowledge Transfer Networks. These are national networks in a specific field of technology or business application, which brings together people from businesses, universities, in addition to research, finance and technology organisations.

If I’m selected as a preferred bidder for an ETI project, what’s involved?

Once the ETI selects a preferred bidder, the ETI works very closely with the organisations in the preferred bid to agree the final scope of the project and to agree the terms of the project contract. This will require an agreed engagement plan between the ETI and relevant staff from the project bid team to allow the project to start on time. These activities will typically need to include input from the technical, commercial, finance and contract/legal resources within the bidding organisations. A schedule of pre-project activities may include:-

  1. Agreeing the final scope for the project including milestones, deliverables and acceptance criteria for each deliverable; 
  2. Developing a project schedule;
  3. Ensuring that key project roles are clearly allocated with sufficient capacity . From time to time, this may involve a key person clause.
  4. Agreeing the level of funding that each party, including the ETI, will invest in the project. It is possible for the ETI to invest 100% of the project costs.
  5. Negotiating the terms and conditions of the project contract, based on the contract issued by the ETI during its Request for Proposals and any issues raised by the project participant in its proposal.
  6. Undergoing health and safety due diligence and agreeing the outline health and safety plan for the project with the ETI;
  7. Undergoing IP due diligence to identify what background IP is needed to carry out the project and to commercialise the technology. This may include a patent study.
  8. Agreeing the communications approach to publicise the launch of the project.

What does the ETI’s project contract involve?

In simple terms, the ETI tailors its project contracts for each project and will generally issue a draft during the Request for Proposals process. There is a standard structure which reflects in part the ETI’s state aid requirements. The contract will include the technical scope (in the form of milestones and deliverables), the proposed project plan and the amount of ETI investment. In addition, on the legal side, it will always set out the ownership and rights to the arising IP, the process for the ETI reviewing and accepting milestones, the publication process when academic institutions are involved, the payment terms, the ETI’s reporting requirements, the process for project review including at stage gates, arrangements for any party to exit the project, health and safety obligations and liability provisions.

I thought the ETI used ‘Expressions of Interest’ in the development of your programmes and projects? I can’t find any references to this on your website.

Expressions of interest are sometimes used as part of the commissioning process. However, our approach is typically via Request for Proposals.

Can you tell me how the ETI oversees its projects once underway?

As with any commercial investment, the ETI works with project teams throughout the life of projects. The ETI reviews each set of project deliverables at pre-determined milestones and releases investment on successful completion of deliverables. The ETI reviews the performance of the project against the project objectives and desired outcomes at pre-determined stage gates. The ETI will utilise often its UK Energy System Model at these stage-gates to ensure the potential substantial impact of the technology on the future UK energy system can still be delivered. In addition to these formal interactions, ETI staff will interact closely with the project lead co-ordinator or principal contractor throughout the lifetime of the project.

What is the ETI reporting requirements from project participants?

The ETI contracts a range of projects from small front end engineering studies through to large-scale, complex, engineering projects. The reporting requirements are tailored depending on the risk, complexity, size and duration of projects. However, the maximum requirement will be a monthly non-financial and financial report covering the project as a whole.

Can you tell me about how IP (Intellectual Property) works at the ETI?

What is the ETI’s approach to Health & Safety?

The health and safety of those who may be involved in ETI projects is of paramount importance to the ETI. The ETI expects those who receive investment from the ETI for a project to demonstrate a commitment to best practice in health, safety and environmental management as well as demonstrating that legal requirements are met. Generally, the ETI expects that:-

  • Any organisations bidding for an ETI project demonstrate their approach to health, safety and environmental matters throughout any proposal to the ETI;
  • It will carry out detailed due diligence on the health and safety systems of bidding organisations ahead of awarding a contract for most ETI projects (with the exception of some desk-based projects);
  • It will award contracts only to organisations which demonstrate that they are competent to manage the health and safety risks in the project that they bid for; and
  • Any successful organisations awarded a contract will work with the ETI throughout the project to assure the ETI that health, safety and environmental risks are being managed appropriately.

How do I receive ETI Request for Proposals?

You can receive RfP’s when they become available by clicking through to newsfeeds (this includes notification of Requests for Proposals). You can also follow the latest news and announcements on Twitter at http://twitter.com/the_ETI Or sign up to receive our news alerts by going to http://www.eti.co.uk/ and click to the bottom right hand corner.

Is the ETI a grant giving body? / I have an idea for a project which I would like the ETI to support. Can I apply to the ETI for funding?

The ETI is not a grant giving body. It makes targeted technology investments in large-scale engineering projects and reduces risk through the shared expertise of our Members. Click to Request for Proposals section on our website. We do not respond to requests for funding in a “responsive” mode, but rather issue specific requests for proposals for particular technologies.

How much of the funding for a project can the ETI provide?

The ETI can invest up to 100% of the eligible costs of a project. However, each project is considered on an individual basis to determine the appropriate level of funding.

Who and what are ETI Member organisations?

As a limited liability partnership, the owning partners are known as Members. For more details about who and what these are, click here. For more details about becoming a Member, click here.

How does the ETI engage with Government?

The UK Government is engaged through the ETI’s strategy and programme development through its Board Membership (through representatives from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and through the Technology Strategy Board, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Department for Energy and Climate Change. The Chief Scientic Adviser, Professor John Beddington is an observer on the Board and Government representatives are heavily involved throughout the lifecycle of a project, reviewing deliverables and at major project stage-gates, amongst others. Further engagement is carried out through irregular contact and liaison with Civil Servants from across Government and its regular contact programme with elected representatives, regularly engaging and feeding into UK policy on matters relating to heat, power, transport and infrastructure.

Glossary of the most commonly used terms and expressions

Consortia / Consortium

A consortium is typically comprised of a group of companies, research organisations and/or academic bodies or institutions with the objective of delivering a project instigated by the ETI, after being awarded the work following the submission of a collective response to a Request for Proposals.  Project delivery teams do not need to structure themselves as a consortium, but rather can deliver the project through a principal contractor/sub-contractor structure

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is the managing committee of the ETI, which has well defined executive powers and which meets frequently to manage the affairs and further the purposes of the organisation.

Lead coordinator

This is the organisation which is a member of a consortium working on an ETI project, and which coordinates the activities of all the consortium participants, and which acts as the primary interface between the consortium and the ETI. Prior to contract award, the ETI also expects that organisations carry out this activity to effectively manage the project team to get to contract award.

Member Company / Member Companies / Partner / Board Member

These refer to one of the private and UK Government organisations who are one of the “partners” or “owners” in the ETI, a limited liability partnership. The ETI is currently comprised of seven members:  BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell (private sector members) and the UK Government (through the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board,  the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) . Each Member has at least one representative on the ETI Board.

Project Participant  / Project Partner

This refers to an individual organisation whether from the private sector, public sector or academic body / institution and which is part of a consortium delivering a project on behalf of the ETI.

Request for Proposals or RfP

A Request for Proposals (RfP) is the first stage of the ETI’s procurement process, which involves issuing a request for suppliers to submit a response to a project identified by an RfP.

State Aid

In its simplest form, state aid is a European Commission term which refers to forms of assistance from a public body or publicly-funded body, given to undertakings engaged in economic commercial activity on a selective basis.