National Nuclear Laboratory


Thursday 17 March 2016

Innovus Game Changers

As Cumbria’s successful technology commercialisation programme, Innovus, has created a very impressive 44 new jobs linked to projects it has supported.

Operated by NNL and The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute, the Innovus programme is transforming the culture of research and development in Cumbria and inspiring clients to continually seek out the next innovation that will become the future of their business.

Launched in 2013, Innovus reaches out to individuals, researchers and small and large businesses, wherever they’re based, to seek out solutions to decommissioning challenges on the Sellafield site. The key driver in everything Innovus does is to create jobs and wealth for the Cumbrian economy, whether through increased turnover, licensing or the creation of new enterprises.

With support from the Regional Growth Fund, operating across England from 2011 to 2017, Innovus works with innovative Cumbrian businesses by helping them develop and sell the solutions that will overcome industry challenges.

Innovus is forecasting more jobs and growth in 2016 as a result of continued success and benefits from new initiatives like Game Changers, a partnership with Sellafield Ltd. 

What is Game Changers?

Game Changers is an Innovus initiative partnered with Sellafield Ltd. The aim is to work with Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME’s), Universities and larger companies nationwide to unlock potential for innovation.

A series of nine challenges will be issued to encourage fresh thinking, the first being ‘Characterisation’. A social media campaign will also be launched which will aim to create interest and awareness, opening the way for discussions of ideas. £5,000 will be available for each successful applicant to develop and discuss their idea with additional support and funding available also.

The aim is to direct people to the Innovus website which will display the nine challenges hopefully attracting innovative ideas, technology and opportunities from individuals and companies. The overall objective is to save millions of pounds and speed up the vital decommissioning work. 

The decommissioning of the Sellafield site is predicted to take over 100 years at a cost of over £50 billion. To meet these decommissioning challenges there is a need to invest in the new and novel technologies, ideas and methods which are either new in concept or new to the industry.

From technologies and methods already used in other industries to non-standard technologies and approaches that address specific needs, Game Changers is looking to harness innovation wherever and whatever it is.

NNL’s Adrian Davis-Johnston, the Innovus Programme Manager said: “Innovus is the perfect vehicle for Sellafield Ltd to reach its target audience, with great routes into the SME and supply chain communities as well as academia and the national laboratory. Innovus has quickly built a reputation for promoting great new technologies.

“We want to reach out for innovation from all sectors, perhaps especially those that don’t have knowledge of the nuclear industry, to have a fresh perspective and to challenge us with new ways to address our most pressing challenges.”