The Q2 2024 Lift Off is now live for submission on the CompeteFor platform.  Selected companies may have an opportunity to present their services and products to the Heathrow panel of experts and strategic supply chain partners.  More information below.

The deadline for applications is 22nd April 2024 at 5.30pm.

Since the launch of Lift Off in 2023, Heathrow Airport has delivered five successful events, from Sustainability, to Passenger Experience and Data & Technology Solutions and the initiative has recently been shortlisted for the “Supplier Collaboration and Innovation Award” by the Procurement Leaders for their World Procurement Awards 2024, demonstrating its positive impact.

The theme for Q2 2024 is Passenger Experience. As the most connected airport in the world, a significant proportion of passengers are transferring through Heathrow, meaning that Heathrow is their only impression of the UK.

This is why Heathrow would like to improve the passenger experience and do better.  They are keen to learn about how you can help achieve this.

When passengers travel through Heathrow, 75% of passengers feel satisfied. Leisure passengers are back to 2019 levels with a reduction in business travellers and an increase in passengers visiting friends and relatives.  There are more passengers who have personal circumstances (e.g. sensory, cognitive, psychology or physical) who require additional support when travelling, with more than 2 million passengers requesting assistance in 2023, 34% more than in 2019.

Heathrow delivers a good experience for most of its passengers but for certain segments such as those passengers requiring support or connecting, they recognise there is more they can do to meet their needs and expectations. They do not always provide the information passengers need to feel in control of their journey on the day. Moreover, some passengers want to know in advance how the experience through the airport will be so that they can prepare themselves. 

Heathrow is particularly interested in potential solutions relating to:

Heathrow 2.0 Sustainability Report launched –  a sustainability plan that connects people and planet. It focuses on decarbonisation and ensuring the airport, and the communities around it, can be a great place to live and work.

A new comprehensive overview of their progress and initiatives towards their 2.0 plan as been released. It details the progress made towards their 2030 goals, as well as some of the challenges faced.  

While 2023 witnessed several exciting moments that indicated Heathrow is making significant progress towards its 2.0 plan, they are not resting on their laurels and recognise there remains much work ahead.

Key 2023 achievements include:

30 April 2024 –
1 May 2024


9.00 – 18.00 BST

Olympia London

Open to all


Registration in advance


Innovation Zero, the UK’s largest net-zero congress, returns to London Olympia for the second edition on 30 April – 1 May 2024, alongside its new co-located event, Infrastructure Zero.

Supported by the UK Government, Innovation
Zero provides a meeting place for announcements, partnerships, deal-making, and collaborations for those who develop, produce, deploy, and fund low carbon solutions.

Our mission? To accelerate meaningful action towards a low carbon economy and society​.

More details






The Cleantech Group recently launched its latest Global Cleantech 100 report – a list of innovators with the technologies and determination to take us from commitments to actions in the sprint to net-zero. The report also offers insight into the fast-changing market trends that give us hope of a sustainable future and the drivers behind the progress of each sector.

View the report.

Are you a climate startup ready to implement and scale up your solutions to the climate crisis across the built environment sector?

If so, then the The Better Futures Retrofit Accelerator, delivered by Imperial College London is for you!  This fully funded programme offers a gateway into the London retrofit market, with the aim of unlocking the barriers to market entry, setting the foundation for a successful commercial scale up and reducing London’s greenhouse gas emissions significantly.  Deadline for applications is Sunday 21st January 2024.


For more information:

Discover the latest list of funding opportunities
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £4.5 million to support research and development feasibility studies that provide immersive digital mental health therapeutic solutions.
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £1 million for projects that develop new innovative products and services for the UK music industry.
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £32 million for innovation projects that can improve productivity in key sectors through the use of artificial intelligence.
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £400,000 for projects resulting in new solutions to address bias and discrimination in artificial intelligence systems.
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £4 million to support the development and implementation of scalable and sustainable technologies for medicines, delivery and manufacture.
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £3 million for the development of data sharing or data exchanging technologies.
UK registered businesses can apply for grant funding alongside private investment from selected investor partners.
UK registered businesses, in collaboration with African partners, can apply for a share of up to £2 million for collaborative, urban innovation projects.
UK registered organisations and Canadian SMEs can apply for a share of up to £5.4 million for joint research and development projects focused on driving circularity in critical minerals.
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million for offshore wind research and development projects.
UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £2 million to develop innovative proposals in partnership with Japan and other participating Eureka members.
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £5 million for industrial research projects that develop sustainable technologies, helping reduce emissions to achieve a net-zero future.
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Plus X Innovation is holding a Seed and Pre-Seed investment event…

Raising a first seed round is one of the most exciting milestones in the life of a startup. However, this challenge often comes with anxiety, unexpected hurdles and uncertainty. This intensive two-day innovation programme will give you the tools and knowledge to successfully raise your first round of investment.

A group of 6 active investors are looking for investment opportunities with companies seeking to raise up to £500,000.

The two-day event, taking place on 1st and 2nd of November will allow start-ups to develop their investment strategy, perfect investment documents and nail their pitch, supported by Plus X’s team of expert mentors. Application closing date: 25th October 2023.

Finally, all invitees will have the opportunity to pitch to the panel of investors and receive 1-2-1 feedback.

The event is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund so is free for all attendees. To be considered for this even, please complete this short form.

The event will take place at Plus X Innovation, Shipping Building, 252 Blyth Rd, Hayes UB3 1HA

This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.


Are you ready to be a part of the solution and shape a sustainable future for Barnet? We invite you to join the BarNET ZERO Challenge – a competition that encourages individuals and communities to come forward with creative and innovative ideas that will reduce carbon emissions.

The BarNET ZERO Challenge is open to those who live, work or study in Barnet and are passionate about sustainability and have an idea that can make a real difference in the borough. Successful participants will be able to attend workshops to develop their idea, showcase their projects to a panel of experts, receive funding from a cash pot of £10,000 and prizes including:

  • X Box Live Subscription
  • 1 Year Microsoft Office Subscription
  • An opportunity to be part of the Natwest Accelerator Programme

The initiative is led by London Borough of Barnet and Middlesex University, with the generous support of Brent Cross Shopping Centre, NatWest and Microsoft.

About the BarNET ZERO Challenge

In May 2022, Barnet declared a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency recognising that urgent action is needed. London Borough of Barnet Council and Middlesex University have both committed to becoming Net Zero, and have teamed up to launch the BarNET ZERO Challenge.

The aim of the contest is to help develop innovative ideas for solving some of the borough’s sustainability challenge areas;

  1. Waste and Sustainable Consumption
  2. Learning, Communication & Partnerships
  3. Nature and Biodiversity
  4. Travel
  5. Housing, Buildings & Renewable Energy

The above five challenge themes have developed from Barnet’s Citizens’ Assembly discussions on Climate Change and Biodiversity – read more about this here:

Discover Barnet’s residents’ recommendations to becoming a more sustainable borough | Engage Barnet

How does the Challenge work?

Review the five challenge areas and decide which one you’d like to submit your idea for.

Write a 200-word outline of your idea, including an explanation of why you think it is a good idea and how it could be implemented.

Enter the challenge here:

Submit your 200-word entry, by completing the form here.(External link)

The closing date for entries is: 29 November 2023.

The following format is a guide:

Your idea in 200 words:

  • Provide a title to your idea that is catchy but sums up what the idea is about.
  • Introduce your idea in the first sentence by stating the essence of the idea in practice. (20 words)
  • Follow this up with further information on how the idea could be implemented in practice. (90 words).
  • Add some concluding comments on why you feel this idea could be implemented across the borough to reduce carbon emissions. (90 words).

Submissions will be reviewed by an independent panel and successful applicants will be invited to a launch event and to attend a series of workshops to help develop their idea.

After the workshops have finished, applicants will submit their updated idea for consideration by another independent panel of experts to determine finalists. These finalists will then receive additional support for their projects and a share of up to £10,000 and additional prizes.

The finalists will also be displayed online and in Brent Cross shopping centre for a public vote in May 2024 to determine the top three ideas.

Eligibility and selection

To be eligible for the competition, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have the right to work in the UK
  • Live, work or study in London Borough of Barnet
  • Have an idea for a net zero solution that is practical
  • For individuals or community groups
  • Submit your expression of interest by 29 November 2023.
  • Agree to Challenge Terms and Conditions

Benefits and incentives

By participating in the competition, you will have the chance to:

  • Win part of the £10,000 prize fund; £5,000 for first place, £3,000 for second place, and £2,000 for the third place. The prize money can be used to further develop or implement your project.
  • Attend workshops led by NatWest and Microsoft to help develop and refine your idea.
  • Receive feedback and guidance from experts in the Net Zero field, who will offer support throughout the competition.
  • Network with other participants, judges, mentors and sponsors, who share your passion and vision for Net Zero.
  • Gain exposure and recognition for your project, as the competition will be promoted and covered by various media outlets and platforms.

Expectations and responsibilities

As a participant of the competition, you are expected to:

  • Commit to the timeline and milestones of the competition, and submit your deliverables on time and in the required format.
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with mentors, judges and organisers, and respect their feedback and opinions.
  • Follow the rules and guidelines of the competition, and uphold the values of integrity, honesty and professionalism.
  • Acknowledge and respect the intellectual property rights of others, and ensure that your project does not infringe on any existing patents, trademarks or copyrights.

Contact details

If you have any questions or queries about the competition, please contact us by email at:

SHIFT, east London’s innovation agency based at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, has today (Wednesday 4 October) launched a new scale-up programme of funding and support for London-based enterprises working to tackle the climate emergency. The project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Future Industries Demonstrator Programme provides pioneering start-ups and SMEs with financial backing, as well as linking them to the collaborative networks, workspaces and local knowledge resources that give them the best chance to succeed. The theme of the first challenge is ‘Natural Cities.’ Organisations that are working on a solution to one or more of these key challenges facing east London’s natural environment are particularly welcome to apply:
● Safeguard our Water Systems: Reducing risk from flooding and drought, restoring natural water bodies and protecting water resources
● Clean our Air: Reducing air pollution from existing sources and removing pollutants
● Halt and Reverse Biodiversity Loss: Promoting biodiversity and the wellbeing of natural spaces
● Fight Rising Temperatures: Combatting the urban heat island effect
● Create a Capital Without Waste: Minimising waste and its impactsApplications are now open to the first of these via the SHIFT website. SMEs and individuals can also sign up to become a SHIFT member to stay updated with all the latest information about the Future Industries Demonstrator Programme.

Applications are now open to the first of these via the SHIFT website. SMEs and individuals can also sign up to become a SHIFT member to stay updated with all the latest information about the Future Industries Demonstrator Programme.

● The Future Industries Demonstrator Programme has been created to invest in and support 215 London-based SMEs working to tackle the climate crisis
● First of three open innovation challenges calls for solutions to tackle the climate emergency, starting with enhancing east London’s natural environment
● Successful bids win £25,000 grant plus access to support, expertise and networks on and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
● Two-year programme part-funded by £1.47m from the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Successful applicants will receive:
● £20,000 grant to supplement scaling plans
● £5,000 budget to support testbed deployment
● Access to world-class workspaces, including The Loop, east London’s hub for circular economy businesses.
● Expert support from specialists at innovation company Plexal and University College London
● 1:1 coaching with a circular business specialist
● Support programme facilitated by SHIFT.
● Businesses based in the Hackney Wick & Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone will be considered for an additional capital grant up to £10,000 to supplement their scaling plans after completing their initial development through the programme.

The second and third Innovation Challenges will be open for applications in February 2024 and July 2024. The Open Innovation Challenges will focus on the intersection between the real problems that citizens and institutional buyers face locally and the market solutions that, with investment and tailored support, can accelerate the collective transition to Net Zero.

Abdul Rahim, the Chief Innovation Officer of SHIFT highlighted that this isn’t a call for piecemeal change, it’s a demand for systemic responses. That means considering the complexity of how different aspects of our urban environments are connected, and bringing forward holistic, comprehensive solutions.
Abdul Rahim, Chief Innovation Officer of SHIFT, said: “SHIFT is committed to bridging the gap between real, local need and market-defining innovations. By spotlighting challenges encountered by local communities, we hope to ensure that supported solutions possess genuine and significant potential to meet urgent challenges for east Londoners whilst accelerating the net-zero transition for the capital.”

Andrew Roughan, CEO at Plexal, said: “Plexal is a founding partner of SHIFT and little over a year from launch, it’s a pleasure to further our role within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park innovation district to be part of SHIFT’s Future Industries Demonstrator Programme. As an innovation company and workspace for trailblazing founders, our mission at Plexal is to solve society’s challenges through collaboration with organisations. Therefore, we’re excited to be delivering the Venture Creator programme to discover and support sustainability startups committed to achieving net zero as part of our involvement.”

Alex Russell, Executive Director, Hackney Wick and Fish Island Community Development Trust CIC, said: “We are excited to be a partner of The Future Industries Demonstrator Programme. The programme provides a great platform for SMEs with innovative ideas to tackle the climate crisis, in partnership with industry, community and academia. We also welcome the continued support of The Loop – the creation of a cluster of circular economy initiatives on the Park – under the stewardship of the CDT, a community ownership model.”


New this year, in recognition of the importance of fast growth innovative companies in our sub region, WLB launches the Innovative SME of the Year award for the West London Business Awards 2024.
Small to Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) with fewer than 250 employees or an annual turnover of under £40 million can enter this new award, which will provide you with an opportunity to set out your story since you were founded, give an overview of your recent achievements and your vision for the future.
Judges will be looking for clear objective setting, strategy & plan formation, with matching rigour in implementation and measurement, innovation and creativity in solving problems or approaching new issues. Where possible, provide evidence of customer delight – such as new business wins or exceptional customer retention, or significant customer success after acting on advice.


About the West London Business Awards
The Awards showcase business excellence, and are established as one of the pre-eminent award schemes in the capital for over 10 years.
A key date in the West London business calendar, the gala awards ceremony in February 2024 will bring together over 500 guests from across the sub-region’s business community, as well as representation from central and local government – a truly unique and special occasion. Partners include: Heathrow, Amazon Web Services, Brunel University London, University of West London, Venture X, Westfield London, AWS, HRUC, West London Institute of Technology and Ultra Education.
This year, 26 awards will be up for grabs, and all organisations that trade in West London* are eligible to enter before the extended deadline of Monday 16 October 2023.  This eleventh edition of the awards will showcase business excellence in West London around six themes: ‘SME Sector leadership’, ‘Sustainable & responsible business’, ‘Economic growth’, ‘Corporate leadership’, ‘Individual leadership’ and ‘Next Generation’, featuring up-and-coming West London business talent. Whatever the sector, whatever the business, there is a category to enter.  You may enter as many categories as you like that you feel represent your solution/business best.  See them all here and enter.

Entries cost £30 which is redeemable against the cost of a ticket at the gala ceremony in February 2024.