ManagEnergy is a technical support initiative of the Intelligent Energy - Europe (IEE) programme of the European Commission which aims to assist actors from the public sector and their advisers working on energy efficiency and renewable energy at the local and regional level.

SME funding for infrared camera to detect fugitive emissions

The GaSeS project from SENSIA Solutions, aims at developing the first low-cost handheld infrared camera for fugitive emissions, early detection and location. It is expected to increase energy efficiency in industrial plants, infrastructures and utilities; addressing the industry’s need to tackle gas leaks and increase efficiency, security, environmental care and pollution control.

The project’s budget totals €71.429 with a €50.000 grant from Phase 1 of the SME Instrument funding scheme of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020.  The overall objective of the Phase 1 feasibility study is to develop a market study and corresponding business plan that evaluates the main target markets and best strategies to commercialise the proposed technology.

The GaSeS project is intended to respond to the needs of industries with fugitive emissions problems. SENSIA-Solutions is a cutting-edge technology-based company specialised in the development of infrared imaging devices. As a first step, the project will focus on sulphur dioxide (SO2) leaks, and specifically on sulphuric-acid-related industries.

Benefits for end-users include a cheaper instrument in comparison with current IR imaging based solutions (at least 1:2 cost reduction), and better control of SO2 fugitive emissions in the short-term. The technology will also enable compliance with increasing legislation on fugitive emissions control of SO2 and other pollutants.

Gold nuggets

Funding available for projects through the SME Instrument will total about €3 billion through the course of Horizon 2020 (2014-2020). Application for funding is simple; Phase 1 is just ten pages, and times to contact are short (envisaged as three months for Phase 1 and six months for Phase 2).

‘Only the very best applications will get support,’ says Dr Bernd Reichert, Head of Unit of the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EASME). ‘We intend to find the gold nuggets of small European companies among a lot of sand and – hoping that it is gold we will find and fund – we will support it with various services in order for the company to have improved chances to grow and prosper.’

After its starting date on 1 March 2014, SME Instrument projects can be submitted to a continuously open call with about four cut-off dates per year when funding allocations will be decided. The next cut-off dates for Phase 1 - Concept Feasibility and Phase 2 - Demonstration & Prototyping are 17 September and 16 December 2015.

Learn more:

  Funding for SMEs to innovate for low carbon energy