STEPS Business Support Programme

(STorage of Energy and Power Systems)

Optimise your product with experts

Receive expert support from top Universities in North-West Europe

Develop your technology by real-life testing

Improve your solution by implementing it in a real testbed

Become a leader in energy storage

Enter new markets
in North-West Europe

Accelerate the sustainable energy transition

Shape the energy sector with your innovative storage solution

The call for application is currently closed, in case you are still interested in participating in STEPS but missed the deadline please contact one of our regional partners:


About the programme

For whom?

Are you an energy storage solution provider in North-West Europe (NWE) and do you want to bring your product to the market?
Do you want to get connected with end-users and demonstrate your technology at their testbed?
Do you want to receive support from leading knowledge partners in NWE?

Then you are the SME we are looking for!

What support is being provided to SMEs?

  • The programme offers support from universities to 40 SMEs with product enhancement Vouchers (Voucher 1) with a value of €12,5k each. 20 SMEs were selected in the first call for applications, and 20 more will be selected in the second call that is currently open.

  • Out of the 40 SMEs to receive Voucher 1 support, the top 20 projects will receive additional support for testing and demonstrating (Voucher 2) their technology at an end-user (testbed) with a value worth of €50k each.

Voucher 1: Product enhancement support

  • In Voucher 1, SMEs will receive support from leading universities in energy storage for a duration of three to five months. The support focuses on advancing the technical readiness level of your energy storage solution from TRL 5/6 to TRL 7.

  • In a kick-off meeting, you will meet with a university that is most familiar with your product technology to discuss the scope of the support. This aims to provide you with the university's knowledge, expertise and advice through a practical approach. Active participation of you, as the SME, is essential during Voucher 1 support, without it Voucher 1 cannot be completed.

  • The possibilities universities offer in knowledge support are diverse. In the first call, the winning SMEs received support in the following focus areas (among others) of the universities: battery safety, hybrid storage solutions, integration of storage systems, monitoring, market information, storage design, power conversion, economic insights, data analytics, EMC, measurement, hydrogen and more.

  • Voucher 1 supports you in the testing preparation and assists you in the creating an appropriate implementation plan.

  • When selecting applicants for Voucher 1 funding, we look at the current stage of development of your energy storage solution, your technical or scientific challenge that universities can support you with, the economic viability of your solution (market & business potential) and the matching possibilities with STEPS testbeds and the associated value for the testbed and SME.

Voucher 2: Testing and demonstrating support

  • Out of the 40 SMEs that received Voucher 1 support, 20 will be selected for Voucher 2 support based on criteria such as your progress during Voucher 1 support and your suitability for testing. The successful and active participation of an SME during voucher 1 is a prerequisite for the award of voucher 2.

  • SMEs awarded for Voucher 2 will test their product at one of our testbeds. Transnational testing is fully supported to help you increase your European market penetration. Therefore, the testbed may be located in your region or in another NWE region. The period for testing will last six months.

  • Local Business Support partners support you in setting up and implementing the testing. This support may include direct support by staff as well as material, logistics, and professional services.

  • Testbeds' needs for energy storage solutions range from 10 kWh - 10,000 kWh and 2 kW - 10,000 kW .

Timeline for the second call for applications

  • The second call has closed the 17th June 2021.

  • The Business Support Programme includes two successive vouchers.

  • The first voucher (€12.500 each) starts from August 2021 and can take up to five months. The second voucher (€50.000 each) can start as early as January 2022 and will last six months.

Find out more about the STEPS project here.

Who can apply?

More information on the definition of SMEs (including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) by the EU is available here.

More information about the Interreg North-West Europe programme area is available here.

How to apply?

The call for application is currently closed, in case you are still interested in participating in STEPS but missed the deadline please contact one of our regional partners in the section "support & help"

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Support & Help

Please directly contact our local partners for further information or assistance:

Please find the programme guidelines here.

Visit the STEPS Interreg website here,