A coalition of the future to unlock innovation: EIC Chair, David Gray, and Former Chair, Tony Cocker, share industry insight in an interview with Utility Week
By Laura Jenkinson
Our new chairman, David Gray, and outgoing chairman, Tony Cocker, recently caught up with Utility Week to discuss the role of innovation in the energy industry and their views as to how RIIO-2 determinations will impact innovation investment.
During the discussion, both shared their experiences of the utilities sector and expressed the need for change in order to increase innovation and meet net zero targets:
“These companies by their nature absolutely have to ensure security of supply”, Cocker says. “They have to have great health and safety and therefore that can lead to a risk averse culture.
“It is a real culture change for some of these organisations to be more innovative. But that change, while also maintaining the focus on security of supply and health and safety, is essential if we’re going to meet the challenge of net zero.”
Gray accepts there is some validity to stereotypes of the sector being risk averse but adds: “If you look at the huge changes in the energy system over the past ten years, it’s clear that this is an industry that is adapting and reshaping to the world around it. That fits squarely with the objectives of innovation.
“The industry needs to be responsive and recognise they are dealing with companies that are very unlike them but who share the same goals.”
Achieving net zero targets is one of the biggest challenges facing the energy and utilities industry, but by innovating together we can drive change and deliver a decarbonised future. Our industry partners are always looking for innovative new solutions to the challenges they face, including net zero, which is why we provide a platform where innovators like you can respond to the latest innovation opportunities and challenges, and submit your innovative ideas.
Our expert team have an extensive knowledge base, allowing us to consistently help our partners to address challenges, and to support our innovation community. This enables innovators and industry to come together and build a strong innovation culture and streamline innovation processes.