Zeta Controls and Juice Technology are to receive government funding to help them develop new energy-efficient lighting.
The two companies – based in Bicester and Hoddesdon respectively – will share nearly £900,000 through development contracts awarded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The contract awards follow a competition run as part of the cross-government Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) scheme, which is coordinated by the Technology Strategy Board and encourages government departments to spend a portion of their procurement budget on companies seen as innovative.
The winning companies were chosen from six that put forward detailed technical feasibility studies proposing concepts for new lighting products.
These were subjected to a technical assessment and the proposals from Zeta Controls and Juice Technology were considered the most promising.
The funding will enable the companies to develop and evaluate prototypes or demonstration units, which will then be subjected to a six-month field trial.
The companies will now develop their prototypes and produce 50 fully functional, tested demonstration units.
Both projects are based on Non-Directional Lighting Sources (bulb replacements).
After the development phase the Technology Strategy Board will coordinate a six-month period of demonstration testing, from October 2011.
Mark Glover, the head of SBRI, said: ‘At the end of the trials, we hope we’ll see high-quality, compact, ultra-efficient lighting that everyone would be happy to use at home. Such lighting could transform Britain’s homes and energy use.’