The Technology Strategy Board is to offer up to £10m in a competition to develop technologies that can improve the eco-friendliness of existing buildings.
Companies are encouraged to bid for a share of the £10m pool of government funding as part of the national Retrofit for the Future challenge.
The competition hopes to generate at least 50 prototype technologies that could be adopted by the government through public procurement to help meet climate change goals. It will focus on six key strategic sectors: clean technology; advanced manufacturing; healthcare and biotech; high value-added services including ICT; creative industries; and education.
"Low-carbon technology is just one of the areas in which Britain will need to succeed if we are to emerge from the downturn stronger, build a new economy and create the jobs of the future," said science and innovation minister Lord Drayson.
"Today's challenge to companies across the UK underlines the opportunities that exist in responding to global challenges like climate change.
"And by showcasing the key industries that will build a greener, healthier Britain for the digital age, we underline just how important science and innovation are to the economy and future job creation."
Lord Drayson was joined by prime minister Gordon Brown and secretary of state for innovation, universities and skills John Denham at the Building the Britain of the Future Expo yesterday to announce the competition.
The announcement builds on the launch of the Science: So What? So Everything campaign, also launched yesterday, and aims to promote the role of science in people's everyday lives.
"Our ability as a nation to innovate and build links between science and business will help ensure that we emerge stronger when the upturn comes," added Denham.
"Driving up the number of people who have the skills in science, technology, engineering and maths required by emerging and growth industries will help ensure that the UK remains strong in an increasingly competitive global economy. "
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