A fund has been set up to help boost the North East's renewable energy sector after the region lost out on a bid to host a £1bn energy institute.
Regeneration agency One NorthEast has created the Three Pillars Investment Fund, which will initially award £2.4m to innovative companies.
A consortium of the region's universities had hoped to host the UK's Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).
But the project was awarded to a group led by Loughborough University.
One NorthEast Chairman Margaret Fay said: "This fund will help bolster the development of companies in these growing and vitally important sectors.
"The North East is the energy innovation capital of the UK, and despite not being host to the ETI, our plans to put the region in pole position to seize new national and international opportunities in new and renewables remain clear and focused."
The region is home to some of the leading academic and research and development facilities in the UK, such as the Centre for Process Innovation at Wilton, Redcar.
Other projects include the New and Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth and Newcastle's Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences.