Startups, innovators and entrepreneurs with new ideas that could spark innovation in the energy sector are being encouraged to enter the latest innovation challenge by EDF Energy for a chance to take their idea to market.
Part of EDF Group’s Pulse Awards, young companies with the best ideas will have the chance to gain expert support and advice, as well as attract investment, to help develop their concepts for the mass market.
The company’s innovation accelerator, Blue Lab, is on the lookout for entries to fit key areas of focus for the organisation. These are:
- Electric Vehicles – products and ideas for businesses and consumers transitioning to electric vehicles
- Improving Customers’ Lives – innovations to make life better for EDF Energy customers
- Electric future through Artificial Intelligence – Solutions to accelerate the electric future and make EDF Energy the supplier of choice through emerging AI.
- Wildcard – Fresh ideas outside the scope of the other three categories but which still fit with the EDF Energy brand and have the potential to energise the sector.
Startups with the best ideas to meet the challenge will gain access to EDF Energy’s scale and network to help develop business opportunities.
Jean-Benoit Ritz, Director of Innovation and Blue Lab, said: “This challenge offers the most innovative startups a unique gateway into the world of energy to help us, jointly, deliver a powerful future for the benefit of society. EDF Energy has a strong history of promoting innovation and we want to ensure we continue to gain a fresh perspective by collaborating with an even wider range of young companies.”
Short-listed organisations will work closely with the company over a 12-week period, with mentoring from senior leaders within EDF Energy and access to experts.
They will be given an opportunity to validate their products, and trial and test them in live environments to gain valuable customer feedback and consumer insights.
Free office space is also available during the challenge at IDEALondon, an innovation centre in the heart of London’s Tech City, run by EDF Energy, Cisco and UCL Engineering.
The challenge is the third run in partnership with L Marks. Daniel Saunders, CEO of L Marks, said:“It is wonderful to be continuing our partnership with EDF Energy to launch this new innovation programme and build on the success they have generated through working with startups and scale-ups from across the energy sector. Together with EDF Energy we will be discovering early-stage companies as we journey into an electric future and look to improve the lives of their customers.”
The challenge gives startups the chance to gain investment from EDF Energy, along with a £10,000 cash prize for one overall winner.
Previous winners of the challenge include Powervault – a British company that designs and manufactures smart energy storage systems for the home which store solar energy and cheap electricity from the grid to reduce household energy bills and increase energy efficiency – and smart home monitoring system, Howz, which supports independent living. Both companies received expect advice to further develop their offerings and accelerate their route to market.
Powervault’s Managing Director Joe Warren said: “Winning the Blue Lab competition has been amazing. The Blue Lab team has worked with us to launch Powervault to EDF Energy customers, creating a market-leading proposition. We are very grateful for the huge opportunity Blue Lab has given us and we look forward to continuing to grow with EDF Energy in the years ahead.”
Louise Rogerson, Chief Operating Officer at Howz, said: “Working with EDF Energy has been a great opportunity for us. Our partnership has provided access to a broad customer base, along with their ongoing support and expertise.”
To apply for the programme, simply complete the application here before 21 May 2019.