On November 4, the Idea Challenge finalists in the field of Smart Energy Systems presented their innovations at the Smart Energy Community event in Berlin, Germany. Out of 32 submissions, eight teams from six countries were selected to pitch in front of an expert jury consisting of Jan Michael Hess (Ecosummit), Dr. Michael Hochholzert (Siemens Venture Capital), Dr. Heiko Lehmann (EIT Digital), Loredana Racanella (Enel SpA), Claudius Seidel (EIT Digital), Dr. Oliver Weinmann (Vattenfall Europe Innovation GmbH) and Dr. Jan-Olaf Willums (InSpire Group).
With has.to.be for the first time an Austrian start-up received the first prize in the pan-European Idea Challenge. Their management and billing platform be.Energised enables anyone to operate, monitor and control a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The jury was enthusiastic about the convincing business model and the clarity of the pitch. The start-up now aims to strengthen the team and grow internationally. “Our next steps include employing developers to join our highly motivated team and building up an international network of partners and resellers,“ Lukas Bauer, Operation & Projects at has.to.be points out. “We are already running projects in Spain, the UK, Italy, Sweden and Eastern Europe and get requests from Asia. As part of EIT Digital’s European network we aim to grow further internationally.” Beside of a cash prize, Idea Challenge winners receive international growth support through the EIT Digital Accelerator.
The second place went to Peeeks from the Netherlands, who promises to achieve 10-40 per cent energy cost saving by switching industrial processes such as cooling houses, ice skating rinks or oil terminals automatically and intelligently. The third place SEMU from Estonia, represented by the only female founder on stage Margit Lillemaa, developed a home automation system that aims to improve the life of visually impaired and blind people by making their homes safer and more energy efficient. The Idea Challenge takes place in eight different cities across Europe covering each a different technological topic.
The next upcoming finals are:
- Cyber Security & Privacy (November 19 in Trento, Italy)
- Urban Life & Mobility (November 23 in London, United Kingdom)
- Health & Wellbeing (November 25 in Eindhoven, Netherlands)
- Smart Spaces (December 1 in Helsinki, Finland)
- Internet of Things (December 3 in Stockholm, Sweden)
- Cyber Physical Systems (December 4 in Paris, France)
The three winners of the Idea Challenge in the category Smart Energy Systems are:
First place 40,000 €: has.to.be
be.ENERGISED is the innovation leading platform in charge point management including billing and invoicing capabilities for charging processes in public and semi-public areas.
Second Place 25,000 €: Peeeks
By unlocking the flexibility present in cooling houses, Ice skating rinks, oil terminals and other industrial processes, Peeeks can save the owners of those processes up to 40% of their energy bill, and at the same time help stabilise the energy grid.
Third Place 15,000 €: SEMU
Semu is developing a device for visually impaired and blind people that enables them to use home automation systems to make their homes safer and more efficient.