Cleantech Competitions: Driving Open Innovation

With the number of cleantech companies growing, and the need for innovative thinking and creative cleantech ideas increasing, cleantech competitions are becoming a key component in delivering fresh minds and new ideas.

Cleantech competitions are a key ingredient in the recipe for cleantech success.  These renewable energy focused competitions are bridging the gap between university students, cleantech start-up businesses, more established companies as well as investors.  For these three target groups of the growing cleantech world, it is a win-win-win-win situation.

For students, these competitions give them a chance to gain real-world experience by using what they are learning in school and creatively applying their knowledge to solve real cleantech problems.  Competitions offer a prize to the winning participant, creating an even greater incentive to participate.  There are also many competitions that target the minds of startup companies.  On the corporate side of things, these competitions give companies new ideas and project proposals from cleantech innovators, at no cost. Finally, investors can use competitions as an effective way to generate quality ideas tapping into entrepreneurial talent worldwide.

Perhaps the largest and most successful cleantech challenge is the CleanTech Open.  The National Grand Prize winner of this competition receives a $250,000 cash prize.  Receiving thousands of submissions to their competition, the CleanTech Open opens the door to a countless number of people to display their creative thinking and innovative ideas.  This open innovation is key to bringing success to the rising cleantech revolution.

The European Cleantech Challenge is another important challenge.  This competition is a yearly business plan competition managed by the leading Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo and aimed at startup companies in Europe. Another great European initiative is the  Cleantech Challenge a joint initiative by London Business School and UCL.  Cleantech Challenge Mexico is another example of a new competition that is growing in size and participation in a growing economy.

GE’s Ecomagination is another great example of how large companies are leveraging competitions and Open Innovation to drive Cleantech innovation. The initiative was a $200 million innovation experiment where businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students shared their best ideas on how to improve our energy future. The competition was also recently launched in China opening more doors for innovation by spreading to new countries.

These are just a few examples that show how cleantech competitions are taking off all over the world.

With this proliferation of competitions and open innovation challenges there is a problem of finding the right competitions to participate in. Our online cleantech platform and ecosystem on our website, is also a great place to find all the latest Cleantech competitions, awards and funding opportunities. We also run our own Open Innovation challenges.  Anyone from a CEO to a university student can find challenges and participate.

For organizations that would rather run a competition on their own dedicated platform, Skipso offers the perfect solution. Through a dedicated and fully customised whitelabel platform, we allow any organization to set up and manage its own competition in few simple steps. An example is the previously mentioned EuropeanCleantech Challenge.

By utilizing the tools that companies like Skipso have created, any organization can leverage open innovation and competitions to drive Cleantech innovation. In doing so, they will also contribute to successfully creating new ideas, connections and jobs globally.


Rwanda Rural Electrification Challenge – Winners Announced!

Dear members,

We would like to inform you that, after much consideration, the judging panel have made their decision and identified the winning solutions to the Rwanda Rural Electrification Challlenge. The excellent quality of these solutions has made selecting a winner a particularly challenging task.  However, we are pleased to announce that, on the basis of clarity of idea, technical and financial feasibility, local involvement and scalability, the top 3 solutions chosen by Mabawa were those submitted by:

  1. Emilio Simonet ($1,500 cash award)
  2. Christophe Parot ($500 cash award)
  3. Francis Hillman ($500 cash award)

These solutions were not just innovative in terms of the ideas and technology they described, but managed to reconcile scalability with financial feasibility (all were under $25 000).

In addition, a further 5 solutions have been shortlisted for a potential Phase 2 of the project:

  • Francois D’Assise Nezerwa
  • Eric Youngren
  • Bernardin Vsanase
  • Douglas Danley
  • Bridget Wandelt

It should be mentioned that Mabawa is currently trying to secure funding for onsite-implementation.  Should it succeed in this task, it may decide to invite all shortlisted participants to submit a more detailed solution based on Nyamyumba’s specific energy requirements.

We would like to thank all of those who have participated to this challenge and we look forward to seeing you again on Skipso soon!


The Green Lighting Challenge Launched Today!

The Skipso team is excited to annouce the launch of a new Cleantech innovation challenge today: The Green Lighting Challenge.

GC Illumination is an Italian company specialised in the design, production and distribution of fixtures for exterior lighting.

GC supplies utilities, municipalities and installation companies in Italy and internationally.GC is looking for innovative solutions and products to enhance the performance of its LED-based product line and extend its functional application to a wider range of fittings.

G.C.'s Wing-Sun Product

Win $10,000 cash award for submitting solutions that will allow GC to meet the required illumination coefficients and to expand its Green Lighting fittings to motorways, urban areas, sports installations and other public areas.

$10,000 Cash Award!

Submit your solution today or refer a friend and win $1,000 if they solve the challenge!


CO2 Offsetting Challenge Launched Today!

Following the successful launch of the Rwanda Rural Electrification Challenge (3 weeks left to submit your solution!), we are excited to announce the launch of a new Cleantech challenge on Skipso’s Cleantech Open innovation Lab:

The CO2 Offsetting Projects Challenge

Help us 'Protect our planet'

$5,000 Cash Award!

Non-profit foundation myclimate – The Climate Protection Partnership is an international climate protection organization based in Zurich/Switzerland. myclimate offers Carbon Management Services and promotes carbon neutrality via the principle of high quality voluntary CO2 offsetting.

myclimate is looking for innovative approaches to secure and expand the sourcing of carbon offsetting projects.

Win $5,000 for submitting the most compelling concept for myclimate to find and approach Cleantech companies, technology providers and other organizations that apply and implement CO2-reducing technologies and initiatives in developing countries, mainly in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Submit your solution to earn a $5,000 cash award or refer a friend and earn a $500 referral bonus!


Launch of The Skipso Open Innovation Lab

The Skipso team is excited to announce the launch of its Open Innovation Lab – the first Open Innovation service focused exclusively on Sustainability and Clean Technology.

The Skipso Cleantech Open Innovation Lab enables organizations (Innovation Seekers) to accelerate their Cleantech innovation by tapping into a worldwide network of experts and innovators (Challenge Solvers)

In a world of fragmented knowledge and information, companies are increasingly looking beyond their internal boundaries to address their most challenging issues. Imagine having access to a worldwide network of problem solvers and innovators, working to resolve your issues at a fraction of the cost.

The Skipso Innovation Lab does exactly this. It provides a web-based environment for cleantech companies and organizations (Innovation Seekers) to post complex scientific and business challenges to a worldwide community of clean tech experts (Challenge Solvers). This allows Innovation Seekers to speed up their internal innovation process, reducing their R&D costs along the way. Challenge Solvers, on the other hand, can earn hefty cash awards for the problems they solve and earn recognition in the global marketplace.

Skipso Open Innovation Lab

Skipso Open Innovation Lab

Skipso Innovation Lab Challenges have one key requirement: they must relate to the fields of clean technology and climate change. Whether more theoretical or practical, Challenges must aim to make our planet more sustainable. The Skipso team will approve and validate every Challenge proposal to make sure it fits with this fundamental goal.