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.

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