Innovation competition awards brightest smart cities ideas

KIC InnoEnergy recognises students' most promising innovations

KIC InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe, has honoured three ideas at the last stage of the ‘MSc Energy for Smart Cities' innovation journey in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The awards recognise students' contribution to smart city innovation.


Thirty-two students took part in the innovation journey, across three European cities (Barcelona, Leuven and Amsterdam). The students were set real challenges by 10 energy industry businesses, which they had to overcome with the development of commercially feasible proposals. Each stop concluded with an innovation competition, whereby the students pitched their ideas to a panel of expert judges.

The winners of the final stage in Amsterdam were:
• Netploit, an electric vehicle charging station solution with bidirectional chargers incorporating demand-side management and a user-friendly app. This challenge was provided by COMSA EMTE.
• FASCOM, an urban concept combining street lighting with solar generation and the ability to support smart city platforms for sensor devices. This challenge was provided by SIARQ.
• El Contenidor, a mobile phone charging solution powered by fitness bikes and solar panels that recycles old containers. The solution also helps to enhance social cohesion between urban neighbours. This challenge was provided by Ateneu de Fabricació de Les Corts (Barcelona).

"It is incredibly inspiring to see these bright minds come together to develop innovative, creative and intelligent proposals. Clever, commercial ideas are needed if we are to meet our carbon-reduction targets - and smart cities will be an essential part of that," says Xavier Crusat, an innovation competition judge.

"The innovation journey was such a success that we are opening the first Entrepreneurship Journey this September. This journey will support 17 of our second year Master school students turn their ideas into commercial reality, becoming themselves entrepreneurs."

KIC InnoEnergy's Master Programme ‘Energy for Smart Cities' addresses internationally-oriented and entrepreneurial engineering students who wish to implement modern energy technologies for end-users of the electrical value chain: citizens, companies and cities. This custom-developed programme creates truly multi-disciplinary smart city experts: well qualified to work in industry or research, or to take on policy-making roles in energy issues related to secure, sustainable urban living and working. The innovation journey and consequent entrepreneurship journey are parts of their educational programme.

The Call for Challenges is now open for the next innovation journey. Business with a smart cities challenge that requires an innovative approach can submit them on the KIC InnoEnergy website.

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