About Blue Lab

Today we are at a very exciting crossroads in the energy sector with fantastic opportunities to innovate and transform our customers’ relationship with energy
Jean-Benoit Ritz, Innovation Director, Blue Lab

Blue Lab is EDF Energy’s innovation accelerator – created to play an instrumental role to improve the lives of consumers by harnessing the latest technologies, developing energy services and testing the new business models of tomorrow.

Our goal is to create an open innovation network to generate plenty of ideas and to make ideas happen. Our new agile working space on the south coast enables us to collaboratively work with start-ups, internal teams, universities and consumers to develop and shape those ideas into a reality.

We are driven by wanting to get our customers fired up about energy. Our Blue Lab way of working is simple! We take great ideas and the most passionate people and bring them together to get the very best for our customers and for our business.

We’re always looking out for like-minded people to come and work with us. If you’re bursting with great ideas that could help shape the energy future, we want to hear from you today.


What's the challenge?

You have the idea. We fast track it into development and deployment. That’s what our challenge is all about – turning great ideas into marketable products or services, fast.

It’s an opportunity for you to work with our experts to accelerate your idea to the next stage.

We’re looking for the next big thing for Connected Home and Business. So if you’re working on innovative ways to use data or developing amazing new devices, controls or approaches – we want to team up with you.


If you make it into Blue Lab, what do you get?

  • 10 weeks’ free desk space

    come and join us at the Blue Lab accelerator on the South coast

  • EDF Pulse Awards nomination

    we’ll fast-track your idea to our global innovation award, where you could win a grant and get recognition across Europe

  • Expert mentoring and coaching

    we share how we work and what our customers want and support you as you take your idea to the next stage

  • Real consumer insight

    tell us what you need to know - we may have the data to help

  • Scale up

    potential for successfully developed products/services to be promoted to our 3.5m UK Customers, and beyond – EDF Group has a further 35 million customers across Europe

  • Support and Investment

    access to coaching support and potential for investment opportunities from Electranova Capital and L Marks

  • Prize

    most promising team will be awarded £30,000 cash

If you make it into Blue Lab, what do you get?

Connected Home and Business challenge categories

Data and display

Data and display

Working on great new ways to help customers understand, interpret and plan their energy use from anywhere? This category could be for you.

Switched on

Switched on

Can your idea allow our customers to actively control when and how they use energy? Or to finely tune energy consumption in different parts of their home or small business? This category is for you.

Customer engagement

Customer engagement

We’re not going to be able to change the way our customers consume energy if we can’t get them interested in it. So this category is about making energy interesting and relevant. Let us know how you’re going to do it.

Wildcard

Wildcard

Got a great idea that doesn't fall into any of the other categories? Wildcard it. We love surprises!


Timeline

  • Application opens 8th August 2016
  • Application closes 30th September 2016
  • Pitch Day 11th November 2016
  • Blue Lab programme starts 5th December 2016
  • Demo day 15th February 2017
  • Blue Lab programme ends 3rd March 2017

Who are we looking for?

The thinkers, the innovators, the game-changers. The trailblazers who want to join forces with EDF Energy and break new ground.

If you’re an entrepreneur, start-up or company working on the next big thing for energy – we want to hear from you.

We’re looking for speed to market. So we’ll be prioritising products and services that are fully developed or have been prototyped – to take to market within three to six months.

But even if your idea is in the early stages, we want to hear about it. It could be the next big thing.


Q&A

What type of products are you looking for?

We are particularly interested in ideas for our Connected Home and Business Challenge. This could be a product that helps customers understand, interpret and plan their energy use, new technology that gives customers greater control over their energy use – or anything that helps customers get excited about energy. Of course, if you have an idea that doesn’t quite fit any of those, but you still think it would work for us – send it through.

Who can get involved?

Anyone who wants to work with us to develop products and services to help our customers. So if you’re a company, entrepreneur or start-up from anywhere in the world, get in touch.

I’m not an energy business – can I still participate?

Yes, EDF Energy Blue Lab Challenge isn’t exclusively for energy businesses. We’re also keen to work with products and services from other sectors that could apply to the energy industry. For example, if you have a great data analytics platform, it could help us to understand how our customers use energy.

I have a good business idea – can I participate in the Blue Lab Challenge?

Absolutely. EDF Energy Blue Lab is our innovation platform where great ideas are developed, shaping the future of how our customers use energy.

My start-up is in the early stages – am I right for EDF Energy Blue Lab?

You could be. We’re open to businesses of any stage of their development and we tailor activities to suit you. If you feel that your business and products would benefit from collaborating with us then we’d love to hear from you.

I’ve been in accelerators before and have customers – is this right for me?

Yes. But we know your needs will be different to a business in its early stages. That’s why we tailor mentoring and activities to suit you and your needs – we don’t want to waste your time. All you need to take part in EDF Energy Blue Lab is the drive and ambition to develop your product and ideas.

Do I need to give away equity to participate?

No – if you participate in our Blue Lab Challenge, we won’t ask for equity. However, we may ask you to keep us up to date with future funding rounds.

Are you asking for exclusivity?

No, we won’t tie you in to an exclusivity agreement. We want to build a relationship based on trust. At the end of the 10 weeks in Blue Lab, we’ll know each other better and we hope that you’ll see us as the first port of call when you need feedback on new products. We will ask you to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA) – and this will apply when working with other parties in the energy sector.

Will I need to disclose confidential information about my business?

No, not at first. When you apply to join Blue Lab you only need to share information about your product or business that you consider to be in the public domain.

If you are invited to join EDF Energy Blue Lab Programme, we will ask you to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA) so we can work together on the programme. This means that we’ll keep your information confidential – and you’ll need to do the same for us.

What’s the deadline for registering my interest?

30th September 2016.

What happens once I’ve registered my interest?

First you submit your application form on F6S. Then one of our team will review your responses to confirm if you’re suitable for the programme. If you are, our partner L Marks may be in touch to get further details and answer any questions you have. The EDF Energy Blue Lab Programme Committee will then review your application. Up to 25 teams will be invited to attend the Pitch Day. We’ll ask you to prepare for a short presentation and Q&A. You’ll also get to meet the EDF Energy Blue Lab team. If we believe your business is the right fit for the programme, we’ll invite you to participate. You’ll hear from us within 10 days after the Pitch Day.

You must be at least 18 years old to enter EDF Energy Blue Lab challenge.

I don’t live in the UK, can I apply?

Of course. We encourage companies, entrepreneurs and start-ups from across the globe to apply. But remember, you may need a visa to participate in activities in the UK.

Are you offering any travel support?

The programme is based in Hove, UK. Travel support is at EDF Energy’s discretion – we’ll review on a case by case basis.

Keen to find out more?

Then get in touch…