16 Aug 16

EDF Energy launches innovation challenge

Call for start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs to get on board with energy innovation

EDF Energy has today launched the EDF Energy Pulse Awards, a competition to crowd source innovative ideas to address key challenges facing the energy industry. Start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs are being offered the chance to get expert support and advice and attract investment, to help turn ideas into reality.

Building on the success of the international EDF Pulse Awards launched in 2013, the EDF Energy Pulse Awards is on the lookout for ideas across four categories.  They represent key strategic areas for EDF Energy, which is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity.  

The categories include:

  • Blue Lab’s connected home and business challenge
  • Inspiring young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)
  • Data solutions for improving health and safety
  • Monitoring and inspection solutions for energy generation assets (in partnership with Innovate UK)

EDF Energy’s R&D UK Centre is engaged in projects across all types of energy including nuclear collaboration with Generation R&D, renewable technologies, including storage, energy management, energy efficiency, smart meters and digital innovation.   In addition to the existing R&D UK Centre, EDF Energy recently launched its own innovation accelerator, Blue Lab, focusing on making customers’ lives easier through innovation.  Ideas taken forward as a result of this challenge will complement work already being carried out by EDF Energy in these areas. 

Entrants need to submit applications in the Autumn.  Shortlisted entries will be brought together at a pitch day in November 2016 in front of judging panels made up of EDF Energy and EDF Group employees and external experts. 

Xavier Mamo, Director of Research & Development at EDF Energy said:

“EDF Energy has a strong history of promoting innovation in our business and the industry.  The EDF Energy Pulse Awards will help us to collaborate with an even wider range of experts and get a fresh perspective on how to tackle a number of challenges facing our industry today. 

“The innovative solutions chosen as part of this challenge will be developed alongside the existing work of our R&D teams and innovation accelerator Blue Lab, putting innovation firmly at the heart of our business.”

EDF Energy will look to fast track relevant EDF Energy Pulse Awards shortlisted entries to the international EDF Pulse Awards 2017. 

For more information contact:

Lisa Ahmad
External Communications Manager
020 7752 2173
07875 110969

Notes to editors

Further information on EDF Energy Pulse Awards categories:

Blue Lab’s connected home and business challenge:

Blue Lab, EDF Energy’s innovation accelerator, is working in partnership with L Marks, and is looking for the next big idea for connected home and business.  The challenge offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators to work with energy experts to fast track their ideas to the next stage of development.  The rewards include access to office space in the Blue Lab, expert mentoring and coaching from L Marks and EDF’s own VC Electranova Capital, access to consumer insight, potential for investment opportunities and a cash prize of £30,000. The Blue Lab connected home and business challenge application window is open until 30 September 2016.

Inspiring young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM):

EDF Energy is looking for innovative products or services that will inspire children to get on board with STEM, as part of the business’ approach to address the potential future work force skills gap.  Ideas need to be ready for market launch or already available.  The winner and their idea will be showcased as part of EDF Energy’s calendar of activity promoting STEM careers to children across the UK, for example, through #PrettyCurious. #PrettyCurious is a long term programme to encourage more teenage girls to study STEM. The programme aims to give girls hands-on experiences and provide them with opportunities to learn about the wide range of careers available in STEM.  Throughout 2016 and 2017 EDF Energy will be putting on events and visiting schools across the country to get kids excited about the career possibilities with STEM  - this challenge offers a chance to get involved, with £50,000 up for grabs. Closing date is 21 October 2016.

Data solutions for improving health and safety:

This challenge seeks a team of experts to design a data analysis system to help the business better understand, interpret, predict and respond to health and safety incidents, in line with EDF Energy's zero harm ambitions.  The winner will be awarded a £20,000 contract to develop a proof of concept, with the potential to be awarded a further contract for roll out in 2017. Closing date is 21 October 2016.

Monitoring and inspection solutions for energy generation assets:

EDF Energy’s monitoring and inspection challenge, in partnership with Innovate UK, offers up to £10,000 for new approaches to nuclear power station and offshore wind farm inspection and monitoring systems.  Closing date is 28 September 2016.

L Marks:

L Marks is a corporate innovation specialist and early stage investor. They build bridges between large corporates seeking to innovate more quickly with young companies with disruptive technologies, products and services. Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Stuart Marks, they run bespoke startup partnership programmes across industry sectors, supporting rapid innovation and connecting them with the best startups. They work with their clients to identify where they believe the challenges are in their businesses and then turn these into opportunities for improvement and innovation. Each programme is tailored to deliver real solutions to the corporate partners as well as creating real opportunities for startups to test and grow their product with a major partner.

Innovate UK:

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. They are business focused and drive disruptive innovation right across the UK economy, funding and connecting pioneering businesses so they can create the products, processes and industries of the future. It is their mission to boost productivity, increase exports and help the UK economy grow head and shoulders above other nations. For further information and to stay updated on latest news visit www.gov.uk/innovateuk, follow Innovate UK on Twitter at @innovateuk or subscribe to their YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/InnovateUK.

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to over 5 million customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.

In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 14,000 people at locations across the UK.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/